Saturday 7 October, 2017

Mark 1:9-13

9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee. John baptized Jesus in the Jordan River. 10 Jesus was coming up out of the water. Just then he saw heaven being torn open. Jesus saw the Holy Spirit coming down on him like a dove. 11 A voice spoke to him from heaven. It said, “You are my Son, and I love you. I am very pleased with you.” 12 At once the Holy Spirit sent Jesus out into the desert. 13 He was in the desert 40 days. There Satan tempted him. The wild animals didn’t harm Jesus. Angels took care of him.

A miraculous happening surrounds Jesus as he rises from the waters of baptism: “You are my son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” (verse 11) This supernatural endorsement is then immediately tested in the wilderness – the very Spirit that came and rested on Jesus like a dove sends Jesus into a period of intense trial. Note that God’s Spirit is not the examiner, but that Jesus finds himself exposed in a harsh place faced with harsh testing.

I notice a reality that we all face – the Holy Spirit guides, but not always to places we expect or desire. Perhaps you are going through a desert in your life? Perhaps you are experiencing testing times in your life? Don’t give up on God. Jesus knows what it is like to be tested and alone. Jesus even knows what it’s like to be cold and hungry!

Jesus, thank you for your story – a story which is my story. Not only do you love me as your child, you personally know the challenges I can face. Thank you for your Spirit that guides and comforts. Thank you for the support and care you surround me with by your Spirit: through those around me, in your people and through your church. Amen

Written by Sam Stewart

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