Jesus said to His Father, “I am going to do your will.” When a person is immersed, they are connecting by faith to the person and the work that is the death, burial, and resurrection of Messiah as a means for their redemption of the price that He paid upon that tree when His blood was shed. But also we are saved and that we want to serve God and we want to obey Him.
And if we’re going to do that we have to learn how to overcome the enemy and overcome temptation. And that is what we see in these next few verses.
Mark 1:12 CJB
Immediately the Spirit drove him out into the wilderness,
The wilderness signifies dependence upon God, trusting in Him. The Spirit of God, for important purposes, caused Jesus to go into the wilderness.
Mark 1:13 CJB
And he was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by the Adversary. He was with the wild animals, and the angels took care of him.
The word, “forty” in Greek means the full time (of a crisis, etc.) needed to pass through to know God’s approval successfully. We read the story of the temptation, perhaps, in six minutes; but it lasted for nearly six weeks. “Forty days tempted by the adversary, Satan, the devil.”
Jesus was also with the wild beasts. In Jesus’ day, there were many more wild animals in Israel than there is today. For the modern reader, the ferocity of wild beasts is something of a cliché; we can mouth the analogy “as bold as a lion” without having had any firsthand experience with the terror these animals can inspire.
In ancient Israel, though, such creatures were an all too real danger and a pervasive source of fear. Menacing carnivores included bears, lions, leopards, wolves, and jackals. The situation of the ancient Israelite herdsman was all the keener in that he had to defend his livestock from these beasts or face personal ruin. The shepherd literally stood between the predator and its prey.
We need to understand a fundamental principle here. Satan represents the spiritual and the beast describes the physical and we read in that passage that the angels took care of Jesus. What this really means is that the angels took care of that beast.
Now imagine not eating or drinking for forty days a person becomes weak. His body gives off an odor the death of the flesh animals would smell that. They would come near. But who dealt with those physical enemies the angels. Why? To teach us. We fight the battle in the spirit. Any of our fleshy enemies we leave those for God for his angels to deal with it. We don’t need to focus on them. We need to focus on the truth, the spiritual truth.
This time of testing showed that Jesus really was the Son of God, able to overcome the devil and his temptations. A person has not demonstrated true obedience if he or she has never had an opportunity to disobey.
We read in Deuteronomy 8:2 that God led Israel into the wilderness to humble and to test them. God wanted to see whether or not his people would indeed obey him. We, too, will be tested. Because we know that testing will come, we should be alert and ready for it. Remember, your convictions are only strong if they hold up under pressure!
Chronological Life Application Study Bible NLT
NIV, Archaeological Study Bible, Hardcover: An Illustrated Walk Through Biblical History and Culture (New International Version)
Commentary On The Bible: Charles H. Spurgeon’s Commentary