The Gospel of Mark | Desert Times | Mark 1.12-13 |

by | Sep 26, 2023

“At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness,13 and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted[g] by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.” Mark 1.12-13

I find it ironic that John came from the desert to baptize Jesus in the Jordan, and once Jesus is baptized, he leaves the Jordan and goes to the desert for a time of testing. What is it about the desert that God has two of his young great leaders spending time there before their ministries even begin?

The other thought that comes to mind is why did God even lead him into the desert? To face temptation by the devil? The comfort I have is that God was with him because it was the Spirit who led him out. It’s not an unfamiliar position for God’s people to be in the desert. Remember Moses and the Hebrew slaves who wandered in the desert for 40 years?

What does it mean for us to be in a desert place? I often look back on my seminary days and see them as a wilderness experience. I was single, alone in another state, ready for relationships and working all week on school and all weekend at a church youth group. For three years, I was learning what it meant to be a pastor while being tempted by the devil! But like Jesus, God’s Spirit was with me.

Have you found yourself in a desert place? Do you feel lost or alone? Are you asking God why you are where you are during this time? Please remember, the Lord is with you. His Spirit is upon you and like Jesus, he will send his angels to minister to you by his grace and for his glory.

“O Lord God, the desert is not a fun place to find ourselves. When you were driven into the wilderness by the Spirit, you overcame sin and temptation. We often fail in that same test. But because of your strength, we can find the victory. Come now, Holy Spirit, and draw us close to you. Help us find strength in the desert and solace in your care. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen