The Baptism of Jesus
9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens opened and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove; 11 and a voice came from heaven, “Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased.”
The Temptation of Jesus
12 The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13 And he was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to him.
The Beginning of the Galilean Ministry
14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.
Things to know:
Jordan is not just the closest river John could find. It is important because that`s the river that people of Israel crossed long crossed long time ago to enter into the promised land. A lot of things that happened in the Old Testaments are prefigures, symbols of things that happen in the New Testament.
Forty days in desert are also symbolic of 40 years in desert that people of Israel spent before entering the Promised Land. Desert is symbolic of danger and trials. But for the people of Israel it was also a time of spiritual growth.
Look at the sequence of events: Jesus gets a blessing from the Father, but immediately after he goes to the desert and is tempted. Very often in our life we receive blessing - something that we have been praying for, or spiritual experience - like your recent trip to Steubenville. But after that the times of trials come. God lets us experience sadness and loneliness, loss and lack - but not to punish us or let us suffer. Just as people of Israel learned to turn to God with their needs, so should we use this opportunity to pray more and become closer to God. Even if no one hears us, He does. Even if no one appreciates us, He loves us and forgives us.
What are the trials of your life today? What part of your life reminds you of a desert? Pray for those things, share them with God. Maybe he won`t take the problem away, but he will make you stronger and kinder person, able to deal with this.
You would think that after 40 days of desert Jesus would get a nice room in a hotel and have a long comfortable rest. But that`s not what he does! He immediately came into Galilee and started preaching the good news. Often after we experience trials. we learn something - we are called to share our experience, to help others with the same troubles.
Who can I help today, with my words, with my smile and my support?
Just like John the Baptizer, Jesus calls us to repent. As you will see, repentance is a theme of the whole chapter 1. It is not an accident that the book starts from this theme. Before we can start a new page in our life, it is good to leave old sins behind!