Luke 4: Living in Difficult Circumstances
In Luke 4, we see the temptation of Jesus, and I find it so interesting that the entire episode is book ended by the fact that Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit.
Luk 4:1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
Luk 4:14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.
I think this is significant. Obviously, it shows us two parts of the Trinity simultaneously active, but it emphasizes that Jesus was not operating alone. It makes it even more significant than when he is later on the cross and speaks about being forsaken by God. Even in the difficult times, Jesus was following the will of God.
The temptation of Christ could have taken place anywhere. Satan could have met Him in His normal hometown, and Jesus could have undergone the temptation in comfort. However, it was clearly the will of God that He be led into a much harsher environment. Why?
I’m not entirely sure obviously, but it seems significant that this is reflective of the circumstances that some people live in. There are plenty of people who live in difficult environments with very limited resources. For those of us in America, we mostly don’t have a lot of concept of material suffering. However, because of this experience, Jesus did, and He was able to withstand temptation even in this circumstance. If Jesus had not done this, I wonder if some people might say that even Jesus would have sinned if He had to live through what I am living through. He lived in the desert with no food while being directly tempted by arguably the cleverest of all the angels. I think He understood something about adversity and living in a difficult situation.
Ultimately, God knows why God led Jesus by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness, but it is clear that this was a very intentional act.