Devotional Reading from the Daily Common Lectionary: Mark 1: 1013
Text: And the Spirit immediately drove Him (Jesus) out into the wilderness.
I am fascinated by the Spirit driving Jesus into the wilderness so that He could be tested. In Mark’s gospel there is no other detail. Very simple. Very straight forward.
I remember a teacher who never gave quizzes or tests. He gave “knowledge finders.” I adopted his practice when I taught confirmation classes. Knowledge finders are an attempt to find out if the information shared becomes “knowledge” in the minds of students. More than once I would have to re-teach a lesson because if hadn’t turned into “knowledge”.
The other synoptic gospels say that Jesus was tempted in the wilderness. Depending upon the context, “temptation” and “testing” can be used interchangeably throughout Scripture. We are never tempted by something we do not desire. Jesus time in the wilderness was the time clarified His ministry. In the wilderness Jesus discovered what he stood for and, just as importantly, what He stood against.
Maybe we need a bit more time in the wilderness.
Lord, lead me not into temptation but if I must be tempted, let me not succumb to the temptation and fall. Amen.