Into the Wilderness

Todays Reading: Luke 4

Today, we review the life of Jesus as described by Luke the physician. I have enjoyed reading these scriptures this week with the new perspective of the analytical side of Luke. In the introduction of the gospel we are reminded that Luke is one of the main writers that really looks at description as from a holistic approach.   In Chapter 4, Jesus is coming from the wilderness journey and starting his ministry.

There are some very interesting topics that unfold in this Chapter: temptation, fulfilling the scriptures, and rejection.

In the previous Chapter, Luke presents a beautiful depiction of Christ being prepared for his ministry. He has just visited John the Baptist, where he is baptized by water and the Holy Spirit. In this interaction Christ is confirmed through visual and auditory proclamation from heaven: a dove descends and rest on him and then Good vocally affirms him “ You are my Son, whom I love; with you I’m well pleased”. Then Luke gives us a beautiful genealogy, where it goes from Mary and Joseph to Adam, who was the son of God. So at the beginning of this Chapter we can see the two parts of Christ: fully human and fully divine.

The part that I am drawn to is the temptations and wilderness of Christ. Luke and Matthew are the only writers that tell the full interaction and description. After Christ is prepared for his ministry( through baptism), he does something that is true to his nature, he goes to be in commune with the Father. Throughout reading the scriptures one thing has been a constant with Christ, he searches for solitude with God. In many time he ministers to the people and crowds, he always takes time afterwards to have alone and solitude time with God. This is interesting and inspiring, the one that has the most connected relationship with the Father always makes time to be with Him.  Can we do this in our daily life with God, with others, with ourselves?

Many times we think of the wilderness as a place of desolation, separation, fear of the unknown, and isolation, but it is in this isolation that we can be most vulnerable and available to listen and understand God’s voice. The wilderness is a place of reflection and growth and peace. In the wilderness, you are the only one around. In the wilderness, there isn’t anyone else there. It is only God, you, and the animals. This is a true sanctuary.

Throughout the bible the wilderness is mentioned over 266 times. In the wilderness God prepares us for his work:

  • In Genesis, Joseph was cast into the wilderness by his brothers: preparing him for his time with Pharaoh
  • In Exodus, the Israelites are commanded to search the wilderness for forty years until the right people will take possession of the Promised Land
  • David is sent to the wilderness for protection against Saul before he can reign as king.

The question today is: Are we in need of a wilderness experience? Are we in need of a period of isolation to reconnect with the Father? If we made it a point to separate ourselves monthly, weekly, or daily to be in commune with God, how more ready will we be to face the temptations and trials of our life?

Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you for your inspiration and example of your love and devotion through Christ. We pray that as we grow in our journey with you, that we are able to recognize the times of our wilderness experience and be able to grow and listen to you, as you prepare us for the next leg of the journey. Amen