Jesus and Temptation

Hello everyone. Welcome back to Deeper Waters. I ask for your continued prayers with a situation I’ve been working on for awhile. God knows the need. I also ask for prayers in another situation as I have recently seen the need for me to be a far better man than I have been and learn some lessons that I never really sat down to take the time to learn. I ask that my readers pray for me in this. Let it always be kept in mind as I would think regular readers respect me. Even teachers you respect need prayer. We can often be put on pedestals, but if we are cut, we will bleed the same way. Tonight, we’ll be continuing the book of James and looking at verses 13-15 of the first chapter:

13When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

I have lost track of how many times I have seen someone use this passage to argue against the deity of Jesus. The idea is that God cannot be tempted. However, Jesus was tempted. Since Jesus was tempted, then Jesus is not God.

There are arguments that have been raised to question the Trinity that are good arguments. I don’t think they’re valid, but they’re good arguments that raise points that we need to answer. Unfortunately, this is not one of them. If someone raises this one, it shows a lack of understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity.

Consider the case of the one who makes the argument that God doesn’t sleep but Jesus was asleep on the boat. The same principle applies. Jesus slept in his humanity, but his existence as deity never ceased. He was still fully God even while his human nature was asleep. Do we really understand that? No. It’s not a contradiction however.

This is a different case however. James is talking about the desires that war within us tempting us. In other words, he is talking about temptation that is coming from within and not from without. After all, take a look at what he says.

James tell us that each person is tempted by his own evil desire. The problem is that we are sinners and because we are sinners, we have this internal war waging within us where we want something that we ought not to have or something that we ought not to have at that point in time.

Jesus, however, did not have a sinful nature and so was not subject to that. Was he tempted in other ways? He was tempted from without and not from within.

Note also that the same word is used to describe God being tempted however in the Old Testament, in a passage such as Psalm 106:14. Of course, God could not give in to temptation, but the passages teach of how God was tried by his people when they were in the wilderness. Once again, the argument falls short here as well.

In conclusion, we have another supposed anti-Trinitarian prooftext that is anything but. Perchance we should look more for the struggle with our own temptations instead of trying to impugn Christ with this one.


Support Deeper Waters on Patreon!