At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.Mark 1:12-13 NIV
Mark abbreviated the wilderness temptations of Jesus to just two verses, excluding any mention of the specific temptations that Matthew and Luke record. But he did add a detail that is not recorded elsewhere. Jesus was with the wild animals. I find this to be an intriguing detail whose purpose is not readily obvious. What significance does this little detail have to Mark?
A New Adam
While I have no way to know for sure, I suspect Mark was comparing Jesus to someone else. The Scripture starts off with an account of creation, specifically of humanity. God placed them in a garden and provided for all their needs. And they were with the wild animals, without fear or in any danger. But when they faced temptation, they succumbed. In this account, Jesus was in a solitary place, with the wild animals and experiencing the temptation of Satan. But, unlike Adam and Eve in the garden, he did not give in to the temptation. Jesus was, in a sense, a new Adam. One who did what the first Adam was unable to do. While Adam’s disobedience introduced death to humanity, Jesus’ obedience brings life to us (Rom. 5:14-17).
The views expressed here are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person, group, or organization. While I believe they reflect the teachings of the Bible, I am a fallible human and subject to misunderstanding. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions about this post in the comments section below. I am always interested in your feedback.
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