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 by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.
14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
When Jesus was born, angels appeared, announcing the good news. When Jesus was baptized, again the heavens were participants, for when the heavens opened, the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus like a dove. God spoke words of love to Jesus for all to hear.
Mark doesn’t tell us a lot about Jesus’ temptations, but it was the Spirit that sent Jesus into the wilderness where he was tempted. Jesus was protected from wild animals and cared for by angels, but still he had to endure the barbs of Satan who undoubtedly tried to snare Jesus with both obvious and subtle tactics.
When John was put in prison, Jesus began his ministry. A tragic event became the starting point for Jesus’ work, just like the temptations he endured. And what were Jesus’ opening words? “Repent and believe the good news!” There’s another difficult spot to get through – repent – but once we do, we are able to receive the good news that Jesus has come for us.
Loving God, we may encounter difficulties today or it could be a wonderful day – you know better than us what is ahead. We may be completely unprepared for what comes our way, but by faith we know you equip us and surround us through all the circumstances of our lives. Thank you for your love, given to us in Jesus your son. Amen.