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Grace Lutheran Church Weekly Devotion - Mark 1:9–15 (ESV)

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Mark 1:9–15 (ESV)

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens opening and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” 12The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him. 14Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

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Saint Mark uses the word “immediately” in his account of Jesus’ Baptism.  After hearing the Father’s words from heaven, “You are My beloved Son” (11), we see Jesus “immediately” being compelled to go into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit (12).  Why? So, He could be tempted.  Why?  Because it is crucial!  Why?  Because we are tempted too.   We may wonder: was Jesus tempted with an occasional thought that passed through His mind while He was fasting?  Was He tempted once or twice a day?  Mark does not give many details; however, he teaches us that Jesus “was in the wilderness forty day, being tempted by Satan” (13).  Some people find it offensive to say Jesus was tempted in every respect as we are.  They cannot believe that Jesus was tempted with the most disgraceful sins.  To steal? Okay.  To curse, sure, especially those who pester Him.  But adultery, then people get a little uncomfortable. Scripture tells us Jesus was tempted all the way to the cross.  The writer to the Hebrews is clear, “we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (4:15). 

What about your present temptations?  What do you struggle with?  Satan observes people’s behavior and does not let up until our last breath, which makes it difficult to pick just one temptation.  St. Paul writes in 1 Timothy 6:9-10 “Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.  It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.”  The love of money is plagued with the evils of worldly desires, theft, murder - in short, there is a total disregard of the Law of God. 

Remember Jesus was tempted in all the ways you and I are tempted, with every worldly desire, with theft, and cursing, adultery and so on.  In the Gospel according to Saint Luke we learn Satan tempted Jesus with the promises of God.  Basically, Satan was asking Jesus what he asked Eve , “Did God actually say…?” (cf. Gn. 3). 

You have all the help of His only begotten Son, Jesus.  In holy Baptism our heavenly Father declared that you are His beloved son or daughter!  At your Baptism, the congregation prayed on your behalf and theirs too, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”  From that day Jesus continues to be by your tempted side until the day you are at peace and rest with Him in eternity.  As long as you are still breathing you are not without help and hope, because Jesus opened the way for us.  Our Savior, who has been through the same temptations you and I go through, and came out the other side without sin, hears our urgent cry for help.  When Satan is pressing you with temptation, remember the Lord’s promise in Psalm 50:15, “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.” 

And when do we need to pray these words?  Immediately!  At this very moment, Jesus who was tempted as you are, is here right now, to help you resist the devil and his temptations, so that he will flee from you (cf. Jm. 4:7).  Thank God our heavenly Father that His beloved Son, Jesus, was tempted.  And that our crucified, risen, and ascended Lord and Savior forgives you for every time you give in to those temptations. 

825 North 1st West

Cheyenne Wells, CO, 80810-0728

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