Wouldn’t it be interesting to read about the life of someone who was never tempted? How would that look like? We will never know, for every human being knows temptation. Adam and Eve were tempted to eat the fruit that the Lord had forbidden them to eat. They disobeyed, and since then every single descendant of them has known temptation.
Temptation first of all stems from our own nature as fallen man. In James 1:14 we read “each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.” If we would be perfect, temptation would not be possible. This is confirmed in the same chapter, where we read “God cannot be tempted with evil” (James 1:13).
Temptation is a work of the devil
Second, temptation is a work of the devil. God will not tempt us to sin (James 1:13). But the main occupation of the devil is to tempt people to sin. That is why he is even called “the tempter” in Matthew 4:3 and 1 Thessalonians 3:5. So temptation comes to every man, both because of our sinful nature and because the devil tries to trick us into sin.
How about Jesus?
Now how about Jesus? He is man and He is God. Was He tempted? In a sense yes, and in a sense no. Hebrews 4:15 says: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” So Jesus was tempted in the sense that He faced the same things other people faced. He was tempted much more severely than other people in the sense that Satan tried everything in his power to make Jesus sin. In Matthew 4 we read how the devil tempted Jesus in the desert, by appealing to His desire for food, for validation by God, and for power in this world. But Jesus passed the test. He faced every temptation, and did not sin.
Yet in another sense Jesus was not tempted. Jesus is God, so the text that ‘God cannot be tempted with evil’ applies to Him as well. He did not have temptations from his human nature, because He was perfect. The temptations were always external to him. He was not tempted in his spirit, because his highest desire always was to follow God’s will. The temptations of the devil were not a temptation to Him.
No example but Jesus
We do not have an example in the Bible of someone who never faced temptations. But we do have Jesus, who faced all temptations without ever sinning. He is our example. But more than that, He is our Savior. If we believe in Him, He will give us eternal life on the new earth. No temptation will be there, just joy and worship.
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