Was Jesus Tempted?
A. TEACHING THAT JESUS WAS NOT TEMPTED AS WE.
1. "Our Lord was not tempted, he was not tempted. Just because it says you're
tempted doesn't mean that you're tempted." - Farley Lainhart, 12/10/95
2. "In view of Jas. 1:13-15, was Jesus tempted like we are in every way? ...Was
there any lust in Jesus by which he could be drawn away? ...Such is contrary
to the very character of Jesus." PREACHER #2, GA, March, 1991.
3. While it is admitted that the devil made an attempt to get Jesus to sin, and in
that sense Jesus was tempted, it is argued that there was no internal
component to his temptation, nothing to which the devil could appeal, in
tempting him"( John 14:30 ).
B. WHEN JESUS WAS TEMPTED, WAS HE TEMPTED? HOW DID HE OVERCOME,
AND WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH US?
A. ERROR DERIVED FROM WRESTING 1 John 1:6-7.
B. PREACHER #1: Every sin must be confessed repented of.
1. Man can live his entire life without sin, he just doesn't do it.
2. Jesus, being a man proved that it could be done( Heb. 2:17-18; 4:15 ).
3. James 1:13-15. God cannot be tempted,
Jesus was tempted.
Therefore, Jesus was stripped of deity( Phil. 2:6-8 ).
C. PREACHER #2: Must confess and repent as best we can and trust God to forgive.
1. James 1:13-15. God cannot be tempted.
Jesus was and is unchangeable in his deity( Col. 2:9 ).
Jesus wasn't really tempted.
2. "Lust," epithumia-"desire, craving, longing, desire for what is forbidden,
lust"( Thayer ). Lust is narrowly defined as "evil desire." It cannot be said
of Jesus that he possessed any evil desire, therefore, this passage can't apply.
3. PREACHER #2a: "James 1:13-14 does not fit the righteous man, whose will is
to do the will of God." ( GA, Jan. 1993, pg. 8 ).
D. OUR QUESTION REVOLVES AROUND JESUS' TEMPTATION.
1. No debate on his deity( Col. 2:9; Phil. 2:5-8 ). We do what he did, still men.
2. Did Jesus have an advantage over us in temptation?
3. Was there an internal component?
4. Can we find solace in his temptation? An example and encouragement?
A. IS "LUST" IN THIS PASSAGE "EVIL DESIRE?"
1. "Lust," epithumia-"desire, craving, longing, desire for what is forbidden, lust"
( Thayer ).
2. Argued that it is used in a good sense only 3 times
( Luke 22:15; 1 Thes. 2:17; Phil 1:23 ). Stresses our English word.
3. Vine's Definition: "epithumia denotes "strong desire" of any kind, the
various kinds being frequently specified by some adjective (see below). The word is
used of a good desire in Luke 22:15; Phil. 1:23; 1 Thes. 2:17 only. Everywhere
else it has a bad sense. In Rom. 6:12 the injunction against letting sin reign in our
mortal body to obey the "lust" thereof, refers to those evil desires which are ready to
express themselves in bodily activity. They are equally the "lusts" of the flesh,
( Rom. 13:14; Gal. 5:16,24; Eph. 2:3; 2 Pet. 2:18; 1 John 2:16 ), a phrase which
describes the emotions of the soul, the natural tendency towards things evil. Such
"lusts" are not necessarily base and immoral, they may be refined in
character, but are evil if inconsistent with the will of God."
4. The verb form of the word is a different story. 10 times out of 18 this word is used in
a positive or neutral way( Matt 13:17; Luke 15:16; Luke 16:21; Luke 17:22;
Luke 22:15; Gal 5:17; 1 Tim 3:1; Heb 6:11; 1 Pet 1:12; Rev 9:6 ).
5. It's clear that epithumia is not evil desire, but "strong desire" of any kind. The
context determines how we view epithumia in each case. They can be for evil
B. WHAT KIND OF LUSTS ARE IN James 1?
1. In context, James discusses trials and temptation Christians must endure.
a. We rejoice in their fruit( vs. 2-4 ).
b. Victory is in dependence on God for wisdom( vs. 5-8 ).
c. Pride is poison in temptation( vs. 9-11 ).
d. There is blessing in enduring( vs. 12 ).
e. This man has lusts! This man endures temptation! Same word, noun form!
2. When does man sin? Is he a sinner by virtue of temptation? If "lust" is evil
desire, he is evil and corrupt before he is tempted. Lust of James 1:13-15
does not become evil until it somehow conceives.
3. If Jesus doesn't fit in James 1:13-15, it is not because he could not have evil desire,
because that is not what epithumia is.
A. LUSTS ARE A PART OF HUMAN NATURE.
1. "The word 'lust' in this place (epithumia), is not employed here in the narrow sense
in which it is now commonly used... It means desire in general; an earnest wish for
any thing . . . It seems here to be used with reference to the original propensities of
our nature--the desires implanted in us, which are a stimulus to employment--as the
desire of knowledge, of food, of power, of sensual gratifications; and the idea is,
that a man may be drawn along by these beyond the prescribed limits
of indulgence, and in the pursuit of objects that are forbidden. He does
not stop at the point at which the law requires him to stop,... The original
propensity may not be wrong, ... Nay, it may furnish a most desirable stimulus
to action... The error, the fault, the sin, is, not restraining the indulgence where we
are commanded to do it, either in regard to the objects sought, or in regard to the
degree of indulgence" (Albert Barnes, Barnes Note's On The Old & New
Testaments, James, Peter, John, And Jude, p. 25).
2. Our lust are part of our creation, they can be fulfilled in accord with God's will
( 1 Cor. 7:2; Heb. 13:4; Luke 16:21; 1 Tim. 3:1 ).
B. LUSTS CAN AND MUST BE CONTROLLED.
1. Gal. 5:16-18. Opposing lusts, the flesh vs. the Spirit.
2. 1 Cor.9:25-27. Self-control in all things.(Titus 2:2; Rom. 8:12-13; Col.3:5 ).
C. LUSTS CAN BECOME SINFUL. WHEN?
1. Sin occurs not when lust is had, or even appealed to. When it conceives. Otherwise
temptation would follow sin, be sin, as well as precede.
2. When they rule in our actions( Rom. 6:12 ).
3. When they cause a disregard of God's law( Gal. 5:17; Rom. 7:19-23 ).
4. When they find as their object that which is unlawful
( Mat.5:28; 1Cor.10:6 ).
A. JESUS HAD epithumia, LUST( Luke 22:15 ).
1. PREACHER #2: It is in the inherent nature of the human body that we are subject
to temptations of many kinds. Such temptations may come as appeals to channel
healthy, lawful emotions into ungodly actions, such as sexual perversions...
in the form of persecutions and hardships that try our faith.... from nothing more than
great physical hunger. ( 1 John 2;15-17 ). Satan tested Jesus in much the
same way as Eve, though on a greater scale... Satan attacked him through his
physical hunger. ( Matt. 4 ). epithumia.
2. PREACHER #2a: Jesus had the normal appetites of the body, which the devil
tried to exploit. He was hungry and the devil called upon his deity to satisfy the
hunger... Jesus had every desire of the body.
3. Heb. 2:17; Matt. 4:1-2; Mark 14:33. Jesus suffered & was tempted in the Garden
ekthambeo-"to throw into terror or amazement to alarm thoroughly, to terrify
ademoneo-"to be troubled, great distress or anguish, depressed.
B. WHAT ABOUT vs. 13, GOD CANNOT BE TEMPTED WITH EVIL(Heb. 3:9 ).
1. PREACHER #2a: "...it was Jesus's will to do the Father's will, and by it
overcame every temptation, even the trial of death itself. ( Mat. 26:39-44 ) He
repeatedly prayed, '"Not my will, but thine.' Jesus was tried, and as a result He
suffered, but His will was only to obey the Father( Heb. 5:8-9 ). Jesus never sinned"
2. 1 Pet. 2:21-23. Commitment to do God's will made sin unattractive. Jesus
overcame temptation through his character and commitment. That is the edge Jesus
had in temptation.
C. 1 Cor. 10:13; Heb. 2:17-18; 4:15. HE WAS TEMPTED AS WE ARE.
A. WE ARE ASSURED OF HIS CARE FOR US( Heb. 2:18; 4:15-16 ).
B. HE SERVES AN EXAMPLE IN OVERCOMING( 1 Cor. 10:13 ).
1. He shows us what to do( Matt. 4:4, 7, 10 ).
a. Exercise your faith( Rom. 10:17 ).
b. That is our shield( Eph. 6:16 ).
2. An example of character( 1 John 3:3; Rom. 12:9 ).
3. An example of commitment( 1 Pet. 2:23; 4:19 ).
4. An example of work( John 9:4 ).
5. An example of patience and hope( Heb. 12:1-2 ).
A. JESUS WAS TEMPTED, THE SAME PROCESS WE MUST ENDURE.
1. Jesus had strong desires.
2. He was attacked through those desires.
B. JESUS GAVE NO PLACE TO THE DEVIL.
C. HE LEFT AN EXAMPLE FOR US TO FOLLOW.