Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Jesus was led by the Spirit into the Desert

I was reading in Matthew last night about Jesus being led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. I noticed three main things as I read the first verse of the 4th chapter

Jesus was led by the Spirit. The Messiah was under the leadership of the Spirit. Luke writes that Jesus being filled with the Spirit was led... For Jesus to be the Son (which He was just declared to be by the Father Himself) He had to be led by the Spirit. In Romans 8:14 we see that those led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. In Galatians 5:18, Paul writes that if we are led by the Spirit we are not under the law. Being led by the Spirit is a mark of our relationship with Him and our freedom found only in Him. Lord may I be led by your Spirit. May I be marked as one who is your son and no longer under the law.

Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert. The prelude to Jesus public ministry happened in the desert. Moses, Joshua, David, and Elijah all were led through the desert. Hosea 2:14 speaks of wayward Israel saying, "Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her." Deserts have a reputation for supporting very little life. It is a place of complete dependence on the Lord. It is a place of desperation. Jesus having made Himself nothing and taken on the very nature of a man had to be led to place where in this humanity He was absolutely completely dependent on the Father. This marked His life. Jesus said about Himself: "the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does." John5:19 Lord, may this be said of me that I do nothing by myself. I know that apart of you I can do nothing. Lord may I do today what I see you do. I aknowledge that I need you. Allure me and lead me into the desert to speak tenderly to me.

Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. The Spirit seemingly led Jesus into desert for the very purpose of being tempted. We know in James 1:13 that God tempts no one. Yet the Father not only allowed Jesus to be tempted, He led Him into it. But why? Hebrews gives us a clue. "Because He himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted." - Hebrews 2:18 "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have One who has been tempted in every way, just as we are yet was without sin." - Hebrews 4:15. Jesus had to suffer temptation in order to minister to those around Him and He is able to minister to me in the same way. He is able to help me, yet as a perfect high priest without sin. Because of He was led into the desert to be tempted, I can approach His throne with confidence to find grace in my time of need. Lord may I confidence in approaching You knowing that you are able to help me and that you can sympathize with my weakness.

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