WAS JESUS REALLY TEMPTED?
By Juan Baixeras
Of course he was. We are all familiar with the temptation of Jesus, but have most of us noticed how the temptation of Jesus makes the trinity an absurd impossibility. Let’s take a look at it in depth.
"Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil."
"For God cannot be tempted by evil."
First, we see that Jesus is led by the Spirit into the desert. The Doctrine of the Trinity says that the three persons of the trinity are equal. If Jesus and the Holy Spirit are the same being and are equal, why does Jesus have to be led into the desert? Does the Spirit know something that Jesus does not?
Secondly, we see the most obvious, Jesus is tempted, yet James clearly says that God cannot be tempted. So is James a liar, or are the man made creeds in error?
"If you are the Son of God throw yourself down, For it is written: He will command His angels concerning you, and with their hands they will support you...Jesus answered him, Again it is written, You shall not put the Lord, your God to the test."
Notice that the devil calls him the Son of God not God. Satan knows God (read Job 1:6) yet he does not address Jesus as God but as the Son of God. Then Satan talks to Jesus about how God will save him if he jumps down. Jesus replies by saying, "You shall not put the Lord, your God to the test." Do you really believe that Jesus is referring to himself?
"Then the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence, and he said to him, All these I will give to you if you will prostrate yourself and worship me." At this Jesus said to him, "Get away Satan! It is written: The Lord, your God, shall you worship and Him alone shall you serve."
Why would the devil offer God things that are already His? Psalm 24:1 says:
"The earth is the LORD's and all it holds, the world and those who live there."
Even harder to believe is the idea that the devil really expected God to worship him so that he could give God what is His already. This is ridiculous. Then Jesus replies by saying, "The Lord, your God, shall you worship and Him alone shall you serve." Can you honestly read this and believe that Jesus is talking about himself?
The temptation episode is written to show us how Jesus put his faith in God in front of everything, especially the desires of the flesh (i.e. hunger, power). It shows us that it is possible to live a life in perfect accordance to God’s will. He is our role model. This is why he was made just like us. The Bible says that he was made like us in every way. Hebrews 2:17 says:
"For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God."
(above) Jesus is going to serve God? I thought he was God? Back to Hebrews, Jesus is made in every way like his brothers. Well, then either Jesus is not God but His anointed, or I am God also.
If Jesus is God, then this whole temptation episode is a farce. God cannot expect me to live up to Jesus' standards like the Bible says I should when I am not a Godman like Jesus. The whole purpose of this episode was for Jesus to set the standard, the example of faith and conduct for us to follow. If it takes being God to accomplish this then why even bother?
The creeds say that Jesus was tempted but cannot sin. If you cannot sin, are you really being tempted? The dual nature idea does not remedy the problem either because the Chalcedon Creed which is the one that says that Jesus is fully God and fully man also says that the dual natures are not separable, they are indivisible, united at all times. By the way, this idea of dual natures is called Dualism and it comes from Greek philosophy.
Dualism - The view that reality may be divided into two essential forces. There are two forms of this understanding. From a cosmic perspective, the world struggles between two opposing forces - typically, one of evil and one of good. From a philosophical approach, the essence of a person is divided between two incompatible natures - that of the body and that of the soul. Early Christianity incorporated both views from those religions and philosophies with which it came in contact. This is the same concept used not only in Greek philosophy, but also in Greek mythology. Hercules is the son of Zeus and the mortal Alcmene. He had a dual nature, he was a man that had supernatural strength which he had inherited from his father Zeus. The Pharaohs were godmen and so were the Caesars. The Bible even provides us with an example of this belief in Acts 14:11 when God healed a crippled man through Paul and Barnabas:
"When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they cried out in Lycaonian, "The gods have come down to us in human form."
This idea of gods coming in human form was very prevalent throughout the Roman-Greco world. This is why it was so natural for people educated in Greek philosophies to incorporate this idea into Christianity.
Please read the Bible without injecting meanings that were never intended by its author.
God bless you, and may He always show you the way.