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A Lenten Journey of Release & Renewal (Day Four)




Day Four



Scripture: Mark 1:9-15

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’

And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness for forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.




Observation:



Mark’s version of the story of Jesus in the Wilderness is much simpler than Matthew and Luke’s versions of the same story. Mark does not record the three temptations that Matthew and Luke tell us about. What’s most interesting to me is that Mark says while Jesus was in the wilderness, he was “tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.” It sounds like being tempted by Satan, being with the wild beasts, and being with the angels happened at the same time, not in sequential order.


According to Matthew, angels appeared only after the devil left him:

“Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him” (Matthew 4:11, NIV).


Luke does not talk about angels at all in the wilderness but says:

“When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time" (Luke 4:13, NIV).


However, Mark’s version of the story tells us that while he was in the wilderness for forty days, Jesus was tempted by Satan, lived with the wild beasts there, but at the same time, he was never left alone; the angels were within his reach.


Mark’s version of the wilderness story resonates with me the most. When I think about my time in the “wilderness” in my life journey, there was a temptation to quit, there were “wild beasts” around me, but at the same time, I cannot deny that God’s guardian angels were around me as well. My own experiences tell me that usually, Satan, the wild beasts, and the guardian angels appear at the same time, not in sequential order.


In the wilderness, while we struggle to find the strength to resist temptations and cope with the threat of the wild beasts, we must not forget that angels are waiting for us.




Application:

  • When was the time of “wilderness” in your life? Do you feel like you’re going through a time of wilderness right now? If so, how?

  • What are the temptations that you have to endure? Who are those “wild beasts” around you? And who are the “angels” for you?



Prayer / Reflection:


A song of reflection:





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