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Mark 1:12-13: Jesus Goes to the Wilderness

Posted by adventbiblestudy on October 7, 2012


Mark 1:12-13 The Spirit then compelled Jesus to go into the wilderness, (13) where he was tempted by Satan for forty days. He was out among the wild animals, and angels took care of him.

 

Wait! Where are the details of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness. As a new believer, I can’t believe Mark left out all those details. Why would Mark begin his book with Jesus’ baptism, then skip all the details of what His baptism led to?

 

But wait. Did Mark leave out all the details, or did he actually provide a few others missed? Let’s take a close look at each word. There is one that sticks out.

 

Mark 1:12 The Spirit then compelled Jesus to go into the wilderness,

 

The word wilderness is used in a previous verse.

 

Mark 1:4 This messenger was John the Baptist. He was in the wilderness and preached that people should be baptized to show that they had turned to God to receive forgiveness for their sins.

 

What does that mean? Jesus was baptized in the wilderness and the Spirit led Him into what, another wilderness? Maybe the answer is what John lived off of in the wilderness.

 

Mark 1:6 His clothes were woven from coarse camel hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. For food he ate locusts and wild honey.

 

John ate locusts and wild honey in the wilderness. Didn’t Jesus go into the wilderness to fast? Didn’t the devil tempt Jesus with stones, asking Him to turn them into bread? If John found locusts and wild honey in the wilderness to eat, couldn’t Jesus find the same food, if He wanted to?

 

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry. (Matthew 4:1-2)

 

To be fair Matthew provides the same details about John’s diet. Mark’s quick way of moving from one scene to another makes it easier to see the important details.

 

The same food may have been food there for Jesus just as it was available for John in the wilderness. Is this showing Jesus fasted to show His love, dedication and faith in His Father? Do you think Jesus laughed on the inside when the devil tempted Him? “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.” Jesus would have known other food was available. The devil knew Jesus fasted to draw nearer to His Father and the Spirit. To Jesus, food was never a question. It would have been ridiculous for the devil to tempt Jesus with stones. God could have sent a swarm of locusts, or brought honey from the ground or a rock at any time. The devil’s first temptation was foolish to say the least. But, isn’t that the way the devil always begins his work of deception? When I look at the scene and characters involved, Jesus must have been the first person the devil tempted who was actually smarter and better prepared. Satan must have planned his attack a long time and personally implemented every detail. No matter, it did not work.

 

One of the most valuable pieces of information we have is knowing Jesus already defeated the devil.

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