The other reason I chose this picture has to do with something we read during Jesus time this morning. Currently we are looking at the life of Jesus through the Gospels. We looked at Mark 1 today and read about the baptism of Jesus. It always takes me “to another place” in my mind when I read about the heavens being torn open and the Lord himself speaking words over His precious son, yet what struck me today were the words my eyes fell upon directly following this event.
The Baptism and Temptation of Jesus
9At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
12At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert, 13and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.
Did you catch that? Here we read about the most blessed event, our Jesus being recognized for his Holy Deity, a spectacle to behold, a “mountain-top experience”, if you will, and directly following this glorious occurrence, the Spirit sends Jesus into the desert. Did you catch that word – sends. It was in the plan. And it wasn’t a quick one day plan. And it wasn’t to a most glorious place. In fact, this next step of the plan took 40 days, and it was a dry, parched, wind-blown place and time. Because not only was it a long enduring time, in a miserable place, but He was tempted by Satan himself. Are you nodding your head in understanding? Can you recall a time in your life where He took you from the mountaintop directly to the valley? Perhaps you are currently there.
I apologize that this is not a “hearts-n-stars” post, yet it’s real. I didn’t orchestrate it, God did, and it simply amazes me. Reading this once again, prepares me. For in this world, we will have trouble, yet my Jesus tells me not to fear in my Bible 365 times. Sorry, but I believe this number is no coincidence. Let’s go back and read the last sentence of verse 12. Did you catch it?
Yep, there are wild animals, but what else are there? Angels attended. Praise you Jesus. May you set your minds to some new things this year. May we set our minds on Him. I’ve once again decided to try and read the Bible through the year. I’m greatly anticipating all I have to learn from my Lord. What about you? There are some great resources to help you in your endeavor if you are interested as well. Check out Wendy Pope’s site. She’s hosting an on-line group format through her blog to dig deeper together as we learn from one another’s Spirit-led insights. Happy New Year!