Jesus at Home Plate ~ blog
I have always liked the Gospel of Mark. It is the shortest of all the Gospels and I like to call it the Highlight Reel of Jesus. Mark does not concentrate so much on what Jesus taught but on what Jesus did. Mark was a disciple of Peter and Pete was a man of action, not words.
I want us to spend some time together learning about Jesus so we can better understand Him and how He can help us in our recovery. Recovery happens when we are close to Jesus, filled with His Spirit, offering our bodies to him, and daily putting on the full armor of God. I believe that we can learn a lot about Him and how through Him we will be able to progress in being transformed by the Spirit.
Mark begins by talking about John the Baptist. John was God’s messenger prophesied about in Isaiah as the one who would come before the Messiah would arrive. He called people to repent from their sinful ways and to be baptized in the Jordon River.
John was a rather odd man. His clothes were made from camel hair with a leather belt around his waist and all he brought to the potluck was some wild honey and locusts. I see him as somewhat like Christopher Lloyd who played Jim Ignatowski on the TV show Taxi. As he was baptizing people in the water, he told them that another man was coming who would baptize them in the Spirit.
So, one day as John was dunking the large crowd of people coming from Nazareth and Jerusalem to be baptized, he looks up and next in line is his cousin Jesus. John knew who Jesus was before everyone except for His parents. In utter humility, he says that he is not even worthy to untie the thong of His sandals.
When John brought Jesus up out of the river two amazing things happened. The heavens opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him. Just so you know I do not think the Holy Spirit was an actual dove. He descended “like a dove” and suddenly the Father spoke from heaven to tell these people that this is Jesus God’s Son. He said;
“You are my Beloved Son, in You I am well pleased!”
So, finally, after thousands of years since Adam and Eve left the garden of Eden and God prophesied that one would come to crush the head of the serpent, Jesus has now officially arrived, been baptized, filled with the Spirit and ready to begin His ministry at the age of 30.
And what is the first thing Jesus does? He is “impelled” to go into the wilderness. He was to hang out there for 40 days and to eat nothing during His fast. Imagine how hungry He must have been as His 40 days were ending. But right on cue satan shows up to tempt Him.
He tempts Jesus into turning the stones into freshly baked bread, testing His resolve to not have any food even though His body was craving any kind of nourishment. He tempts Jesus to test the Father to see if He would rescue Him if He were to jump from the top of the Temple and have the angels bear him up and have a safe landing.
Lastly, satan takes Jesus to a very high mountain and shows Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory and says he can give it all to Jesus if He would just fall down and worship him.
However, Jesus is not tempted in fact He is ready to take satan on even after fasting 40 days in the desert. Satan is going to throw three fastballs to strike Jesus out. However, Jesus was ready for this day, standing in the batter’s box with his hands holding the pine tar handle of the bat, body poised, and eyes focused on the pitcher.
Fastball # 1 comes streaking in appearing as a Krispy Crème donut only to collide squarely with the bat and with a loud crack it ricochets over the left-field fence as Jesus runs the based and scores a run. Run # 1
Fastball # 2 is fired with all the strength to test and see if the Father’s angles would show up. satan pitch is clocked at 110 mph and again Jesus swings easily through the ball and another crack is heard as the ball flies over the right-field fence. Run # 2.
satan is being beaten by this mere human being and he decided to go for broke. He has had this itch to be worshiped soon after he was created before time began. He wants to be God. He wants the glory which he, in no way, deserved.
Fastball # 3 leaves his hand and smoke is seen coming off the ball because its velocity is so high as Jesus sets himself into the bunting stance. satan sees Jesus preparing to bunt the ball and figures he has Jesus this time. Surely having all the kingdoms in the world and all the glory would cause Jesus to bend the knee to him.
But no … even as Jesus bunts the ball it flies over the center field fence and out of the stadium only to disappear out of the atmosphere and lands on the moon. Jesus runs the bases for the 3rd time and the game is over.
satan slumps to the ground dejected by Jesus’s 3 home runs. He failed to realize that in His hand Jesus held the sword of the Spirit, the word of God, which will defeat the darkness of temptation with the clarity of light.
And as Jesus is walking out of the wilderness to begin His ministry, He thinks to Himself in His humanity;
“satan, how stupid you are … offering me all the kingdoms of the world. I created those kingdoms, the land they stand on, the earth they are a part of in the solar system and universe I myself created.”
He alone is King of Kings and Lord of Lords and demonstrates for us just how we should deal with temptation by using the Word of God.