At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him. Mark 1:12-13
Mark’s gospel is short and sweet. Some scholars believe Mark was frantically trying to write down all Peter taught while Rome was destroying Jerusalem in 70 AD, so Mark did not add a lot of the information you can read in Matthew or Luke’s gospel.
While Mark uses few words, the ones he chooses are important. In the original Greek, the Spirit does not send or lead Jesus to the wilderness, the Spirit casts him – the Greek word ekballo (to cast out) is the same words used to describe the exorcism of an evil spirit. The Holy Spirit forcefully sent Jesus into that wilderness.
Who among us would want to voluntarily go into the wilderness to face the devil?
Who among us wanted to enter into this crazy world of masks, shutdowns, limitations, distancing, online learning and Covid?
Yet here we are.
But notice another thing that Mark tells us. Jesus was not alone. The angels attended him.
One of God’s promises is that we are never alone. The promise through the prophets was for Emmanuel, God with us. And Jesus himself promises both the Comforter (the Holy Spirit) to reside with us and that He would be with us to the end of days.
Besides this, God also has sent ministering spirits called angels. They surround us.
As we continue along our current wilderness experience, as we continue our Lenten journey, remember you are not alone.