Heb 4 15 Jesus Was Tempted CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Heb 4:15 says that Jesus Christ “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Jesus is God manifest in the flesh. As such, how is it that he could have been tempted, since “God cannot be tempted with evil,” (Jas 1:13)? The answer is that he was tempted in the flesh as a man.
The Bible is not a contradictory book but it has in it apparent contradictions. It seems to be a contradiction that Jesus is God, on the one hand, and yet that he could be tempted, on the other hand, when God cannot be tempted according to James 1:13. Well, the only explanation is that he was tempted as a man and not as God.
You see Jesus was both God and man (Phil 2:5-7). He is both the Son of God (Jn 5:18-19) and the Son of Man (Matt 8:19-20). 1 Tim 3:16 says, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” He was simultaneously God Almighty (Jn 1:1; 1 Jn 5:20, Heb 1:8) and a fleshly human being, born of Mary (Matt 1:23-25). Admittedly this is a great mystery. This mystery is not hard to believe; it’s just real hard to comprehend.
As God, Jesus could not have been tempted (Jas 1:13), he would not have slept (2 Chr 6:20), he would not have thirsted or hungered or experienced weariness (Is 40:28) or any other limitation that we ordinarily experience as humans. As a man, however, Jesus went through all of these things. He hungered (Matt 4:2), he thirsted (Jn 4:7), he was weary (Jn 4:6), and he slept (Matt 8:24).
According to Phil 2:6-8, Jesus was “found in fashion as a man.” And it was as a man that he “became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Certainly, God could not have died; for he is everlasting (Is 40:28).
Thus, the temptation of Jesus was the temptation of “the man Christ Jesus,” (1 Tim 2:5). He “suffered being tempted,” (Heb 2:18) with the same temptations that we go through. He was tempted with the lust of the flesh (1 Jn 2:16; Matt 4:3), he was tempted with the lust of the eyes (1 Jn 2:16; Matt 4:8), and he was tempted with the pride of life (1 Jn 2:16; Matt 4:6). Therefore, he was literally “in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin,” (Heb 4:15).
The beauty of this is that we do have a High Priest who has been touched with the feeling of our infirmity and who understands precisely what we are going through when we are tempted. He can, in fact, help us (Heb 2:18). He is living inside of us with the same strength he had when he was living here in his own flesh. We can come boldly to him for mercy and grace in time of need (Heb 4:16). We can yield to him because he is alive inside of us (Gal 2:20). By yielding to him we don’t have to let sin reign in our mortal bodies and have dominion over us (Rom 6:12-18). We have his way to help us fight the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.