Summary: The baptism and temptaions of Jesus give us principles for living the Chrisitna life.

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A Study of the gospel of Mark

“Spiritual Highs and Lows”

March 9, 2008

Me: Last week was an awesome week here at LifeQuest. We had a great service and the baptism celebration. But on Monday, I was back into the routine of life. It is always hard to sustain a really spiritual high when there are all kinds of really practical and not necessarily spiritual things you are confronted with.

You: Do you ever find yourself wishing you didn’t have to re-engage in life sometimes? Do you ever just wish that Sundays or Life Group or whatever just didn’t have to end?

Today, we are going to look at a slice of the life of Jesus where he experienced this incredible high and low and see if we can draw some practical application for our own lives.


Jesus began his public ministry when he was about 30 years old. Two events preceded this: his baptism and temptation.

“At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’ At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert, and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.” Mark 1:9-13

If baptism as we talked about last week was a symbol of god’s forgiveness of man’s sin and if Jesus had never sinned, the question must be asked, “why was Jesus being baptized?”

In being baptized, Jesus was identifying with human nature, weakness and sin.

“Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" Jesus replied, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness." Then John consented.” Matthew 3:13-15

It was necessary to show that righteousness does not come from man, but from God.

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

The image is that righteousness from God is completed in Christ.

After he was baptized there was this voice from heaven declaring who Jesus was. Mark 1:11

In the first century, when someone was to begin ministry in the Jewish tradition, two authorities were to commission them. For Jesus it was John the Baptist and God the Father.

This voice from heaven was heard by Jesus and by John declaring the anointing of Jesus.

“Then John gave this testimony: "I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ’The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God." John 1:32-34

John is fulfilling his purpose in life by testifying to the fact of the anointing of Jesus.

After this dramatic scene of baptism, Jesus is immediately taken into the desert to be tempted by Satan. Mark 1:13

The book of Mark paints the picture that the rest of Jesus’ life was a showdown with the devil. It was not limited to only this one encounter. There are some great lessons to be learned out of the temptation epic of Jesus, so we need to look a little deeper at another passage of scripture that can give us some more detail.

“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread." Jesus answered, "It is written: ’Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’" Matthew 4:1-5

Jesus was tempted physically.

He was hungry. He had not eaten for 40 days. So Satan brought his greatest physical desire to the front.

Our enemy will always attack at our most vulnerable times.

• Perry Noble talking about praying for pastors on Sunday nights and Monday mornings.

• Decisions I make on Monday will be made out of a sense of fatigue, frustration and failure.

Jesus overcame the temptation with an eternal focus.

“Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple.”If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: ’He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’" Jesus answered him, "It is also written: ’Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’" Matthew 4:6-7

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