Monday, January 9, 2012

In All Points Tempted

Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.  (Matthew 4:1)

An oft asked question is:  “How is it that Jesus could be tempted, if He is God?  The mystery will never be fully understood by the human mind this side of eternity, but the Bible clearly teaches that Jesus is simultaneously fully man and fully God.  Some things we must simply accept through faith.

Jesus said, “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30).  He said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58), signifying His eternal nature while at the same time identifying Himself as the eternal God.  The Pharisees understood His plain speech, and therefore “took they up stones to cast at him” (v. 59) because such a claim coming, from a mortal man, was blasphemy.  Yet, while He is God, He is also man.  “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). 

As God, he is incapable of sin, but as man He could be tempted.  He “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews4:15).  The schemes of Satan are not new; they are as old as creation:  the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life (1 John 2:16).  Jesus was tempted by all three.  He was tempted through the flesh: “If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread” (Matthew 4:3).  He was tempted through the lust of the eyes:  Satan took Him atop a high mountain “and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them” (Matthew 4:8, emphasis added).  Finally, He was tempted through the pride of life: “If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee” (Matthew 4:6).

Jesus withstood the test by standing firm on the Word of God.  Therefore, “we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15); and now we can claim that power through the Holy Spirit.

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