Jesus temptatation by Satan...a JW conumdrum

by logansrun 6 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • logansrun

    Some liberal Christians view the charachter of Satan as being a symbol for the evil within humans which tempts us all. The JWs will often point to Jesus being tempted by Satan as being proof that this is an unreasonable explanation since "Jesus was perfect and he could not have evil thoughts in him." Now this raises a conumdrum for a similar, but related matter.

    Just what can a perfect person do or not do when it comes to "sinful" thoughts? The above explanation, oft quoted by JWs, makes it appear as if a perfect being cannot even be tempted by wicked thoughts which arise in oneself, in fact, they would not have any such cognition. Okay, so how could sin start at all? If it is not even possible for a perfect being to think sinful thoughts, how does one eventually sin? Also, is it a temptation if you do not actually desire what is put before you (hence, a wrong thought)?

    Expanding this further (this could go on forever!), what about those who are brought to heaven from the earth, according to the JW understanding? They say that they will inherit immortality (literally "deathlessness") which of necessity means not even being able to sin. So do they no longer have free will? Why not just create beings with this "deathless, sinless" state from the beginning?

    Oh, I see I've strayed far off topic, forgive me. But it does lead to a lot of knotty problems, doesn't it?


  • artful

    Some very interesting comments here Bradley! If the JW's teach that because of Jesus' perfect state he did not have any "evil thoughts" in him to cause him to sin, then by extension they would have to teach that Adam was also not capable of sin. I think one example of an "evil" or sinful thought by Jesus (assuming that an "evil thought" is something that goes against God's will) would be his prayer for his Father to "allow this cup to pass" from him. This thought originated with Jesus and was obviously not something that was in line with God's will.

    Since there was a temptation of Christ by Satan then by definition Jesus must have had free will and the possibility to succumb to this temptation - whether it originated within him or externally. If there was no possibility of Jesus succumbing to any temptation (because he was perfect) then Satan's offer could not really be considered a temptation at all. I would suggest that they very fact something could tempt Jesus indicates that it is possible for a "perfect" being to entertain evil thoughts and therefore sin.

    Good point about free will. I have often wondered how a perfect "utopian" society could exist as long as there is free will. Because as long as we have free will there is the possibility of sin. However, the Bible does speak about those raised in the Kingdom of God as being not just "immortal" (which by definition does not indicate that one is it not "capable" of sin - but rather refers to being exempt from death), but also "incorruptible" - which by definition does mean that they are not capable of sin. This leads to another very interesting question...does being "incorruptible" (and therefore sinless) mean that one must give up their free will?

    Also, there is the question of why didn't God just create all of us "immortal" and "incorruptible" in the first place?! Not that I necessarily buy into this, but some have suggested that after suffering and proving our ourselves to God in an imperfect form, we would then "fully" appreciate a perfect incorruptible state when we receive it as our reward.

    Cheers Artful

  • archangel01

    I think angels have to have freewill like us however when an angel sins they don't grow old an die like us because they have different bodies. Satan had to raise a question that would not kill him right away or maybe he throught he/was right ( which he isn't) then he can never be killed because that would be unjust and raise even more Q's about God's divine rightness to rule everything.So God send he only son to free mankind and answer that Q that was raised in the Garden of eden " that humans or anyone for that matter don't need God to rule them or help them". Satan didn't know or think that God would manifest himself in the flesh to prove him wrong an to free mankind and then resurr. himself. Then once mankind is made perfect again then satan is let out to see if he can miss lead them "ALL" but God knows the beginning from the end and he already looked into the future and knows that he doesn't miss lead ALL but only SOME. Therefore satan is proven wrong because he couldn't turn ALL away.So since he is now proven wrong God has the just right to kill him an all his followers......THE END. This is really deep but it all makes sense you see GOD has to get mankind out of sin FIRST before satan can give mankind of perfect humans that final test. So in the end mankind is out of sin and is perfect, satan is proven wrong, evil is done away with, and all is well and back to the way God wanted things from the get go with no problems whatsoever.

  • Navigator

    A more reasonable explanation is that the Hindus have it right. IT'S ALL ILLUSION!

  • Sherwood

    Luke 18:18-20 18 And a certain ruler questioned him, saying: "Good Teacher, by doing what shall I inherit everlasting life?" 19 Jesus said to him: "Why do you call me good? Nobody is good, except one, God. 20 You know the commandments, . . . .

    Jesus said he was not the Source of what is Good - Perfect, Righteous, but rather is what his Father, Jehovah God.


  • herk

    This is the WT teaching on whether Jesus was capable of sin or even of wrong thinking:

    Like Adam, Jesus as a man was a free moral agent. A perfect human is not without freedom of choice--either to be faithful or unfaithful. Jesus spoke of his own will, and voluntarily submitted himself to his Father's will. Jesus could have submitted to the Devil as Adam did, but he chose not to do so. -- Paraphrased from Insight on the Scriptures, vol. 2, page 68, 166-7, 868; 5/1/86 Watchtower, page 11.

  • Faraon

    Jesus spoke of his own will, and voluntarily submitted himself to his Father's will

    Ok, but if you submit your will to another's will, then you cease to have free will from that point on.

    Just like when you baptize into the Borg. You cease to have your will because you must do as they tell you.

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