Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
To what extent was Jesus in His incarnation tempted like as we are, from within? We cannot dare to go beyond what the Bible says. But neither do we dare to deny or come short of what it says regarding our Lord's experience with our temptations. What Scripture does say clearly is: "We have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin" (Heb. 4:15; the double negatives mean a firm positive). We dare not say that there are some temptations we must endure which Jesus never had to meet!
The word "all points" in Hebrews 4:15 is a Greek term that means exactly that--"all." "Infirmities" is the word that means "weaknesses." And the word "like as" in the Greek means "identically," not merely in a similar way.
Only one conclusion seems possible: In His incarnation, Christ had to endure every temptation that we have to meet. Some object, "Was He tempted to watch TV? Eat ice cream? Drink vodka? These things were not invented in His day!" The answer has to be yes, He was tempted in principle. He had to meet the temptations of appetite as must we, and also of sensuality as must we. Hebrews 2:18 in the Greek clearly implies that only "in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted." If we can find some temptation to sin that He never had to meet, in that respect we do not have a Savior from that sin!
His temptations on His cross were certainly from within: His cry, "Why hast Thou forsaken Me?" was from deep within His soul. We must accept the Good News that indeed Christ is a Savior from sin. We can come "boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in [every] time of need" (Heb. 4:16).
All I can do is encourage you to believe how good the Good News is.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: January 9, 2000.
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