Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (Hebrews 2:18)
When was the last time the truth of today’s verse seized you? Perhaps if you commit it to memory, it will do just that the next time you are tempted. To know that our Lord Jesus was tempted in every way and yet did not yield should provide great encouragement to us.
Every sin we are tempted to engage in also sought to tempt Jesus. We must never dissociate our Lord from the difficulties of daily living. Yes, He was fully God, but when Jesus took on flesh, He took on our personhood, and He willingly went through everything we will go through . . . yet He never once gave the devil a foothold.
Whatever battle the devil has waged against you this day, fear not! Jesus went toe-to-toe with the serpent and conquered every one of his temptations, and He left a blood-stained cross behind as a testimonial to this truth. The atoning sacrifice that was made for all God’s people had to be perfect . . . spotless . . . without blemish, and the Resurrection is proof positive that this was the case. Truth was tempted, just like we are . . . but He never gave in to it!
It’s important to remember that Jesus did not live His life on this earth in His power as the second person of the Trinity. No, He laid that power down and lived in the power of the third person, the Holy Spirit. And Christian, that very same power is available to you and me this day, moment by moment.
Think about it this way: if Jesus had conquered the devil’s temptations in His own power, how much encouragement that would bring to us? Wouldn’t we expect Jesus, the Son of God, to defeat the devil? But when we realize that Jesus lived His life in the power of the Holy Spirit, we should find tremendous encouragement and hope . . . and a model for living our own lives.
We are all tempted, but being tempted is not a sin. Today’s verse tells us that Jesus did not sin, yet He was tempted in every way, just as we are. It is sin, however, when we yield to temptation. So regardless of where this message finds you today, remember that when the devil comes knocking, you do not have to answer the door! You have the same power in you to say “Away from me, Satan!” that Jesus had. Resist the devil, in the power of the Spirit of God, and he will flee from you (James 4:7).
One last thing to consider: you can look upon whatever is tempting you as an exhortation to run to Jesus, who understands exactly what you are going through. To be sure, when we say NO to the devil and YES to Christ, temptation is a sanctifying wind that blows us into the arms of our Lord. May that truth set all of us free!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!