What does Mark 1:12 mean?
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.
Verse Commentary:
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).
Verse Context:
Mark 1:1–13 rapidly introduces the ministry of Jesus, as introduced by John the Baptist. While other Gospels include many details, the Gospel of Mark briefly sets the stage for Jesus' baptism by John. In a few short verses, we are told that John preached a message of repentance, that Jesus came to be baptized, and that Jesus spent forty days being tempted in the wilderness. The narrative quickly moves on to describe Jesus' miraculous healings.
Chapter Summary:
John the Baptist is introduced as a figure preparing the world for the arrival of the Messiah. John's baptism teaches people about their need for repentance. When Jesus arrives, and is baptized, it signals the coming of God's fulfillment and the need of people to recognize their Savior. Mark briefly notes Jesus' baptism, desert temptation, and the calling of the first four disciples. After this, Jesus begins teaching in the synagogue and performs miraculous healings which spread His fame around the region.
Chapter Context:
The first chapter of the Gospel of Mark sets the tone for the rest of the story. Mark's writing is concise, action-packed, and short on details. Within a few verses, Mark establishes the transition from the wilderness ministry of John the Baptist to the healing and preaching of Jesus Christ. This first chapter includes the calling of Jesus' earliest disciples, His early miracles, and His early teaching. This establishes the pattern shown throughout the Gospel of Mark, where Jesus mingles His teaching with miraculous signs.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Mark emphasizes both Jesus' servanthood and His role as the promised Messiah: the Son of God. This is done through a concise, action-packed style. Mark provides relatively few details, instead focusing on actions and simple statements. This relates to the Gospel's authorship, which is believed to be based on the memories of the apostle Peter. These include many of Jesus' miracles, in contrast to other Gospels which include many more of Jesus' teachings and parables. Mark also makes frequent mention of Jesus' ministry being misunderstood by others.
Accessed 7/15/2024 1:53:45 AM
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