Jesus Tempted | Mark 1:12–13

12 The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 
13 And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. 
And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.”

Sometimes we mistakenly believe that if we do everything “right,” we’ll face no trouble.  Indeed, we avoid the consequences of our personal sins, but that doesn’t mean that God may not still allow trials.  Jesus warned, “In the world you will have tribulation,” continuing with this promise, “But take heart; I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33). 

The Man of Sorrows here endures forty days in the desert with wild animals and Satan, the real adversary of all our souls, tempting Him that entire time.  What is striking, though, is that the Holy Spirit compelled Him to be out there.  Why?

The temptation account here recalls two Old Testament images.  First, the inclusion here of “wild beasts” contrasts another man dwelling with beasts, Adam.  Since the Messiah would bring into the kingdom those born again, He is the second Adam and must be tested.  First Corinthians 14:45 says, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.” 

Second, this account parallels the wilderness testing of Israel.  In Exodus 3, Moses first meets God in the wilderness, Israel is also called “son” in 4:23, and that son was baptized into Moses when crossing the Red Sea (1 Cor 10:2; cf. Ex 14:13–31).  Unfortunately, the people rebelled, so God sent them wandering in the wilderness for 40 years (Nm 14).  Even during Israel’s testing in the wilderness, they did not lack (Dt 2:7), and here we see angels ministering to the sinless Christ.

Have you been facing temptation, dear Christian?  Know that your Lord and Savior has also.  Hebrews 4:15 says that He is not “unable to sympathize with our weaknesses” but “in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”  Recall His words of comfort: “I have overcome the world.”  Know that, if you’ve  been baptized into Him, you’ve been raised to new life in Him.  You don’t have to yield to temptation, but the victorious Christ gives you strength through the Holy Spirit and the Word to slay any dragon wanting to lead you astray.  Hallelujah! What a Savior!

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