January 5

Bible Reading: Matthew 4

Sin and temptation are unavoidable realities.  Even if you were to fly away to live alone on a deserted island, you’d still face temptation, and you’d still sin, for you’d go with you.  John MacArthur has commented on this reality:

“Since the Fall in the Garden of Eden, temptation has been a constant, unrelenting part of human life. Men have tried to avoid and resist it with self-inflicted pain to make themselves uncomfortable and presumably humble, or by isolating themselves from other people and from physical comforts. But no person has ever found a place or a circumstance that can make him safe from temptation.”

John MacArthur

There’s been no one except for Jesus who has been tempted in all ways as we all are, yet without sin. The first event recorded by Matthew after Jesus’ baptism is His temptation. He was “led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. And the temper came…” (Matthew 4:1-3). Three times He was tempted. Three times He responded quoting Scripture. Through it all, He never sinned.

Jesus never sinned.  Not then, not ever.  He “knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21).  He never thought a sinful thought, never did a sinful deed, never said a sinful word (1 Peter 2:22; Hebrews 4:15).  He perfectly fulfilled the Father’s will in every respect.  Never before or since has there been anyone like Him.  The Devil tempted Adam and Eve and they sinned.  Sin entered into man’s existence and every other soul born since has sinned (Romans 3:23).  But Jesus never sinned.   O Blessed truth!

Jesus knew no sin—He never sinned.  He was therefore qualified to be offered up as a substitutionary sacrifice for us as a “lamb unblemished and spotless” (1 Peter 1:19).  On the basis of His death and resurrection, He has availed to the believer a salvation from sin in every respect—freedom from its penalty, power, and—in heaven—its presence.

“He was tempted in all things as we are” (Hebrews 4:16).  Yet He never sinned.  He is therefore able to “sympathize with our weaknesses” and “come to our aid” (Hebrews 2:18). 

“Jesus knows all about struggles, He will guide till the day is done; There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus—no not one!  No, not one!”

Johnson Oatman

Jesus was tempted with the temptations that are “common to man” (1 Corinthians 10:13) — “the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life” (1 John 2:16; Genesis 3:6).  But He, the Word, responded with the word (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10).  In this respect, He has provided for us a great example.  It is as the Word, the sword of the Spirit, is treasured in our hearts, that victory over sin is assured (Psalm 119:11; Ephesians 6:17).  Indeed, the “young men” of First John were commended because they were strong and overcame the evil one.  How were they made strong?  The Word of God abided in them (1 John 2:14; Colossians 3:16).

How precious to know that in this world where sin is an ever-present reality—and terrible and tenacious enemy—there is One who never sinned and indeed won the victory over our great foe (1 Corinthians 15:55-57).  “Wretched man that I am!  Who will set me free from the body of this death?  Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24-25).

The One who never sinned, and died for sins, is well able to come to the aid of those who are tempted to sin.

I am weak but Thou art strong;
Jesus, keep me from all wrong;
I’ll be satisfied as long
As I walk, let me walk close to Thee.

Just a closer walk with Thee,
Grant it, Jesus, is my plea,
Daily walking close to Thee,
Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.

Author: looking2jesus13

Having served as pastor at Lewis and Clark Bible Church, in Astoria, Oregon, for almost three decades, my wife’s cancer diagnosis led to my retirement and subsequent move to Heppner to be near our two grandchildren. I divide my time between caring for Laura and working as a part time hospice chaplain and spending time with family and spoiling my chocolate lab.

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