Hey Church! Here’s the blog entry that I mentioned this past Sunday. This entry is to fill in those sections that we did not cover. 2 Pictures of Jesus and 2 common questions. Thanks!
The first picture is that KING JESUS IS THE NEW MAN.
Jesus is fully human. The fact that Jesus is 100% God and 100% human is a mystery. It’s hard to explain, but the Bible tells us that this is the truth. Jesus had to be fully man in order to fully identify with us. A lot of times in the New Testament, like the letter of Romans, for instance, we see the phrase, “the Old Adam and the New Adam.” The Old Adam is a reference to Adam, the first of God’s creation. He’s the reference to our old self, the flesh, and original sin. Back in the garden, Adam and Eve were both tempted to eat food apart from God’s will. Adam failed that temptation, even in the best conditions: no sin, no corruption or decay. Adam knew no sin, but failed. Now Jesus, fully man and fully God, is the new Adam, the New Man, and He’s going to be tempted just like Adam to eat food apart from God’s will. But where Adam failed, Jesus succeeds. Death was the result of Adam’s sin, but Jesus’ suffering and temptation will enable King Jesus to save us, redeem us, reconcile us and give us life. King Jesus is the new man.
The second picture is that KING JESUS IS THE TRUE SON.
This picture is a parallel between Israel and Jesus. In Exodus 4:22-23, God says directly, “Israel is My firstborn son. I told you: Let my son go that he may worship me.” It’s “Son” language. Hosea 11:1 says “Out of Egypt I called my Son.” Who was in Egypt? Israel and Jesus. How many years did Israel wander in the wilderness? 40 years. Jesus is now tempted in the wilderness for 40 days. We will even see that the Scripture that Jesus used to fight off temptation was out of Deuteronomy, which speaks of Israel’s wandering and testing in the wilderness. Again, where Israel failed, Jesus will succeed. Israel was called to be a blessing to all the nations. It was to be through Israel that people could engage and encounter God. But they failed. Jesus did not.
Not only that, two of Jesus’ temptations hit directly at Him being God’s Son. This is important to understand and to know.
King Jesus is the New man and where Adam failed, Jesus did not. King Jesus is the true Son and where Israel failed, Jesus did not.
Alright, let’s read 4:1-2 again…
At this point, there maybe some of you who are asking one of these two questions…
Does God tempt us?
Could Jesus have sinned?
Let me answer those two questions briefly…
Does God tempt us? No. James writes in 1:13-15:
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
But doesn’t the text say that the Holy Spirit led Jesus to be tempted? It looks that way at first, but the answer is NO. We can only be tempted by Satan and his kingdom, and our own sinful nature. Only they tempt us to evil. God can not do that. It’s against his nature. However, even their tempting is ultimately under the Sovereign control of God. Nothing happens in the universe apart from the Sovereignty of God. We see this being played out in the book of Job in the Old Testament. Satan had to appear before God and the story tells us that God allows Satan to tempt Job (Job 1:6-2:8). This is a mystery, no doubt. A tension to be managed, not necessarily solved.
But if we look at the flip side to Satan’s temptations, we discover that we are tested by God, who is Sovereign, for our good. The word temptation itself can mean test as well. So, think of it this way, When Satan tempts, he intends for evil, but God uses temptations to refine us as His children and to teach us His faithfulness.
Like with Joseph in the Old Testament, what others meant for evil, God meant it for good.
Now the interesting question, could Jesus have sinned?
Some people read this temptation account and write it off because they are like, no big deal, He’s God anyways…
But make no mistake about it, these temptations were real and hard for Jesus. We need to understand that Jesus was fully Human, not 85% human…but 100% human. Often times as Christians, we act as functional Gnostic, only believing in God’s deity.That’s simply not Jesus. Jesus is 100% human and 100% God. Hebrews tells us that Jesus was tempted as we are, and in 1 Cor. 10:13 it says that he was tempted with things that are common to you and I.
But if God can’t be tempted by evil and Jesus is 100% God and yet 100% man, what does this mean? Think of it this way, ask yourself the question: Think of the person you love the most in this world and now ask yourself, “Could you murder that person?” Please say no. The right response is absolutely not! Because what you are saying is that you don’t have the MORAL CAPABILITY to murder that person, but functionally could you? Physically? Even though it’s unfathomable that you would, it would be physically possible. Even so with Jesus, in his deity, the light of the world in whom there is no darkness, could not have sinned. He is morally incapable of such an action. Yet at the same time, Jesus could have sinned in the sense that He was physically capable.
Hope that Helps!