Jesus Returned to Galilee in the Power of the Spirit


Today is Holy Saturday. In between the lament of Good Friday and the celebration of new and everlasting life on Easter Sunday is today. Holy Saturday is what I like to call the international Day of Bewilderment. It is a day of in-betweens, just as the Wild was an in-between for Jesus. It is the final point in our descent through Lent to the tomb. And, according to Scriptures, though the sting of death had the headlines a few other things were happening on that day.

We continue in our Jesus in the Wild series as we consider what it means for the disciples to have had faith on the first Holy Saturday, even as the mystery of Christ’s death had them wondering about everything.

LUKE 4:1–14

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.

The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”

The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”

The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here.” For it is written:

“‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.

Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside.


Jesus faces down the temptations that Israel could not, the tests of faith that Israel could not, and emerges from his long season of fasting and faith-reinforcing “in the power of the Spirit.”

There is a benefit to being tested, and God knows what we do not. On the other side of a test passed is a pure, glowing, world-bending spiritual resilience.

Let’s talk about spiritual resilience in such times as we live. Resilience speaks of the ability to face an impact and to recover quickly from its force. There is a spiritual elasticity inherent to resilience; we take hits but have the ability for them to bounce off us without damage. In fact, the most resilient and elastic of people can use the momentum with which they’ve been hit and turn its energy back on the enemy.

Jesus comes out of his season of vocational testing knowing whose he is, who he is, and what he is for. I think coming out of the wild “in the power of the Spirit” (v. 14), for you and me, means we have faced down that inner voice of temptation in this round (v. 13) and we have had our faith proved genuine, at the very least, to ourselves (1 Peter 1:6–9).

We will all have many opportunities in the wild, the unpredictable, the surprising circumstances of life, to face down the challenger. Our suffering, our vulnerable places, can be places we enter with our unspoken-name-written-on-a-white-stone (see Rev. 2:17) in our hearts and we do battle with word and Word.

My prayers are with us in the unresolved, and in the battle for our true names in Christ to be lived this side of eternity.

James 4:7–10 can help us for today:

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

Here’s to knowing whose we are, who we are, and why we are—as we follow Jesus into the wild.


Lord of the Wild, we have come to the place where living “in the power of the Spirit” is both our priority and our desire. Fill us with your Spirit for the challenges ahead, even today, and give us a deepening sense of your abiding presence as we address the enemy’s taunts. In Jesus’s name, amen.


What is your favorite phrase or verse in James 4:7–10? Why?

For the Awakening,
Dan Wilt

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Comments and Discussion

3 Responses

  1. The most useful part of James 4:7-10, for me, is “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” This verse is God’s promise to the resurrection of a renewed life in Christ in us to our response of willingness to crucify the Old Adam within us.

  2. By humbly and continually submitting to and obeying God while resisting and rejecting the devil’s temptations to self-focus on our own desires we put ourselves in the position where Jesus can lift us up to daily live in the power of the Spirit.

  3. In Mathew 4 1:11, Matthew writes about the temptations in the wilderness. Verse 11 speaks to me; Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him (KJV). Depending on the translation, the angels served Him (HCSB), attended to Him (NIV), took care of Him (NLT), or helped Him (GNT).
    Aren’t we to do the same?
    We want Jesus to serve our needs, fix our struggles or correct our misgivings. What if the cross already did all of that for us? He said it was finished. Maybe the crucifixion is all He needed to do to fix our problems. Maybe all we need to do is accept Him and say no to sin. This is where faith and fear collide. Fear says He didn’t do enough. Faith says He is enough.

    Like the angels, we should be serving Jesus.

    Matthew 35: 40
    35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

    Staying 💪’n Christ.

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