He Had to Go

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Mark 1:11-12 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” The Temptation of Jesus 12 The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness.

The first time I read this verse many years ago it didn’t make any sense. God is well pleased in His beloved Son and the Holy Spirit drives Him into the desert for 40 days? How in the world did it come to that?

Martin Luther had the answer. When he was asked what was the first qualification for the ministry, he answered… Temptation. What was the second… Temptation. What was the third… Temptation. Jesus had to know what temptations are before He could help us. He had to fight the battle alone with Satan before He could stand for us in our battles with temptation. That’s what Paul meant…

1 Peter 4:12-14 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 

How many times have we been tempted and it made no sense at all? It was completely out of the blue. Then again, how many times has someone come along that we could not have helped without it, someone on the same path? The answer to that is why Jesus was driven out into the desert. The word is caballo, which means to cast out to bring forth good and evil. Over 40 days and nights He faced evil and overcame it with His good so that in Him we can be victorious over temptation

The hymn from John Newton puts it in perspective…

As surely as He overcame,
And triumphed once for you.
So surely we who love His name,
Shall triumph in Him too.

If the Lord honors us with a trial, we need to let Him carry us through it. That’s why “He Had to Go.”

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