“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.” Hebrews 4:15 (ESV)
We’ve all heard that a thousand times. Jesus was tempted just like me and just like you. Yet in all of it, He never sinned.
But have you ever really thought about that? Have you ever really considered what that means?
Jesus never looked twice at the lady at the mall.
Jesus never lied to cover up a moment of forgetfulness because He was embarrassed.
Jesus never cheated to get ahead in school.
Jesus never did anything out out of pride or ambition.
Jesus never spoke a hateful word to those He loved the most (or anyone else, for that matter).
I’m sure you can add your own idea to this. Fact is, He was tempted just like us, but He never gave in. Let that sink in. He didn’t live in a Holy Bubble that kept Him safe from all temptation. He endured the temptation. That means that He had the choice to look twice and didn’t. That means He could have cheated to get what He wanted, but didn’t (wasn’t that part of Satan’s three tries in the widerness?). He could have lashed out in anger at the ignorance of the disciples for their failure to understand His intentions time after time…but He didn’t.
I know I’m always praying for temptation to be removed from me, but why should I be any better than Jesus? If He endured it, why shouldn’t I? I’m learning that it’s in those moments of temptation that my true character is revealed. Will I act, at that moment, like Jesus? Or will I act like the old man I was before I knew Him?