To be tempted in all points as we are, with every temptation known to man and not give in to a single one is simply amazing. The scriptures tell us that he was without sin. To endure two major battles at the same time in a forty-day span is just too difficult to wrap one’s mind around without completely being mesmerized by the details. First, the earthly battle between his spirit and his flesh and then the spiritual battle between his spirit and the devil, in which he was victorious in both. Now, how impressed are you with the awesomeness of our high priest, Jesus Christ? We have discovered that the level of awesomeness totally depends on whom or what a person believes Jesus to be. While many claim to believe in Jesus, the controversy surrounding his identity has made it more and more difficult to separate the fact from the fiction. And while we understand that you may know Jesus, bear with us as we share with everyone else some of the descriptions we found for the one every claims to know.
We found some who believe him to be God himself. Some who believe him to be part of the three-in-one trilogy called the Trinity. Some believe him to be only a man. Some say he was just a myth, that he never existed. Some believe him to be some combination of God and man, both one-hundred percent God and one-hundred percent man; or fifty percent God and fifty percent man; or some in between combination. Some say he has no beginning because he always existed. Others say he has always existed because he created the universe and all that we see while some say he helped the Father with creation. Some say he has a beginning but he was, at some point created before the universe. Still some say he has a beginning but not until he was brought forth, created in the womb of Mary.
Others say he existed from the beginning and asked God the Father to create him a body so he could come to earth, while some say he created himself a body so he could come to earth. Some say God placed him in Mary’s womb. Some claimed that God had spiritual sex with Mary to bring forth his son while others make the claim God raped Mary to bring forth his son. Some say he is the only begotten son of God. Some say he is the only son of God. Some say he is the one true God. Some say he was the king of the Jews. Some say he was no king at all. Some say he was poor while others say he was rich. Some say he was white, some say he was black, while others claim some other variation.
Some say he performed all kinds of miracles. Some say he healed many people. Some say he walked on the water, others claim he did not. Some say he raised the dead. Some say he raised himself from the dead. Some say he died on the cross. Some say he did not die on the cross. Some say that he survived the cross to father many children. Many follow him as if he was some type of rock star. Others do all within their power to avoid mentioning his name. Many try to prove his existence by any means necessary while others do everything in their power to refute him. There are books after books written about Jesus. There are movies and documentaries made about Jesus. There are websites created to support Jesus and sites created to invalidate him. Yet with so much information available to us, it has become increasingly more difficult to make sense of it all. As we sought the truth, everyone appeared to have his or her own ideas about Jesus and whom or what he really is. While we only mentioned the more common descriptions, we found some that were on the extreme far left, some on the extreme far right, and many somewhere in between.
With all that we have discussed thus far, the level of awesomeness in what Jesus accomplished is totally dependent upon your perception of him. Depending on whom or what you believe Jesus to be directly affects how you see the temptations of Jesus. Christology, a branch of theology that is concerned with studying the nature, character, and actions of Jesus has played a major role in defining him, revealing to us that he was the model of perfection while he was here in the flesh and somewhat god-like in his nature. Because of his perfection and his god-like nature, many have discounted the temptations of Jesus, believing that he was unable to sin. And to this the scripture that tells us that God cannot be tempted with evil (James 1:13) and we have the perfect formula to deny the reality of Satan’s temptations in the wilderness
Again, focusing only on the temptations themselves, you would have to ask yourself, Why was this story put in the Bible, since there was no one there to witness the event? More importantly than that, you really have to ask yourself, Why would Satan bother to tempt Jesus if he could not be tempted? We would like to share a few things that may help in determining the reality of the temptations of Jesus and if he was actually tempted in all points as we are.
One has to be able to yield to a temptation in order for him or her to have the capacity to commit the sin. For example, to tempt a man with all the riches that he could imagine to become pregnant is no temptation for him at all. A man does not have the ability to yield to this temptation because as it stands now, he cannot get pregnant. And since he cannot get pregnant then he cannot be tempted to commit the act. If you cannot be tempted, then you cannot sin. Conversely, if you can be tempted, then you can sin. Satan would not have bothered to tempt Jesus if he could not yield to the temptation and sin.
Contrary to popular beliefs, Jesus had to have the capacity to yield to temptation in order for the passage, he was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15) to be a true statement. There is no way around it, Jesus had to be tempted with all the temptations that many face today, yet with one exception, he chose not to yield to any of them. While in the flesh, Jesus was a man just like us, but to imagine that he could not sin, having no capacity to sin, or that he could not suffer as we do with temptation, misses the purpose of him going to the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He was tempted just like we are tempted, experiencing the full range of temptations just like any other human being. He was tempted to sin just like us, but he never yielded to any temptations.
Here are the facts. Jesus was lead into the wilderness by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil. Satan would not have bothered, if Jesus could not yield to the temptations. One has to be able to yield to temptation in order for him or her to have the capacity to commit the sin. Christ was tempted with the all the temptations that we face today, yet with one exception, he choose not to yield to any of them. He succeeded. Do you believe Jesus was tempted? You will have to decide.
Enjoy your blessings and remember to be a blessing to others - KW