If God cannot be tempted with evil, then why was Jesus tempted by the devil in the wilderness? Isn’t it true that He couldn’t sin? If He couldn’t sin, then how could He be tempted? Was it to prove His sinlessness? Did it earn Him a higher place in Heaven? How was this event in Jesus’ life part of God’s ultimate purpose for Him?
I believe the reason behind Christ’s temptation is very simple: Christ was tempted so He might know our pain when we are tempted . . . to put our good above God’s best, to doubt God’s ability to take care of us, to draw attention to ourselves, to go out of God’s will just to see if He will protect us, to compromise so we can have what we want, and to put the things we want over God.
The Bible says Jesus was “in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” We can take comfort in these words because they remind us that He can relate to our struggles. He’s not some impersonal being in the clouds who is sleeping through our storms. He’s right there in the boat with us. We can come boldly before Him in prayer with our toughest challenges and expect Him to give us just enough grace to meet our needs.
Maybe you struggle with lust. Your wandering eyes and thoughts will never be satisfied until they are centered upon the pure face of Jesus — He experienced a similar temptation and triumphed. You might have difficulty waiting on God. Take your impatience before the Lord, and He will strengthen your heart — He faced this temptation and overcame. It could be that your pride causes you to crave the limelight. Jesus was tempted with this sin, too — but He had victory over it. For every temptation, there is mercy and grace to overcome. Christ tasted temptation so you wouldn’t have to swallow it. He wants you to win; just go to Him for help.
Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder