The wilderness played an important role, affecting life in ancient Israel in several different ways. For instance, every year, at the beginning and end of summer, a hot, dry desert wind blows from the east. This wind, called sirocco, raises the temperature and can be quite destructive to vegetation. The wind was yearly reminder to Israel that the wilderness was within reach.
The Jews from Matthew’s day would have disagreed. Tradition-minded Jews kept a record of their ancestors partly because certain rights and responsibilities were inherited. Priests descended from Aaron, the brother of Moses. Kings-and the coming Messiah-would descend from David, Israel’s most revered king.
When Jesus makes a promise, He keeps it. Previous generations thought they would see Jesus’ return, but they did not. Through this long wait, God has been faithful to His people. The church has grown. God’s family is getting larger.