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Mark 1:9-15 (CEB)

About that time, Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River. 10 While he was coming up out of the water, Jesus saw heaven splitting open and the Spirit, like a dove, coming down on him. 11 And there was a voice from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I dearly love; in you I find happiness.”

12 At once the Spirit forced Jesus out into the wilderness. 13 He was in the wilderness for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among the wild animals, and the angels took care of him.

14 After John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee announcing God’s good news, 15 saying, “Now is the time! Here comes God’s kingdom! Change your hearts and lives, and trust this good news!”


As we enter this Lenten season – a time of pondering our lives, our sins, and what Jesus did for us – we also think about the examples Jesus set for us. He was baptized – an outward sign of our belief as Christians. It is a symbol of purification and regeneration, a sign of new life within us.

Jesus went to the wilderness and experienced what it was like to be tempted. The wilderness around the area of the Jordan where Jesus went is very barren – scrub brush mainly and difficult to maneuver through, but Jesus relied on God’s provision for strength against physical hunger and spiritual warfare with Satan. Jesus was fully human, so he was tired, hungry, and thirsty. We have a word for our bad behavior when we are hungry – hangry. I’m pretty sure Jesus experienced this feeling, but yet he did not sin because he was also fully God.

Jesus urged the people of Galilee, and he urges us to repent of our sins. He pleads with us to change our hearts and lives. One other translation I read said “change your inner self, seek God’s purpose, and believe.” Doesn’t that sum up what we are called to do as Christians? And verse 15 also tells us how – trust the good news. We can ask Jesus to guide us as we work to be more like him. Lent reminds us to open ourselves up to how Jesus lived in this world – even as he was preparing to die for us.

For Pondering & Prayer

How can we be more like Jesus this Lenten Season? Do we need to spend more time alone with God? Do we need to spend more time in the community helping others? Do we need to study scripture more so we can be ready to tell others what we believe or to have ammunition against Satan when we are tempted? We may have one thing we want to focus on or try a couple of things. Every one of us can probably think of a change we can make in our lives during this season that will help us continue to grow.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank you for being our example. Thank you for the things you chose to experience on earth on our behalf. Help us to hold those things in our hearts and work on what you would show us this Lenten Season so that we may draw closer to you. Amen.