Could Jesus have yielded to temptation?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Could Jesus have yielded to temptation?

    Speaking of Jesus, the author of Hebrews writes, "Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death -- that is, the devil -- and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham's descendants. For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted." -- Hebrews 2:14-18 (NKJV)

    Later on, this is restated:

    "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are -- yet was without sin." -- Hebrews 4:15 (NKJV)

    The temptation of Christ, of course, is documented in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke.

    "Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, 'If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.'" -- Matthew 4:1-3 (NKJV)

    "Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 'All this I will give you,' he said, 'if you will bow down and worship me.'" -- Matthew 8-9 (NKJV)

    The Gospel of Luke provides largely the same narrative, in chapter four. For the sake of brevity, I won't repeat it here.

    Mark gives an abbreviated account of the same event.

    "At once he Spirit sent him out into the desert, and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him." -- Mark 1:12-13 (NKJV)

    Although the Gospel of John doesn't mention this event, that is not to be considered unusual since his gospel was written long after the other three, and we can assume that John had already read the accounts of Matthew, Mark and Luke, and was well aware that this event was already covered.

    Lastly, although the word is not used in the account of Jesus on the cross, it is difficult to escape the sense that, as Jesus was there, on the cross, and the soldiers were mocking him, he was tempted.

    "And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, 'Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?' -- which means, ''My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'" -- Mark 15:34 (NKJV)

    As the song suggest, Jesus could have called ten thousand angels and because of the fact that, besides being fully God, He was also fully man, I can't help but believe that He was tempted to do so.

    The important thing is that, while He was tempted to sin, as human beings are, He did not give in to these temptations.

    Yet, when I taught a similar message in a Southern Baptist Church, some of the people in the audience were highly offended that I would suggest that Jesus Christ could have been even tempted to sin. After all, He was God, and it would be impossible for God to sin.

    However, if He wasn't capable of being tempted to sin, then either the Bible lies or the translations are horribly flawed and, more significantly, this would diminish the importance of what He accomplished. After all, if He were incapable of sin, then it was no great accomplishment that he did not give into it.
    Last edited by Ken Anderson; 05-09-2016, 12:46 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Ken Anderson View Post
    Speaking of Jesus, the author of Hebrews writes, "Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death -- that is, the devil -- and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham's descendants. For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted." -- Hebrews 2:14-18 (NKJV)

    Later on, this is restated:

    "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are -- yet was without sin." -- Hebrews 4:15 (NKJV)

    The temptation of Christ, of course, is documented in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke.

    "Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, 'If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.'" -- Matthew 4:1-3 (NKJV)

    "Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 'All this I will give you,' he said, 'if you will bow down and worship me.'" -- Matthew 8-9 (NKJV)

    The Gospel of Luke provides largely the same narrative, in chapter four. For the sake of brevity, I won't repeat it here.

    Mark gives an abbreviated account of the same event.

    "At once he Spirit sent him out into the desert, and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him." -- Mark 1:12-13 (NKJV)

    Although the Gospel of John doesn't mention this event, that is not to be considered unusual since his gospel was written long after the other three, and we can assume that John had already read the accounts of Matthew, Mark and Luke, and was well aware that this event was already covered.

    Lastly, although the word is not used in the account of Jesus on the cross, it is difficult to escape the sense that, as Jesus was there, on the cross, and the soldiers were mocking him, he was tempted.

    "And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, 'Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?' -- which means, ''My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'" -- Mark 15:34 (NKJV)

    As the song suggest, Jesus could have called ten thousand angels and because of the fact that, besides being fully God, He was also fully man, I can't help but believe that He was tempted to do so.

    The important thing is that, while He was tempted to sin, as human beings are, He did did give in to these temptations.

    Yet, when I taught a similar message in a Southern Baptist Church, some of the people in the audience were highly offended that I would suggest that Jesus Christ could have been even tempted to sin. After all, He was God, and it would be impossible for God to sin.

    However, if He wasn't capable of being tempted to sin, then either the Bible lies or the translations are horribly flawed and, more significantly, this would diminish the importance of what He accomplished. After all, if He were incapable of sin, then it was no great accomplishment that he did not give into it.
    G'day Ken,

    I agree with you on your point of the impossibility of Jesus sinning.

    Based on the Scriptures you provided I believe that Satan tempted God in no way other than God could of been tempted. For example, Jesus frailty was demonstrated in the Garden of Gethsemane, He was strengthened by the angel there Luke 22:43. Long before, Satan again revealed his method of attack by tempting God to provide sustenance for himself during a 40 day fast. I think, Satan attempted to test God, appealing to misusing miracles in order to win converts. Later, in John we learn that unbelieving Jews were only concerned with a sign, people were following Jesus because of His miracles, and this was followed by Christ saying that only an evil generation seeks a sign but rather no other sign shall be given but the sign of Jonah which many then stopped following Him.

    I think it also important to understand what we mean by being sinless. An indepth study of the hypostatic union teaches us about the two natures of Christ. Jesus had a genuine human nature, and understanding this can puzzle us further if we ask what is our human nature apart from a sin nature? Was Jesus perfect in all ways one may ask? When growing up, did Jesus ever knock over a cup and spill water, misspell something, drop a ball, stubbed His toe, etc?

    Now, what I am not suggesting is that Jesus had a sin nature or had sinned, but I am only emphasizing the definition of sin. If we say anything less than perfection then we may be misled from an improper definition in regard to the human side of the hypostatic union. While I believe Jesus himself was sinless, I believe He had all the frailties of our human nature. Clearly, if anyone could devise an attack on God it is Satan. And in so doing I believe Satan attacked God by tempting Him beyond human temptation, but only in the way God Himself could be tempted. Remember, Jesus was made a little lower than the angels, and we know that even holy angels had given into Satan's temptations resulting in rebellion.

    I think the important part of having our human nature, is he experienced or empathized the result of the curse on mankind. Jesus tired, showed fatigue, wept for Lazarus, and Jesus healed the sick and dying demonstrating His compassion. Jesus experienced a horrendous death from His human aspect during the crucifixion, and moreso, He did so facing our opposition. He knows how difficult it is for us, that is, He empathizes with us and the Mission He gave to us, telling us that if the world hates us, remember, it hated Him first.

    Thanks for the wonderful topic Ken,
    God bless,
    William
    Comment>

    • #3
      I think that it's the inability of our human minds to comprehend the mind of God that makes this a difficult topic for some. To us, it may seem that if we are tempted to sin, then we must be something less than perfect, yet we know that Jesus was God and that God is perfect. Just as it is difficult for us to fully understand the nature of the Trinity, we may have difficult understanding how Jesus could be both fully human and fully divine at the same time, and how He could be tempted, yet still be without a sin nature. I don't understand everything that I read in the Bible, so there are times when I simply have to admit that I don't get it but the Bible says it, so I know that it's true.
      Comment>

      • #4
        Paul writes in Romans that he WANTS to do one thing, but he DOES the opposite. Taking a page from my struggle to wrap my head around the implications of Monergism, and flipping it around ... It seems plausible to me that Jesus could be TEMPTED to do evil, but still incapable of acting contrary to his nature (which was not like my nature). Thus he very much does know how my struggles feel, and can sympathize, but was never in any danger of acting on that temptation because to do so would violate his nature. He was no more capable of HATING THE FATHER (the essence of all sin) than unregenerated man is capable of LOVING that Father. However, just as a man can want to do good (and be unable) so, perhaps Jesus could be tempted to cut a few corners, but be unable to act contrary to his nature.

        Just speculation on my part.
        Comment>

        • #5
          Originally posted by atpollard View Post
          Just speculation on my part.
          This is the best answer I have ever heard for this question.
          Clyde Herrin's Blog
          Comment>

          • #6
            I do think it important to understand the distinction between human nature and sin nature. The first Adam had a "neutral disposition", but because he lacked righteousness, he sinned from an outward temptation. Mankind's sin nature is inherited through the father's side, as a result of Adam's sin, but because the 2nd Adam Jesus Christ did not have a human father he did not inherit a Sin nature or a tendency to sin. The reason I think this is an important distinction is because Gnostics argue that human flesh in itself is evil and the divine could never come into contact with it, therefore, they reject the incarnation. The flesh is often understood in negative terms, but in John chapter 1 it merely refers to being human John 1:14.

            For further reading: If Jesus is God in flesh, why did He not inherit original sin?





            God bless,
            William
            Comment>

            • #7
              Jesus came to the world to do the will of God. We humans know God's will by reading the scriptures but Jesus didn't need scriptures. He'd lived with God for eternity and knew everything. While yes Jesus could be tempted He could not give into temptation because He knew what the will of God was. Remember His prayer in Gethsemane? [[Not my will but your will be done]]. His instructions to His disciples, how they were to pray? [[Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven]]. This is I believe is the reason why Jesus couldn't sin. He'd submitted Himself 100% to God. And the Father desired that He be Perfect [and sinless].
              Comment>

              • #8
                Firstly, the above posts are absolutely wonderful replies to a great thread! Bravo!
                And since they were so wonderful, I really do not want to tarnish any of them by rehashing anything that has been written thus far but merely want to add a couple more thoughts to the mix.

                Even though Jesus is God, yes He was tempted. Philippians 2:7 says that "He lowered Himself". He took on the personna of one who is the servant and not the king. He not only took on the fleshly image of man but also was encumbered with the temptations that go with that image. The caveat here is that He was a living example of 1 Cor. 10:13 (no temptation has seized you except what is common to man.....etc.)
                Jesus was a full life, see it and believe it, you can do it too example of what we are really capable of doing, including how and why we should do it.

                One poster mentioned that sin was out of hatred for God which to some degree is true. It is adverse and is in direct opposition of God which leads me to the next verse I would like to leave folks with.
                Exodus 20:7. "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain". There are a lot of people out there that somehow have managed to convert this to "say" the Lord thy God's name......etc. It says "TAKE" not say! Certainly including God in an awkward curse is a sin but that is not the total meaning of the verse.
                Much like a wife takes the name of a husband, or an orphan child takes on the adopted name of a new set of parents, to take that very name as nothing or lightly would be defiling the very name that has been assumed. Knowing that, does not sin defile the man as well as the name that is taken?

                Even though Jesus had lowered Himself, emptied Himself of that position He could very well have kept, He could still not give in to temptation to sin for it would indeed defile not only his human form but His God nature, and the God name He wished others would "take" for their own.

                Just a couple of thoughts..........God Bless........Bobby



                Comment>
                Working...
                X
                Articles - News - SiteMap