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Mark 1:12

ESV The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness.
NIV At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness,
NASB And immediately the Spirit *brought Him out into the wilderness.
CSB Immediately the Spirit drove him into the wilderness.
NLT The Spirit then compelled Jesus to go into the wilderness,
KJV And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness.
NKJV Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness.

What does Mark 1:12 mean?

Verses 12 and 13 offer an abbreviated version of the temptation of Jesus. Interestingly, the Holy Spirit is the motivator who directs Jesus away from people into a time of isolation. The word translated "drove" here is the Greek ekballei, and means a compelling, aggressive pressure. Matthew 4:1 uses the much more sedate "led."

Many Christians believe that if they obey God and act fairly decently to others, they will be blessed, and God will protect them from hardships. In general, this was the promise to the nation of Israel (Deuteronomy 28). But this does not apply to those of us who live after the time of Jesus—and it certainly doesn't apply to Jesus here! After Jesus is baptized, the Holy Spirit descends on Him, and God announces His approval for everyone to hear. But "immediately," that same Spirit drives Jesus into a forty-day period of fasting and temptation in the wilderness.

It's entirely possible for us to diligently follow God and yet be "driven" by the Holy Spirit into a hard circumstance. It could be illness, persecution, or trials that test our faith in God. Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." God doesn't promise us an easy life, and He doesn't promise that we will receive our blessing on earth. He promises that His plan for our lives will work for "good," which includes spiritual maturity, the spread of the good news about Jesus, and a closer relationship with Him. If we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts, we will learn to value what God values, and see how He can make good out of any situation we go through. And we will "consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us" (Romans 8:18).
What is the Gospel?
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