9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
12 At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, 13 and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted[g] by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.
Jesus Is Affirmed
In this short passage, Jesus is identified by God the Father. He is affirmed and the heavens are ripped open. The rending of heaven is not something that is cleaned up afterward. Jesus has brought the Kingdom of God to Earth. However, he has emptied himself of the powers and insight that he had before his incarnation. The Father affirms The Son as The Son identifies with fallen humanity in baptism. The The Spirit leads the Son into the desert to be tempted. It reflects Jesus’ humanity or personhood that he is affirmed by his heavenly Father before being tried and tested. All of us men would have loved words of affirmation from our fathers before times of trial or responsibility set in during adulthood.
Jesus, I would have loved an earthly father who affirmed me as I headed into trials. My father was embarrassed and self-absorbed. Yet, I know, like you we have access by your grace, into the presence of The Father by prayer. He affirms that he loves us too. He sends us into trials, but it is with the assurance that if we only remain in Him, we will fare as you did. We can face isolation, desolation, and danger with the assurance that nothing occurs that is unknown to you, the Father, or the Spirit. Protect us from our foolishness, but help us to live in ways that celebrate never being alone. Help us to hear, “You are my child, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” And then we will have strength to face our trials.
- What event in Mark precedes Jesus’ temptation?
- How are the two events in this passage related?
- Why do you think wild animals are mentioned?
- When have you been aware of God affirming you?
- How does your identity in Christ help you in times of trial?