The Spirit sends Jesus into the wilderness. You likely boxed the word “sent” as an action word, and it is significant. Pastor Jeff described the sequence of what happens here as “I love you, into the wilderness you go.” As Jesus comes up from the water of baptism, Mark records a glimpse of all three members of the Trinity. The Son comes out of the water, the Spirit descends on him like a dove and the Father speaks to say Jesus is loved. What a beautiful scene. In the very next verse, the same Spirit then sends him into the wilderness.
The wilderness is a place of trust. Israel was in the wilderness for 40 years; Jesus stays for 40 days. He’s acting out the history of Israel. He’s fixing it. Jesus is obedient, where Israel couldn’t be obedient. The good news (Mark 1:1) is that he’s obedient for us because we couldn’t do it either. Jesus is taking Israel’s place—and he takes ours. He’s showing what it looks like to trust amid difficulty.
These past six months have been filled with struggles. We learn from this passage that experiencing struggle doesn’t mean God doesn’t love us. Jesus hears God loves him and then immediately deals with significant struggles in the wilderness. God never promises us a life without struggle. What we see is that God is with us in the struggle. He provides for us in the struggle. Struggles present us with opportunities for us to trust God.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Open your journal to page 15. Write in the notes section the three statements Pastor Jeff gave us for times of struggle: This is normal. I’m not alone. God will meet me here.
Think through where you are experiencing struggle in your life. Repeat those three phrases to yourself as you experience the struggle today and this week. Download the lock screen below to remind you.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.