Section 4: Jesus
Week 1: Jesus Is Fully Human
Day 4: Even Though He Is Fully Human, Jesus Is Sinless
Jesus never sinned (2 Cor. 5:21, Heb. 4:15). That is an amazing truth. Especially when you consider the fact that, as we’ve already seen, Jesus has a human body, human emotions, and a human mind. Those things lead you and me into countless sins. So how did Jesus remain sinless?
We’ll talk about this more next week, but Jesus possessed a divine nature as well as a human one. Does that explain his sinlessness? Whenever there was a danger of sin, did Jesus’ divine nature step in and prevent it? Certainly Jesus’ divine nature was capable of that. But Jesus came here to serve as our representative. To do that, he had to be one of us. You and I don’t possess a divine nature that keeps us from sin. So how representative would it have been if Jesus had relied on his divine nature in order to obey God throughout his life? Not very. That’s why many theologians argue Jesus had to live his life primarily in reliance on his human nature, even when it came to resisting temptation.
How was Jesus able to remain sinless if he had to rely on his human nature? Maybe he was never tempted. God could have providentially arranged Jesus’ life in such a way that he never encountered anything he would have found tempting. The Bible, however, says Jesus was tempted just like you and me (Heb. 4:15). It’s true Jesus wasn’t born with a sinful nature. As a result, he didn’t desire anything that was inherently sinful. But he did have desires and those desires formed the basis of his temptations because they exerted a pull on him.
For example, yesterday we briefly looked at Luke 4:1-14, which recounts Jesus’ temptation in the desert. Because he had been fasting for forty days, Jesus desperately wanted to eat. That desire is where the temptation came in. Although there is nothing inherently wrong with eating, God told him to fast. He wanted to obey God, but he also wanted to eat. So he had to make a choice. And he chose to obey God. To do that, he had to resist the desire that tempted him to eat.
Jesus’ temptation is a reminder that the key to obeying God isn’t the elimination of our desires. Because we’re human, we have desires. Hopefully, as the Holy Spirit works within us, our desires will change over time and we will desire fewer inherently sinful things. Even so, we will inevitably face conflicting desires, just a Jesus did. And those desires will exert a pull on us. That means obedience will always require resistance. Because we’re human, our desires won’t magically disappear.
In what way do desires for other things compete with your desire to obey God? Would it be easier to obey God if those desires magically disappeared? Do you think that will happen? Did it happen for Jesus?
List two or three desires that most often tempt you to disobey God, and one or two things that will help you resist them.