This is part seven in our Wilderness Series. We will be looking again at the life of Jesus while He was in His wilderness experience.
We will be looking at Mark’s account of this encounter between the Lamb of God and the prince of darkness.
Jesus, as the Lamb was the recipient of the enemy’s attempt to cause Him to compromise who He was and what He was called to do. Once He passed the test He would emerge as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah [praise and worship].
“Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness. And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him” [Mark 1:12, 13].
Again, this episode followed immediately after Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River “to fulfill all righteousness” and after He was baptized in the Holy Spirit.
The baptism in water affirmed Him as the Lamb of God. He was identified as the Lamb by John the Baptist before He reached the River. Jesus did not need to be baptized in water because of personal sin. He had to be baptized as the One who would become sin, even though He never sinned. This identified Him with sinful man. As the Lamb He was the recipient of the satanic assault.
The baptism in the Holy Spirit empowered Him to function as the conquering Lion. Jesus is our role-model and He lived His life as a human in right relationship with God, and who was led and empowered by the Holy Spirit. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit identified Him with mankind as the resurrected and glorified man. As the Lion He was the One who was on the assault. This represents His statement that “He would build the church and the gates of hell ~ the strategies, plans, and partnerships of darkness ~ would be overcome by the advancing army of Light.” The church, the new man, is not called to be passive, blase, or reserved. The church is to be on the assault, assailing the gates of hell.
The word “immediately” is found many times in Mark’s Gospel. It is found eight times in the first chapter alone. The word immediately indicates the urgency Mark was conveying to his targeted audience. We must realize that after two thousand years the urgency has not waned, instead it has only increased. There is just not enough time for Christians to serve their comforts when darkness is advancing. If the nations remain in darkness it is only because those with the light have failed to understand how urgent the hour has become.
Mark said the Spirit “drove Him into the wilderness.” This is not a picture of Jesus resisting the Spirit, Rather, it is a picture of the Holy Spirit being in total control of every moment of this experience. The Holy Spirit was not a taxi driver. Taxi drivers either take a person to their destination, get paid and then leave to go pick up someone else, or they take a person to their destination and wait for the person to finish their business and return to the cab so they can go somewhere else.
This is not what the Holy Spirit did. He was in complete control every moment of the entire forty day test. We could say the Holy Spirit chauffeured Jesus throughout the forty days. As a chauffeur the Spirit took Jesus to each encounter with the prince of darkness and stayed to assist Him as He rebuffed every assault.
The word chauffeur is a French word for stoker by its association to a steam engine. It comes from a root word meaning “to heat”. Stoker’s were the men that tended the fire which ran the steam engine. The Holy Spirit is likened to many things in the Bible, such as a dove, water, rivers, rain, wind, eagles, oil and fire. These are just some of His monikers.
The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah declared in chapters twenty and twenty-three that God’s word is like a fire. We know that the Holy Spirit inspired and authored the Bible. His energy and expertise enabled mere humans to write the greatest collection of writings the world has ever known.
The Holy Spirit is not just the stoker, He is the fuel that compels and propels believers to live their lives in complete harmony with the will and ways of God. The Holy Spirit leads us, guides us, equips us, inspires us and ignites us with His passion and purpose. This is why Jesus said to His disciples in Luke chapter twenty-four, “Do not leave home [Jerusalem] without the power [receiving the Promise of the Father].”
So much of the church has left on His mission without the power. This has created a power vacuum that has been filled with all kinds of satanic things. Why do you think esp, palm reading, astral projection, psychics and the like have gained so much “respect”?
Our enemy does not deserve the respect people give him. Jesus did not respect him. In our next blog we will see how Jesus taunted him while he was tempting Jesus.
Jesus is The Man! He is the Man who defended God’s honor and in doing so defeated the plans of the dark one, as a Man. This is a huge deal because He modeled what was possible, not what was impossible.
If our genesis is “I can’t” or “it won’t work” then it will be nearly impossible for us to accomplish anything beyond what we already have. Christianity is a supernatural lifestyle. Anything short of that is below the standard Jesus lived, died and rose gain for. Faith requires risk! Faith without action is useless. Not trying is failure!
For HIS Glory!
Dr. Kevin M. Drury