Jesus returned from the Jordan River full of the Holy Spirit and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. There he was tempted for forty days by the devil. He ate nothing during those days and afterward Jesus was starving.”
Have you ever wondered why Jesus decided to begin his public ministry by retreating into the wilderness for 40 days? The voice of the Father declared Jesus his beloved Son, the Spirit descended on Jesus, and then… The Spirit led Jesus away from everyone.
Ready. Set. Wait!
To understand why Jesus went into the wilderness for 40 days, it’s essential to understand the history of Israel. After being freed from slavery in Egypt, the Israelites spent 40 years before being able to enter the promised land. The old generation had only known a life of bondage and dependence on their slave masters. In the 40 years in the wilderness, a new generation was raised up knowing freedom and dependence on God.
Jesus entered into the wilderness, and there he faced the temptations of this world that seek to bind us and emerged ready to begin his own ministry with total dependence on what His Father was doing and where the Spirit was leading.
Following the example of Jesus, Christians have taken time every year to enter into a 40-day space. It helps us reorient ourselves on living a life like Jesus, in total dependence on God.
I invite you in the 40 days ahead to join us in asking these questions and remembering what God has done. We pray that you might also find inspiration and guidance into where God is at work in your life.