The Spirit drove Jesus into the wilderness so that Christ could drive the wild out of the wilderness. He is redeeming all the broken things. That means us.
I will tell of the decree:The Lord said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. 8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. 9 You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” –Psalm 2:7-9
At Jesus’ baptism the Spirit descends upon Him and the Father proclaims, “You are my beloved Son, with you I am well pleased.” It’s obvious that in this declaration there is a call back to Psalm 2.
So what happens immediately following this inauguration? Psalm 2 would seem to indicate that the Son of God will take up sword and begin his quest of kicking tail. But it’s not. The shift in Mark is jarring, sadly broken up by our section divisions.
The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness.–Mark 1:12
The word for “drove him out” is ekballo. It’s a word that is most typically used by Mark of Jesus driving out a demon. When you’re a bouncer and you need to remove some cat who doesn’t belong, you’d use ekballo to say you bounced him out on his head. Matthew and Luke use a different word (anago). It’s less jarring. It has the Spirit leading—or guiding by the hand—into the wilderness. Mark uses a word that would bring to mind a whip instead of wooing word.
At this point commentaries and sermons tend to get caught up on the dynamic between the Spirit and the Son. Did the Son not want to go and so had to be driven? Of course not, but that’s getting sidetracked from what Mark is actually telling us.