How is it we learn to endure inner testing? Like it or not, the tests come! No, not the pass/fail or graded tests, but the testing of our spirit like metal is tested to expose and purify impurities. Jesus, too, was tested. Nothing but strength, courage, and grace was exposed as Jesus submitted Himself to this unyielding testing.
The wilderness was not his first encounter with Satan—not even as a human. Slaughter of thousands of infants at his birth is surely indicative of demonic agenda—the forces of the evil one that seek to dominate and destroy people.
Baptism is a means of identification. Literally it comes from the act of dyeing cloth whereupon the cloth takes the properties of the colors in which it is immersed. At the baptism of Jesus, Father spoke words of affirmation and Holy Spirit descended upon Him. Jesus’ spirit was affirmed in His identity as God’s beloved Son and soaked in the purity, power, holiness and love of Holy Spirit.
Immediately, Mark states, the Spirit impelled Jesus to go out to the wilderness to be tempted. Our experiencing God anchors us in identity, security and value in God. In Him we live and move and have our being. We abide, we work, we are identified in Him and this allows our testings to produce the same end product we saw in Jesus: strength, courage and grace. It is not a nice byproduct of living in Him but it is essential for unity, Kingdom productivity, and intimacy.
This passage invites us to Holy Spirit baptism to identify ourselves with and take on the “properties” of the Son in our own lives.
Let’s dip in!