Mark: According to, The Temptation of Jesus by Satan
Mark 1:12, 13
For some reason, Mark pays little attention to the temptations of Jesus while Jesus was in the wilderness. Matthew devotes 11 verses, Luke 13 verses while Mark has only two verses devoted to the temptations that were faced by Christ. Mark starts with these words, “Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness.”
Some commentators have said the Spirit drove him into the wilderness to be tempted but God does not temp mankind nor would God himself have tempted Christ. Something else must have been taking place and Satan used this opportunity for temptation. After all, all Christ had to do was sin once or show allegiance to Satan in any way for the plan of salvation to completely fall apart. To be clear, the plan of salvation was set up in such a way that death was required for sin. Death is the total and complete separation from God the Father. So for the plan of salvation to work, a substitute for our death, which is our permanent separation from God the Father must be found. That substitute was Christ who died the death of complete separation from the Father that we might not be separated from God forever.
Consequently, all Satan had to do was prevent Christ from dying on the cross and the whole plan of salvation would have been gone. Anything that could prevent or thwart Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection would prevent the plan of salvation from being fulfilled.
Therefore, Christ was led to the wilderness to prepare for his ministry and while there he was tempted by Satan. When one prepares for God’s work it seems a whole host of problems arise in an attempt by Satan to keep us from fulfilling our calling to give the Gospel message.
It was no different with Christ as he prepared for ministry, Satan assaulted him with temptations, the very temptations that had caused Eve and then Adam to fall. Yet although alone and seemingly without human comfort and the necessities of life, Christ remained faithful and his faithfulness was rewarded by angels ministering to him.
Often the life of a servant of God is like living in a wilderness where ravenous wolves and wild boar, jackal and leopard are waiting to pray upon our ministry and it is only through contact with Heaven that Jesus and you and I can remain faithful servants of God.
But there can be another meaning for the word wilderness as well. John, is said to be the “voice crying in the wilderness.” The earth is like a wilderness and those that are without Christ are said to be wandering in the wilderness. Christ came to wander in this wilderness, not aimlessly but with the purpose of restoring the beauty of His Father’s great love that had been lost by man when Adam and Eve sinned. This could only be done by Christ being tempted in all points as we are tempted so that he could sympathize with our infirmities (Hebrews 4:15).
Christ came to act as a bridge or as in the dream of Jacob a ladder that bridges the gap that was formed between Man and God when sin was introduced into the world. For this relationship to be restored, Christ must remain faithful. I am so happy that when temptation came Christ held fast to his mission of service relying not on self but the power of the Holy Spirit to sustain him.
What an example for you and me. Though we walk in the wilderness, Christ has asked the Father to send us the Holy Spirit and through the power of the Holy Spirit we have the same power Christ had to stand fast against sin.
Let our prayer be, “thank you Lord for giving to me the same path to travel as Christ with the same power to resist sin only being a prayer away. Thank you for giving salvation to me. Amen.”