'Day One' Blog

Jesus in the Desert – March 02, ’20

(Each Lent entry will give us a few days to ponder and sit with the Lord surrounding the scripture passages in that entry. The paragraphs following the passages are intended to give some guidance as we draw into the presence of God and dialogue with Him.)

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Meditation for the Soul ~

“And you shall remember the whole way
that the Lord your God has led you
these forty years in the wilderness,
that He might humble you,
testing you to know what was in your heart,
whether you would keep His commandments or not.
And He humbled you and let you hunger
and fed you with manna,
which you did not know, nor did your fathers know,
that He might make you know
that man does not live by bread alone,
but man lives by every word that comes
from the mouth of the Lord.”
Deuteronomy 8:2-3
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee
and was baptized by John in the Jordan.
And when He came up out of the water,
immediately He saw the heavens being torn open
and the Spirit descending on Him like a dove.
And a voice came from heaven,
“You are my beloved Son; with You, I am well pleased.”
The Spirit immediately drove Him
out into the wilderness.
And He was in the wilderness forty days,
being tempted by Satan.
And the tempter came and said to Him,
“If You are the Son of God,
command these stones to become loaves of bread.
” But He answered, “It is written,
“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Mark 1:9-13; Matthew 4:3-4

Reflection for the Mind ~

God led His children into the desert for forty years. God led Jesus into the desert for forty days. Both scenarios were humbling and difficult, stripping away fundamental necessities like food and water. Both left the temporary desert dwellers very vulnerable, at the mercy of God for provision. One was a test to see what was in the heart of the people of God. The other would give Satan access to the Son of Man “until the devil had ended every temptation,” (Luke 4:13). And both had in mind to point out that what ultimately sustains a person is every word that comes from the mouth of God.

Jesus was victorious in the desert where the children of God seldom were. They chose to chafe against God and complain, resenting Him for the hardship of the desert experience. In contrast, Jesus was compliant and submitted. He did not resist suffering but instead embraced the one who would provide for Him in it. Jesus entered the desert “full of the Holy Spirit,” (Luke 4:1), and He departed “full of the power of Spirit,” (Luke 4:14).

We likely have no trouble identifying with the children of Israel in response to hardship. So Jesus’ obedience and cooperation under dire conditions is meant to show us what’s possible despite our fleshly tendencies! For the next three days (especially while we have the crucifixion and resurrection in our sites), let’s ask the Holy Spirit to speak to us about Jesus’ time in the desert. What can we learn about Jesus in His humanity? How did He practice trust? What does He want us to know about Himself through this look into His days in the desert?

Response for the Heart ~

Lord, there are a lifetime of lessons in the story of Jesus in the desert. What is it You would say as I meditate and listen? Forty days of being tempted, and in such an unforgiving environment, leaves me wondering what you were thinking in allowing it to happen in the first place. But You remind me constantly – You don’t think as I do, and Your ways are not my ways. Please meet with me now, and tell me what You want me to know.  ~ Amen

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