The Spirit takes Jesus into the wilderness for forty days and nights. Here Satan shows his mode of operation as he tempts Jesus in three ways:
- Lust of the flesh – Satan tells hungry Jesus to turn the stones to bread.
- Pride of life – Satan takes Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple and tells Him to jump off because surely angels would catch the Son of God.
- Lust of the eye – Satan takes Jesus to a high mountain and shows Him all the kingdoms of the world and says all He sees can be His if Jesus will worship Satan.
Unlike Adam, Jesus does not give into these temptations. Jesus’ success is based on Him appropriating the Word of God with each temptation. “Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.”
When John the Baptist sees Jesus he says, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me. I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water.’ And John bore witness, saying, ‘I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.’”
Then Jesus connects with His first disciples, two disciples of John the Baptist one of whom is Andrew and the other is most likely John. Andrew finds his brother Simon and tells him they found the Messiah. And the next day Jesus finds Phillip and tells him to follow Him.
“Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.’ And Nathanael said to him, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ Philip said to him, ‘Come and see.’ Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, ‘Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!’ Nathanael said to Him, ‘How do You know me?’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.’ Nathanael answered and said to Him, ‘Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.’ And He said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.’”
A couple of days later, Jesus and some of his disciples attend a wedding where the wine runs out. At the request of His mother, Jesus performs His first miracle by turning water to wine and saving the wedding party. “This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.”
We end the reading with Jesus visiting the temple in Jerusalem during the Jewish Passover where He found people using the temple for their trade. Jesus, showing zeal for His Father’s house, drives them out and says, “Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” The Jews ask Jesus for a sign and He says, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The people are confused because they don’t understand that He is speaking of the temple of His body and not the temple building which took forty-six years to build. Soon Jesus will be crucified and rise from the dead three days later. Afterwards, His disciples, remembering these words, will believe the Scripture and what Jesus had said (Luke 24:7-9).
Tomorrow we meet Nicodemus and a Samaritan woman. Keep reading.
(Mark 1:12-13, Matthew 4:1-11, Luke 4:1-15, John 1:19-2:25)