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Daily Reading: 26th June 2016

Matthew 4.1-3 cont.

1 Then Jesus was led up into the wilderness by the Spirit, to be tempted by the devil.

2 And afterwards, having fasted for forty days and forty nights, He was hungry. 

3 And the tempter, approaching said to Him: “If You are the Son of God tell to these stones to become loaves of bread.”

Matthew states that Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness. Mark states that Jesus was driven into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit. Luke wrote that Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit.

They are all different expressions that tell us that Jesus going into the wilderness was not a choice that He made alone. He was in the Holy Spirit, full of the Holy Spirit, and being driven by the Holy Spirit, and it was into the wilderness that Jesus was to spend forty days and forty nights without any food.

This in itself would have been a time of being tested. He had the same appetites as we have. He had the same desire to eat regularly as we have. He would have felt the pains that hunger brings.

He had the same desire for human company that we have, and we can assume that He was totally alone in the desert for this whole period.

All of this was before the devil came to tempt Him. It was a time of testing, which He was led into by the Holy Spirit.

Our life in Jesus also needs to be a life that is under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and we can be sure that He will lead us into times of being tested, as gold and silver are tested in the fire. That is a time when the gold and silver are also refined, the impurities are burnt away.

Obviously Jesus did not have any impurities in His life that needed to be removed. It was in the heat of His being tested that the absence of impurity and sin in His life would become clear.

This is not true for us. We are all aware of some of the sin that still is within us. It is in the time of testing that this sin is highlighted, allowing us to come to Jesus and confess our sin so that we can receive His forgiveness and cleansing.

It is for this reason that the Holy Spirit will still lead us into the wilderness where we can be tested, not a test to sin, but tested so that we can be free from sin.

Such is the grace of God working in our life through the Holy Spirit.

 

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