Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.
When Jesus was thirty years old, he began his public ministry. He found his cousin, John the Baptist, and was baptized by the one who was called to “prepare the way” for him. After he came out of the water, the heavens opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him “in bodily form like a dove.” The Father said, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
It is interesting to me that the first leading of the Spirit recorded in Jesus’ life was his being led “into the wilderness” for severe trial. The ministry of our Lord began with a combination of radical fasting and raw temptation. Jesus endured unfiltered temptation during severe physical weakness.
The commencement of Christ’s public ministry blows prosperity gospel teaching out the window. Jesus learned obedience through his sufferings (Hebrews 5:8). From the start, Jesus endured the most severe temptations from the most powerful tempter. The Father held nothing back. That’s why Jesus so readily comes to our aid when temptation comes our way.
Lord Jesus, thank you for enduring unimaginable temptations so you could sympathize and deliver me from my—too often self-imposed—enticements. Amen.
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