The Way of the Wilderness


God brought me here.

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted… Matthew 4:1

A dust devil whirls. Sage brush dance. There is more happening here, in desolation, than I could imagine.  Move too quickly through the desert and risk losing the lessons of the barren plains.    

Move too quickly through the Temptation narrative in the life of Christ and risk the same.  

 Our National Geographic highlight approach to the text suggests Jesus is confirmed by the voice of the Father at his baptism [“This is my son in whom I am well pleased”] and conflicted by the next voice: “If you are the Son of God…”

An intimate trek reveals more.

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

He is here on purpose…with purpose…for a purpose.

Misery. Isolation. Hunger.

The Spirit brought him here.

This is not a wrong turn or a wrong door.  Jesus is not missing out on his best life now because of sin or poor judgment or lack of optimism or because he doesn’t believe in himself.

God. Brought. Me. Here.  

This is the overlooked truth nestled, unobserved, in quiet camouflage  on the desert floor. This is the angle which gives perspective and shape to Jesus’ rebuttals; to what would  otherwise be a pointless proof-text battle of memory verses.

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