Jesus understands not only what it’s like to be human; He also understands as one who is fully human what it’s like to be tested, tried, and tempted. Many wrongfully conclude that because He is also fully God that Jesus doesn’t really grasp the struggle we go through when temptation comes.
I look at this from a completely opposite perspective. Because we are so much weaker than Jesus, I don’t believe the intensity of our tests and temptations are near to the degree that His were. In other words, God not only shields us from the worst of the enemy’s attacks but the devil’s less intense attacks upon our souls are enough for us to deal with. I do not believe any of us have received Satan’s strongest or best hit. However, because of who He is, I believe Jesus took all that Satan and the demonic realm could throw against Him and He stood tall through it all! He took the devil’s best shot and He withstood it triumphantly. Because of this, Jesus actually knows a level or degree of temptation that you and I will never experience. Yet, in spite of Satan’s best attempt against Jesus, He remained without sin.
Christ’s sinlessness doesn’t make Him less sensitive to our need but more so. Sin hardens our hearts and makes us less sensitive, empathetic, and sympathetic. The fact that Jesus Christ experienced every temptation common to man, and even more than this in His lifetime and yet did not yield to sin in His humanity should encourage our heart. As we face temptation, Jesus not only understands, but is the One above all others who can and will enable us to withstand the temptation. The Bible would not command us to “resist the devil” (James 4:7) if it were not possible for us to do so.
No wonder the author later on in this letter writes these words, “so He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them” (Hebrews 7:25).
Temptation becomes more prevalent and pressing when we’re going through seasons of adversity and hardship. We’re looking for quick fixes, easy ways out, and temporary relief no matter the spiritual sacrifice. Be alert to the attacks of the enemy especially when we are more vulnerable. Isn’t this why we see the devil approach Jesus after He had been in the wilderness fasting and praying for 40 days?
Jesus is uniquely qualified to sympathize and support us in our struggle against sin and temptation. Jesus, Himself, will give us a confidence like no other as we face every challenge that life brings our way. Let Jesus inspire your faith today!