The Gospel of Mark

Mark - Lesson 1C

Chapter 1:9-13

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  • Last week towards the end of our time together, we discussed the significance of Jesus’ arrival on the scene.

    • John the Baptizer mentioned that Christ was mightier than he so much so that he went on to say that he is “not even worthy to untie the sandals of Jesus’ feet.”

      • This was significant because it alluded to the majesty and supremacy of our great King, Jesus Christ.

      • He mentioned that the Messiah’s baptism would reveal two important aspects of His ministry.

      • It would reveal that Jesus would be both the gatherer and divider.

    • We will witness throughout this study how Jesus’ ministry draws men and women to Himself, His message, and to service.

      • While at the same time, His life will reveal those who will reject His message and mission.

    • Tonight, we will witness:

      • 1. Jesus being confirmed and affirmed by the Father,

      • 2. Jesus anointed for His ministry and missional work with Power from the Holy Spirit.

      • 3. Identify with humanity in order to save those in whom the Father called.

    • With that being said, let’s read verses 9-13 of Mark Chapter 1, together.

Mark 1:9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 
Mark 1:10 And immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon Him; 
Mark 1:11 and a voice came from the heavens: “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”
Mark 1:12 And immediately the Spirit *brought Him out into the wilderness. 
Mark 1:13 And He was in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild animals, and the angels were serving Him.
  • Let’s Pray

  • One of the greatest affirming honors that a father could bestow upon his child is his confirmation of love and approval.

    • The profound confidence a child has regarding their father stems from the father’s unyielded commitment to the growth and development of his child.

      • Just the mentioning of a father approving his child especially amongst others is quite reassuring.

    • What we find in tonight’s study is Jesus arriving on the scene to be baptized.

      • We will witness God the Father both confirming and approving His Son.

    • This announcement will be both a verbal and visual announcement.

      • It will be verbal in the sense of John the Baptist hearing the affirming and confirming voice of God acknowledging Jesus as His Son.

      • And it will be visual to the effect that the heavens will open, and the Holy Spirit will appear in a unique form.

    • This announcement will then lead to the preparation and testing of Jesus who will show Himself to be victorious over the schemes of Satan.

      • With that outline, pick me up at verse 9.

Mark 1:9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 
  • Verse 9 starts with the arrival of Jesus coming from Nazareth to be baptized by John.

    • However, before we move forward, we don’t want to miss Mark’s choice of words.

      • Mark begins the sentence with the phrase “In those days”.

    • Why does Mark begin with the phrase “In those days”.

      • Why doesn’t he begin with “And Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee” or something to that effect?

    • The answer to that question is found in Luke’s account. Check out Luke 3:1-2.

Luke 3:1 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee and his brother Philip was tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene, 
Luke 3:2 in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John, the son of Zechariah, in the wilderness.
  • What we find in Luke’s account are important historical markers.

    • I mention this briefly because it is important to note that our Christian faith is grounded in actual history.

    • These are real people, in real places, at specific times.

    • So what we witness is God in eternity’s past was interweaving his redemptive story through human history and time.

    • For example, we know that:

      • Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea from AD 26 to late 36.

      • Herod Antipas ruled as tetrarch of Galilee from 4BC to AD39

      • His brother Herod Philip ruled northern Palestine from 4BC to AD34

      • Not much information is available regarding Lysanias

      • We also see that Luke mentions two high priest: Annas and Caiaphas

    • What we see from these figures is real dates and a year that Jesus is headed to be baptized.

      • There are two things we are to note here:

      • 1. The significance of the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar

      • 2. The other figures mentioned in Luke 3:1-2

    • The significance of the 15th year of Tiberius Cesar directly connects to Jesus’ age at the time of His baptism.

      • Secondly, it connects to the reality that some of these figures will have some interaction, in word or deed, with Christ.

      • It should never escape us to see just how detailed God is regarding His redemptive plan in bringing about salvation.

    • What is most profound regarding the 15th year of Tiberius’ reign is we can pinpoint Jesus’ age.

      • Tiberius’ 15th year is probably around AD 29, which is considered the most popular view by scholars.

      • Which would put Jesus about the age of 30 years old.

    • Scripture confirms the age of Jesus in Luke 3:23. Check out the text

Luke 3:23 When He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years old, being, as was commonly held, the son of Joseph, the son of Eli,
  • Jesus’ age gives us significant insight into Him being baptized.

    • Why do I mention this? The age qualification of being a priest according to the Hebrew scriptures was at minimum of 30 years of age.

    • Check out Numbers 4:1-3.

Numbers 4:1 Then the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, 
Numbers 4:2 “Take a census of the descendants of Kohath from among the sons of Levi, by their families, by their fathers’ households, 
Numbers 4:3 from thirty years old and upward, even to fifty years old, everyone who can enter the service of ministry to do work in the tent of meeting.
  • So, it becomes clear that Jesus is at the right age, according to rabbinic law, to take on this prophetic ministry as both a prophet and priest.

    • This explains why the writer of Hebrews mentions this about Jesus being our Great High priest. Check out Hebrews 4:14.

Hebrews 4:14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let’s hold firmly to our confession.
  • We will also see another title used in the text regarding Jesus and His Divine position later on.

    • Verse 9 continues by mentioning the location Jesus is coming from to be baptized.

      • The text mentions he is coming from Nazareth of Galilee.

    • Mark mentioning this exact location and particular region is yet another significant detail.

      • One could assume that this detail could have been left out knowing Mark’s brevity.

      • However, Mark sees fit to include the location of where Jesus is coming from – and might I add for great reason.

      • In order for us to understand Mark’s need to include the detail of where Jesus was coming from we have to ask the question “What’s in a name?”

    • Nazareth was a village in lower Galilee which was Jesus’ childhood home.

      • Nazareth was settled on a ridge 500 meters above sea level (incorrectly noted in audio as miles).

      • It was not considered a well-known city in that day.

      • Not much of anything or anyone prominent came from this city.

    • The lowliness and obscurity of this town was so unimpressive that John’s gospel records the very words of Nathanael addressing where Christ came from.

      • Check out John 1:46

John 1:46 Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good be from Nazareth?” Philip *said to him, “Come and see.”
  • Nazareth was such a small, unknown town that Mark includes “in Galilee” to give the reader a location marker as to the whereabouts of this place.

    • It is clear, yet again that. God has picked the perfect place for His Son to come from in preparation to begin His ministry.

    • A lowly, obscure, unattractive, no man’s land is where Messiah will come from – what an unlikely place. This is a constant theme of God.

    • He chooses a hairy bearded man who lives in the wilderness to make this heralding announcement of Messiah and His Kingdom.

    • The location of this announcement is not in the courtyards of Jerusalem nor amongst the elite, but in the wilderness in the outskirts of the city.

    • And don’t forget, the Messiah is coming from a poor, lowly town, population 500 with the one stop sign.

    • Friends this is God’s redemptive salvific plan unfolding before the world to see and it looks nothing like what was anticipated.

      • God uses the most ordinary things to reveal His extraordinary plans.

      • How often do we rush to look for God in the miraculous things instead of seeing Him most clearly in the mundane?

    • Could you potentially be overlooking what God may be showing you or wanting to tell you or even lead you because you’re looking for the most attractive thing?

      • The prophet Isaiah was screaming, in a sense, the reality that Messiah was not going to come the way most expected.

      • Matthew’s gospel mentions this in Chapter 2 verse 23.

Matthew 2:23 and came and settled in a city called Nazareth. This happened so that what was spoken through the prophets would be fulfilled: “He will be called a Nazarene.”
  • Understand, Jesus coming from Nazareth was not a flop in the storyline, it was a fulfillment of scripture.

    • God is so detailed in His design that some scholars have suggested Matthew’s statement regarding the name Nazareth connected to this fulfillment.

    • The word Nazareth is the Greek word Nazoraios, which according to some scholars is the transliterated Greek form of the Hebrew word “netzer”.

      • The Hebrew word “netzer” means a shoot or a branch.

    • They suggest that the particular etymology of the name of the town of “Nazareth” could potentially explain Matthew’s connection that Messiah would come out of Nazareth.

      • Isaiah 11:1-2 speaks to this “shoot” or offspring. Check out the text.

Isaiah 11:1 Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch from his roots will bear fruit.
Isaiah 11:2  The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him, The spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
  • It is also mentioned by other scholars that Matthew mentioning that Messiah would come from Nazareth meant that Christ would be despised and disregarded as Isaiah mentioned in Isaiah 53:3.

Isaiah 53:3 He was despised and abandoned by men,
A man of great pain and familiar with sickness;
And like one from whom people hide their faces,
He was despised, and we had no regard for Him.
  • To add the cherry on top, Mark’s account mentions that Jesus is coming to be baptized by this crazy looking bearded man, John the Baptist.

    • The baptism we now know as the baptism of repentance.

    • Stop the press! This Jesus is supposed to be the Messiah, the Promised One. In Him there can be no sin found, and yet He is coming to be baptized?

      • This makes no sense!

    • Friends this becomes a profound moment that even John the Baptist is a bit perplexed, to the point that he tells Jesus, “You should be baptizing me!”

      • However, Jesus makes it known to John that he is to permit Him to be baptized to “fulfill all righteousness”

    • Why would Messiah need to be baptized unto repentance if He has done no wrong?

      • It makes sense why Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:21:

2 Corinthians 5:21 He made Him who knew no sin to be [a]sin in our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
  • Dr.Fruchtenbaum in his book, Yeshua: Life of the Messiah documents 5 theological reasons as to why Jesus was to be baptized.

    • 1. Jesus identified Himself with the righteousness of the Mosaic Law showing He would fulfill all of its demands. In other words, Jesus was pointing to the fact that He is the absolute standard of righteousness.

    • 2. Jesus being baptized identified Him with John’s message.

    • 3. Jesus’ baptism would be made known to Israel.

    • 4. Jesus is baptized to identify with the believing remnant. Those who would accept him as Messiah.

    • 5. Jesus’ baptism identifies Himself with sinners.

    • Jesus was not identifying Himself as a sinner but rather was being identified with sinners to accomplish what we never could.

      • Jesus will take the place of sinful humanity and exchange His righteousness for our wickedness as prophet, priest, and King.

      • Check out verse 10-11.

Mark 1:10 And immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon Him; 
Mark 1:11 and a voice came from the heavens: “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”
  • We now arrive to the moment that Jesus is being baptized.

    • Notice that Mark doesn’t waste time in the dialogue exchange between John and Jesus regarding the baptism.

      • Mark is focused on getting to the entrée and not getting caught up with the appetizers.

      • Mark writes that the moment that Jesus comes from out of the water, a very powerful, and unforgettable moment happens.

    • The text describes this moment in three distinct phases that begin once Jesus comes out of the water from having been fully immersed in the water.

      • The first thing is the heavens open.

      • The word here for opening in the text is schizo which means “to tear apart or to split.”

      • Its Hebrew word transliterated is qara which means “to tear”.

    • This theme of things splitting mark dynamic moments in history regarding a mighty move of God amongst his people.

      • One instance you may be familiar with is the parting of the Red Sea.

      • Or the splitting of the Mount of Olives at the Day of the Lord according to Zechariah14:4.

    • Once the heavens open, Mark says “and the Spirit descended upon Jesus “like a dove”.

      • The question many may have is why in the form of a dove?

    • Within Jewish literature, the symbol of the Holy Spirit metaphorically is a dove.

      • We see a similar picture in Genesis 1.

      • It mentions that the “Spirit moved over the face of the deep.”

      • The Hebrew word for “moved over” is merachephet which is a word typically used to describe a mother bird hovering over her eggs before they hatch.

    • So, it is no surprise that God provides this imagery for John to connect this moment and the figure of a bird descending upon Jesus to draw a point.

      • Lastly, verse 11 mentions a voice from heaven saying, “You are my beloved Son; In you I am well pleased.”

    • This voice that comes from Heaven is in fact the very voice of God the Father, affirming and confirming His Son.

      • This voice from heaven was what is known in Rabbinical literature as the Bat Kol which means “daughter of a voice”.

      • Simply meaning a voice from heaven.

    • The Father’s audible voice confirmed for John that Jesus was in fact the very Son of God.

      • In John 1:33-34, John the Baptist mentions this:

John 1:33 And I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’ 
John 1:34 And I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.”
  • This marked for John that the one in whom He preached would come, was the Christ. Jesus would be the suffering servant and the promised King.

    • Let’s continue on to verses 12 and 13.

Mark 1:12 And immediately the Spirit *brought Him out into the wilderness. 
Mark 1:13 And He was in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild animals, and the angels were serving Him.
  • As we can see within Mark’s gospel, Mark is not focused on the details, necessarily. He wants you to see the big picture – the snapshots of Jesus’ life.

    • Mark would have been the inventor of cliff notes for that day because his focus is to provide quick, concise pictures of Jesus and who He is.

      • I mention this because Mark’s gospel completely skips over the details of the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness.

      • However, Matthew and Luke contain information that we can use to better understand what’s going on. (Matthew 4:1-11 and Luke 4:1-12)

    • What we can see from Mark’s gospel is why Jesus goes out to the wilderness.

      • The text tells us that the Spirit “brought Him out” to this place.

      • The Greek word for “brought Him out” could best be described as Jesus being impelled or driven out to the wilderness.

    • In other words, this move of the Spirit to go where Jesus was being led to go was the Father’s willing and by the Spirit’s prompting.

      • And the text explains that as Jesus is being sent out to the wilderness, He is being sent out and is tempted by Satan.

      • We will briefly analyze this encounter that Jesus has with Satan in the wilderness by looking at the other 2 synoptic gospels.

    • The synoptic gospels, with the exception of Mark, mention Jesus being led into the wilderness for 40 days while fasting.

      • One could only imagine being led out to the wilderness while having to fast for 40 days, on top of being tempted by the devil, had to be difficult.

      • You try to fast for 40 days and nights and try to maintain your sanity.

      • We must remember that although Jesus is 100 percent God, He is also 100 percent human, so His physical frame is quite weakened.

    • Before we get to the three ways in which Satan tempts Jesus, notice the other name that is used for Satan – “tempter” found in Matthew 4:3.

      • The word "tempt" or "tempted" in the Greek is peirazo.

      • It means to put to the test in order to ascertain the nature of something, including imperfections, faults, or other qualities.

    • One question that tends to be asked from many people is, if God does not tempt, why is Jesus sent into the wilderness?

    • This question reveals a clear distinction between God’s character and nature versus that of Satan.

      • God does not tempt, only the devil does.

      • James 1:13 tells us this truth.

James 1:13 No one is to say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.
  • This reveals a theological reality for us as believers in Jesus. Our temptations are simply the reality of our struggle and propensity to sin.

    • God cannot tempt because He is Holy and there is no darkness in Him.

    • External circumstances or trials that come our way in life are sovereignly allowed by God to expose where we are in our maturity, spiritually.

      • In other words, our temptation is activated by our own personal lusts which leads to sin.

      • The means to overcome temptation can only be accomplished in, by, and through Jesus Christ.

    • God’s primary aim in allowing these temptations was to demonstrate that Jesus is without sin, righteous, and the Holy One.

      • The testing we encounter as believers is the gauge by which we measure the spiritual condition and temperature of our hearts.

    • In construction, in order to test the performance of a particular concrete mix for optimal performance, the concrete must go through a Compressive strength test.

      • This test is primarily used to determine if the concrete mixture that was delivered to the site meets the required strength for the job.

      • The average test that is done on a particular mix is 3 tests to identify and evaluate the mix and its effectiveness before it will be poured.

    • The cylinders are not allowed to be dried out as the average curing time is close to about 28 days

      • In other words the cylinders are not at their most optimal state.

    • The cylinders are then placed on a platform between two circular metal pieces that will eventually apply pressure to both the top and bottom of the cylinders.

      • In a similar way, what we will witness within Jesus being tempted in the wilderness is a similar experience.

    • Jesus will be sent to the wilderness, depleted of physical strength, and deprived of nutrition.

      • And in spite of the trial, we will see Christ overcome.

    • This truth brings to life what Romans 8:28 says:

Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
  • Let’s examine the 3 ways in which Satan tries to tempt Jesus.

    • In order to do this, we will read Luke 4:1-12 together as this account provides us the chronological order of the temptations.

      • We will also see a chart, later on, connecting to some interesting details relating how Jesus identifies with both Israel and believers alike.

      • But before we get there, pick me up at Luke 4:1-12:

Luke 4:1 Now Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness 
Luke 4:2  for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He was hungry. 
Luke 4:3 And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” 
Luke 4:4 And Jesus answered him, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”
Luke 4:5 And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 
Luke 4:6 And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory, for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I want. 
Luke 4:7 Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours.” 
Luke 4:8 Jesus replied to him, “It is written: ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’”
Luke 4:9 And he brought Him into Jerusalem and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here; 
Luke 4:10 for it is written:‘He will give His angels orders concerning You, to protect You,’
Luke 4:11 and, ‘On their hands they will lift You up, So that You do not strike Your foot against a stone.’”
Luke 4:12 And Jesus answered and said to him, “It has been stated, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
  • So what we witness from these 12 verses are 3 encounters that Jesus has being tempted by Satan in the wilderness.

    • Let’s look at the first one, found in Luke 4:3-4

    • The devil begins by first appealing to the extreme hunger and need of food that Jesus is experiencing at this time.

      • Notice, he starts with the phrase “If you are the Son of God”.

      • He begins by trying to cause Jesus to question His Father’s words.

    • Isn’t it funny that in Mark’s gospel, we just witnessed this theophany where the Triune Godhead is present at the baptism where the Father audibly mentions that Jesus is the Father’s beloved Son in whom He is well pleased?

      • But not too long after that moment, the enemy comes in trying to discredit what God has just said to the Son?

      • Does this situation sound familiar? You might recall a similar discrediting moment in Genesis 3 where Satan tries to discredit the very word of God.

      • Check out what the text reads in Genesis 3:1.

Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more cunning than any animal of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God really said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” 
  • Satan’s biggest trick is to cause believers to doubt and discredit God’s authority and what He has said.

    • And Satan will do this by appealing to our wants and desires that are naturally contrary to God’s ways and will.

    • So we see that Satan uses the same trick in Genesis 3:1 to appeal to Jesus’ physical need to eat, here.

      • However, Jesus, who is full of the Spirit responds to Satan in this way:

Luke 4:4 And Jesus answered him, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”
  • Jesus responds with scripture saying “It is written”.

    • This should ring loudly in our hearing because Christ puts emphasis on the text and not His title!

    • Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 8:3. Here’s what the text reads:

Deuteronomy 8:3 And He humbled you and let you go hungry, and fed you with the manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, in order to make you understand that man shall not live on bread alone, but man shall live on everything that comes out of the mouth of the Lord.
  • Jesus makes it clear to Satan that “Although my physical frame is in need of food, I am well-nourished and provided for by my Father”

    • Oh that we would be ever so dependent upon the very word of God that it satisfies both our physical and spiritual needs.

    • After the devil fails at his first attempt, he then proceeds to the next.

      • Luke 4:5-7 reads:

Luke 4:5 And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 
Luke 4:6 And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory, for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I want. 
Luke 4:7 Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours.” 
  • I have to imagine that this second attempt had to be a bit laughable to Jesus.

    • I mention this fact because here it is that the very cosmos that exists was created by the handiwork of the Son.

    • This includes the very creation of the earth and all that was within it.

    • So for Satan to stake possession to what he has no hand in is pretty laughable.

      • So the devil shows Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and then proceeds to say he will give it all to Jesus if Jesus worshiped him.

    • We have the created being looking to the creator telling him if you worship me, I will give you what was always yours in the first place – the audacity!

      • The devil is offering Jesus, in essence, a fast pass to becoming King on a much faster timetable, or so it would seem.

      • To some this would sound quite appealing and would be an attractive offer, however the Son and the Father are One.

      • Check out Jesus’ response:

Luke 4:8 Jesus replied to him, “It is written: ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’”
  • Jesus, yet again, responds by humbly submitting to God’s word and will by responding with scripture.

    • Interestingly enough, Matthew’s gospel documents Jesus telling Satan “Be gone!”

    • The devil sought for Jesus to commit idolatry.

    • Jesus in turn responded with Deuteronomy 6:13. Here’s what it reads:

Deuteronomy 6:13 You shall fear only the Lord your God; and you shall worship Him and swear by His name.
  • Jesus demonstrates once again His dependence upon the Father rather than misplacing His trust in temporary satisfactions.

    • Counterfeits and idols never deliver what they promised, no matter how appealing the offer is! There is always a cost.

    • We now come to the final temptation from the devil found in Luke’s account.

Luke 4:9 And he brought Him into Jerusalem and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here; 
Luke 4:10 for it is written:‘He will give His angels orders concerning You, to protect You,’
Luke 4:11 and, ‘On their hands they will lift You up, So that You do not strike Your foot against a stone.’”
  • One interesting detail to note is that the very last temptation the devil throws Jesus’ way is that he quotes scripture to Jesus.

    • The devil quotes Psalm 91:11-12.

Psalm 91:11 For He will give His angels orders concerning you,
To protect you in all your ways.
Psalm 91:12 On their hands they will lift you up,
    • As followers of Jesus, we will be faced with individuals that will misuse scripture as a means to cause you to question or even test God.

      • This is why it is so important to know your Bible well.

      • Knowing your Bible leaves no room for the enemy to plant seeds of doubt.

    • Notice Jesus’ response to the devil:

Luke 4:12 And Jesus answered and said to him, “It has been stated, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
  • Jesus responds back with scripture.

    • Friends, scripture will never contradict scripture. He responds with Deuteronomy 6:16 by providing proper context.

Deuteronomy 6:16 “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test, as you tested Him at Massah.
  • Jesus’ third response demonstrated that God and His word can be trusted and should not be tested.

    • God cannot lie and every word that the scriptures record can be trusted.

    • Within these 40 days of fasting in the wilderness, Jesus overcomes the temptations and Mark 1:13 mentions “ […] that the angels served him.”

      • Jesus’ baptism and temptation play such a significant role in truly understanding Jesus and His work as the suffering servant.

  • If you recall, verse 13 mentions that Jesus was in the wilderness for 40 days being tested.

    • You also will notice that Jesus’ response to these temptations while in the desert are all taken out of Deuteronomy.

      • This is key to note.

    • You may remember that in the Old Testament the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years in what should have only been a matter of 11 days or so.

      • And now we see that Jesus has been sent by the Spirit to the desert and is there for 40 days.

      • This detail points us to Jesus’ representative role regarding the Father’s redemptive plan.

    • Jesus’ role represents both the Nation of Israel as a whole as well as those in whom the Father would draw to Himself (The Elect).

      • Jesus represents Israel in the following ways:

      • Firstly, if you recall the title from our earlier study, the “Son of God”.

    • This idea of Israel being the “son of God” is found in Exodus 4:22. Here’s what the text reads:

Exodus 4:22 Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘This is what the Lord says: “Israel is My son, My firstborn. 
  • So what we have is that Israel is the “son of God” in a “national” sense whereas Jesus is the “Son of God” in the personal sense.

    • Secondly, we see this relationship fully realized in Jesus being tempted in the wilderness just as Israel was tested in the wilderness.

    • This connection is most clear in Deuteronomy 8:1-2:

Deuteronomy 8:1 “All the commandments that I am commanding you today you shall be careful to do, so that you may live and increase, and go in and take possession of the land which the Lord swore to give to your forefathers. 
Deuteronomy 8:2 And you shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, in order to humble you, putting you to the test, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.
  • So where Israel fails in keeping God’s commands, Jesus Christ succeeds.

    • We also see that Jesus represents Humanity, most especially those who are non-Jewish.

    • We see this reality based upon what Hebrews 4:15 tells us regarding Jesus as our High Priest. Check out the text:

Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things just as we are, yet without sin.
  • The Father allowing Jesus to be tempted in the wilderness provided the means by which Christ could not only sympathize with our frailness but overcome it by the power of the Spirit within Him.

    • Some may ask the question, in what way or ways has Jesus been tempted like me?

    • Jesus didn’t struggle with lying, lust, licentiousness, or the like. So how could what He endured represent our struggle with sin and temptation.

    • To best understand what Christ endured in the wilderness versus what we endure on a daily basis in our sinful humanity we must look at 1 John 2:16.

1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
  • What we can surmise from the text is that sin falls into one of these three categories:

    • 1. Lust of the Flesh

    • 2. Lust of the Eyes

    • 3. Boastful pride of life

    • So within the context of these three categories of sin, Jesus was tempted in these corresponding ways related to what we just read in Luke 4:1-13.

      • Here is a graphic of what we have just discovered.

    • We see within the text that Jesus demonstrates for those who would eventually identify and come through Him in His finished work so they would have the ability to overcome and endure by the Power of the Spirit as well.

      • We witnessed that Jesus was able to resist sin through the strength and power of the Holy Spirit.

    • His ability to overcome the temptation of sin and the lure of sin was found from the very word of God.

      • Friends this lays out a very important point for us to witness from Jesus’ life: The way to overcome sin is through the life of the suffering servant and obeying the word of truth.

      • We are able to overcome in Christ because Christ overcame.

    • Friends, understand that Christ set the pattern on how to resist the devil by demonstrating for us Himself.

      • James 4:7 says it this way:

James 4:7 Submit therefore to God. But resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
  • Lastly, one cannot help but to imagine that as the Romans are reading this text and they hear about Jesus being in the wilderness with the wild beast that they are able to identify.

    • They are able to see that Christ was able to overcome in the strength of the Word despite His present circumstances.

    • They were able to witness in the text Christ be served and ministered to at the end of His testing.

    • Friends, this provided hope as one could imagine: Hope that they too can endure to the end in spite of their circumstances.

      • And may this be an encouragement to us that we too can, because He did.

  • Next week we will explore verses 14-20 as Jesus begins to recruit his disciples and we will see Him do this in the most unlikely way.

    • We pray you join us next week for this. Let’s Pray.



  • Ian W.K. Koiter, “Nazareth,” ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016). 

  • Kasdan., p.26

  • Reformed Bible Studies & Devotionals at, 2022

  • Yeshua: The Life of Messiah (Vol. 1). (2017). Ariel Ministries.