Rev. Brian Johnson
Scripture: Mark 1:9-13; Matthew 4:1-11
The Gospels agree that Jesus’ public ministry begins with his baptism by John (the Baptist) in the Jordan River and his subsequent temptation in the wilderness. This story – of baptism and wilderness temptation – helps us understand Jesus’ calling to preach the Kingdom of God, his identity as God’s Son, his empowerment by the Holy Spirit, and how he is prepared for ministry by his time of testing/temptation. The same forces of evil that will bring about his death at the end of the story are here at the beginning – and when we see him resist temptation in this moment, we are reassured that he will also resist it in the end. These stories call us to remember our identity as God’s beloved children and invite us to walk through temptation in order to prepare ourselves to live for God every day.