Series: Jesus’s Preparation For Ministry (3:1-4:13)
In 1992, James Scott, a 22 year medical student from Australia, was about to begin medical training in Katmandu, Nepal. He went for a hike and when bad weather hit, became hopelessly lost in the Himalayan mountains.
He tried to follow a creek downstream for a couple days, but steep terrain and 3,000 foot waterfalls blocked his way. He had walked himself into a corner.
Eventually, he found shelter under a large rock overhang which was near a open area where he thought he might be spotted by helicopter. There he hunkered down and waited…and survived.
After his two candy bars were consumed (far too quickly), James tried eating pine leaves and bamboo, but simply could not. He says that the first ten days he was “hideously hungry” and had to find ways to distract himself from thinking about food.
The only other thing he found to eat was one caterpillar. Other than that, he ate (or drank) snow.
Day after day passed. Later on, he tried walking out of his camp—it took him two hours to walk a block and then he collapsed and vomited. He had lost a third of his body weight.
One morning he awoke to the sound of a helicopter. He managed to wave his sleeping bag to signal it, but it flew away. He couldn’t be sure if he had been seen or not. He didn’t know that it had only been sent out to find his body.
That evening, he heard voices—
When I first heard faint voices I thought I was hallucinating. But the voices persisted and I raised my head and whistled through my teeth. A whistle came back. I shouted, “Namaste | Hello |” and an echoing shout returned.
Slowly the shouts came nearer, but I was too weak to get up. I shouted “I am under this rock” then suddenly there were two dark figures on the ledge. They ran over and ripped the hood off my head. They were two Nepalese.
They asked, “Are you James Scott from Australia?” I said I was and, for the first time since I had been lost, I cried and cried. They were from Talu and they started hugging me and kissing me. I noticed one of them was barefoot; I knew that many villagers simply could not afford shoes. They were very brave.
One of them said, “James Scott, you are a god. I asked why I was a god, and he said because no-one lived up here for more than 10 days. I said no, God must have kept me alive. (https://farafootsurvivalstories.wordpress.com/tag/james-scott/)
James Scott had survived 43 days without food in the winter wilderness of the Himalayan mountains.
A wilderness is more than a desert, a forest, or a mountain.
A wilderness is a place of trial and temptation. A place that strips you to the bare essentials and demands that your true character reveal itself.
A wilderness is a place where we are tested and tried as humans. Most of us, should we live long enough, encounter a wilderness of some sort.
Jesus, being human, had a time in the wilderness: