Wilderness before mission

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23rd Jul, 2020 Day 205

Matthew 4

ESV audio


Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. There are times in our lives where we are in a wilderness. If the Spirit has led you there for a season it’ll be to teach you something. If it’s your sin then you need to get right with God and get out asap! Going by yourself into a wilderness time and not led by the Spirit is never a good thing.

Temptations are not sin. They don’t come from God (James 1:13). They do  come usually because of our sinful desires (James 1:14), but sometimes because God is testing us or more likely as a spiritual attack  after a spiritual high like baptism. We are not meant to live on emotional highs, but on the bread that comes from God alone.

Temptation does not mean that God’s blessing has evaporated, but trials and temptations do build spiritual muscle. Satan was tempting Jesus to bypass the cross, to shortcut the path of obedience and to be the King without being the suffering servant.

Jesus overcame the temptations with “It is written… It is written…. It is written”. All the quotes are from the book of Deuteronomy which suggests that is what he studied in the wilderness. You can’t beat reading and knowing the Scriptures to overcome temptation!

After the wilderness Jesus public ministry started. He moved to Galilee a freshwater lake about 14 miles long by 7 miles wide. It was densely populated by tough and courageous people, open to change and his the gospel! The southern Jews despised it as a Gentile area.

When Jesus called his first disciples, it was to follow him and be fishers of men. Jesus calls us to relationship first, but to join Him in mission too. Those fishermen were men of courage in the fierce squalls that would often erupt and they needed perseverance,  but they also had patience and flexibility in methods (they had three types of net). They had to be unobtrusive so as to not frighten fish away and a have good sense of timing. All good qualities for fishing for men too!

The gospel of the kingdom (v23-25) was about preaching (bold challenging proclamation), teaching (explaining and answering questions) and healing every kind of sickness, demonic troubles and paralysis. Notice again Jesus starts in a Gentile area of Decapolis rather than Jewish areas and this is the book of Matthew, who is making a deliberate point that the Gospel is for all to his Jewish readers.

Andy Moyle



Andy planted the Gateway Church in Sept 2007. He and Janet love to gather different nations together to grow in Christ while eating good food! He also helps to shape and serve a couple of Relational Mission's church plants in mainland Europe. Andy and Janet run regularly, largely to offset the hospitality eating! He also runs a popular WordPress plugin Church Admin