Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness.
And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him.
[Mark 1:12-13 NKJV]
Immediately ... as soon as the Voice from Heaven speaks the words ‘You are My Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’, Jesus was driven into the wilderness with the wild beasts and being tempted by Satan. There was no time for offering thanks to the Father or lingering with the crowd and speaking of what they had witnessed.
The suddenness of the transition from the Baptism in water and receiving the Holy Spirit to the testing and trial in the wilderness*, shows that there is an instantaneous change to a new and different life that is to be lived.
For Jesus all this was immediate, but in our experience it is likely to be a more gradual shift. It can be painful at times nonetheless, but also with much joy. My grandparents used to say that our earthly life was a time of testing for the life to come, and this passage bears that out.
We also have a choice, because trouble will come into every life and we can deal with it either with Jesus Christ or without Him. ‘With’ seems by far the better option.
* Jesus was in the wilderness for 40 days. 40 is the number associated in Scripture with a time of trial:
Of Noah’s ark — [Genesis 7:12] -- And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights.
Of the journeying through the wilderness before finding the Promised Land — [Exodus 16:35] — And the children of Israel ate manna forty years, until they came to an inhabited land; they ate manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan.
In prayer have we learned the wonderful power of that phrase ‘boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus’? It means we can talk to God as Jesus Christ did, but only through the right of His Atonement.
We must never allow the idea that because we have been obedient, because our need is great, because we long for it, therefore God will hear us. There is only one way into the holiest, and that is by the blood of Jesus.
[from ‘Our Brilliant Heritage’ by Oswald Chambers]
GEORGE and GILL STEWART