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After his baptism, Jesus learned to live, in the present, with the power of the Holy Spirit. He was baptized with water and in the Spirit. Being in the now with the Holy Spirit causes us, like Him, to be led by the Spirit.

  • What is God’s goal for us?
  • Where is God’s Holy Spirit leading us today?
  • May we live in “the Now” with Jesus.

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry.[1]

Luke 4:1-2

At Jesus’ baptism the Holy Spirit descended “in bodily form … on him” (3:22). But though having assumed a bodily form, the Spirit isn’t physical. So now the Spirit fills him and leads him. “In the Spirit” means “by the Spirit” in the sense that Jesus is so immersed in the Spirit that the Spirit determines his movements, here by leading him in the wilderness—not to the wilderness, but within the wilderness by way of itineration.

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Who is the Holy Spirit? There are many misconceptions about the identity of the Holy Spirit. Some view the Holy Spirit as a mystical force. Others understand the Holy Spirit as the impersonal power that God makes available to followers of Jesus. What does the Bible say about the identity of the Holy Spirit? Simply put, the Bible declares that the Holy Spirit is God. The Bible also tells us that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, a being with a mind, emotions, and a will.

Notably, Jesus’ location “in the Spirit” takes precedence over his location “in the wilderness.” And it’s remarkable that the Holy Spirit rests on Jesus, inhabits him, envelops him, and takes the lead ahead of him.

  • To be tempted is to have one’s moral fiber tested, so that we should use these verbs interchangeably.
  • The Devil’s testing Jesus and the Spirit’s leading him take place concurrently, and for forty days.
  • This length of time magnifies both the extent of the Spirit’s leading Jesus and the extent of Jesus’ temptation, so that in conclusion Luke will refer to the completion of “every temptation”.[2]

Good news: We have been filled with the Holy Spirit just like Jesus. We have been baptized, completely immersed, in the very spirit of God. When we are full of the Holy Spirit, we will be led by the Spirit. God is in a good mood.

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Lk 4:1–2). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[2] Gundry, R. H. (2010). Commentary on the New Testament: Verse-by-Verse Explanations with a Literal Translation (pp. 237–238). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.