CHAPTER 27 - ‘Mark’ My Words, There Is No Satan Here
Can We Find Satan In The Book Of Mark?
12 And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness.
13 And he was there in the wilderness forty-days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.
For added insight see comments on Matthew 4 and Luke 4 in this volume.
As discussed in the commentary on the same account as it occurred in Matthew, it was the spirit that caused Yeshua to go into the wilderness to be tested. The Devil did not take Jesus out to the wilderness. Yeshua was placed by the Spirit of God in the position where He would be proved worthy of His calling and ultimately pass the testing that came to Him. The tempting then came either by one of two possibilities. The first is; Jesus was tested by his own nature. It was possibly the aspect of Yeshua’s human nature known as the evil inclination that worked in Him to “test” Him. The second option here is the temptation came by other men. It is probable that men such as the Scribes and Pharisees, who took it upon themselves to administer tests to messianic candidates, were the source of the testing in the wilderness.
Did Jesus Have Any Human Desires That We Could Call A Satan?
In any culture, a man who is embarking on a path to power may take steps to achieve power and honor before the appropriate time. The evil inclination in man is responsible to be a motivator towards fulfilling one’s fleshly desires…desires such as ascent to power. The evil inclination is an aspect of man that has been present in every human being since the day man was created. It is designed by the Creator to prick the mind and heart of man in areas where good or evil are options for choice. In certain pivotal situations, man must make a choice. Once the choice has been made he must fully own his choice to do either good or evil. Yeshua, who was said to be fully God and fully man, would have had to deal with this aspect of humanity just as every human on the face of the earth must deal with his or her evil inclination and continually overcome it throughout their lives. The evil inclination in this model is the Satan. Desire from within prompted Yeshua to try to achieve His goals via the plans of a man instead of being patient and waiting for the plan of God to work itself out.
Maybe The Tempter Was The Pharisees
The other possibility as I have mentioned, is that the Pharisees who were always jockeying for power in one way or another tempted Yeshua. The testing by the Pharisees may have been a play trying to raise Yeshua up and obtain an alliance with a man who was full of such potential. The testing of prominent figures who were potential candidates for the much awaited Messiah was a common occurrence in Yeshua’s era. The religious leaders of the day would subject a candidate to testing in order to determine if indeed the tested was the Messiah. Pass the Pharisees’ tests and they may say you are the Messiah, fail them and you’re just another wanna be imposter so move on, you are definitely not the awaited for messiah; at least according to the jealous Pharisees and Scribes. Therefore, the “satan” could have been a man or group of men fitting the role of an adversary and through their testing of Yeshua, they were indeed collectively being “satan.”
Now for a sneak peek at . . .
CHAPTER 28 - The Man With An Unclean Spirit (A Sneak Peek)
23 And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out,
24 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.
25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him.
26 And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him.
27 And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.
33 And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice,
34 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God.
35 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not.
36 And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out.
37 And the fame of him went out into every place of the country round about.
A full account of this story from a fly on the wall perspective would be excellent in discerning what is going on here. We however have only the information provided in the books of Mark and Luke. We note such things above as the word us in the sentence “Let us alone” is italicized and therefore does not belong in the text rather it was added by the translators. Also of note is that in the Mark account we are told an unclean spirit throws the man where the Luke account suggests the man is thrown by a devil. We have spoken elsewhere of the likelihood of an unclean spirit being a sickness, illness, or disease. The correlation to that which throws the man being called a devil, becomes unmistakable and identifies the possibility of the devil being the same sickness as the unclean spirit.
(To read more of this chapter, request your copy of Who's the Devil Jesus Knew?)
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