The wilderness experience has a long history in Judaism as the place of suffering, testing, and preparation. Moses heard God in the wilderness. He led the people through the wilderness. It was the wilderness that prepared them for the Promised Land. The wilderness experience was common for the first-century Jewish sage. It was a place to find strength and wisdom from within.
Jesus in the Wilderness
Rabbi Kerry Olitzky writes:
For the Rabbis, the desert, the wilderness is actually a desirable place to be — very different than what the English words perhaps imply. In our parlance, the words conjure images of desolation and helplessness. In the Rabbis’ view, however, the desert is a place where we can see more clearly, unencumbered by other distractions. The desert reflects freedom and uncluttered vision, allowing us to take stock of our lives and ourselves in an environment devoid of outside pressures.”
In his wilderness experience, Jesus felt the full weight of the power of Satan, and at the same time, the full concentration of God’s sustaining love. Jesus was tested, spent, and replenished in the wilderness. He went back to the wilderness again and again (Lk. 5:16). Here is a 3-minute devotional video explaining why you should too!
[3-minute video devotional]