The Temptations of Jesus: we're they actually tempting?

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Stope

Puritan Board Sophomore
I'm leading a Bible Study, we are in Luke 4 and we are in line to cover the temptations of Christ.

My question is simple: was it actual APPEALING to Jesus when Saran tempted him to bow down and worship?

I'm a wretched man on the path of sanctification, but even if I were to be tempted by Satan to worship him there is 0% part of me that would in the slightest be appealing to me. How much more our sinless Christ who grew in favor and stature with God and men and who came to do the Father's will and was a servant and came not to be served but to serve...?

(Again, the question is NOT what the implications would be if he succumbed to them. It is NOT about the parallels between Jesus "son" of God and Adam "son" of God and Jesus in the wilderness and Israel in the wilderness...)

Thoughts?


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Gforce9

Puritan Board Junior
The temptations were real externally, but not internally, ie. not from within, as is with us. Jesus did not have a sin nature.
 

BGF

Puritan Board Sophomore
Go fast for 40 days, then see how tempted you are. Adam had no particular reason to give into temptation in the midst of plenty and yet he did.

We know that Jesus was tempted in every way that we are. We also know that Jesus was sinless. I would say that Jesus was tempted externally, not internally. When we are tempted and the occasion to sin arises, it is from our sin nature that we give in to temptation. Jesus, although he was subject to the same external temptations, had no sin nature. Therefore, I would not conclude that he found worshipping Satan appealing. He truly suffered want and yet would not satisfy his own natural cravings to deny his Father. None of us, on our own, would do the same.
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Professor
I think the appeal is found in the offer to be given all the kingdoms of the world. That would be tempting to me.

The devil still tempts this way. He suggests that if we only give in on this or that matter, we will be rewarded with worldly influence and success that outweigh the benefits of serving God. He urges us to sell our souls for the things we can see rather than live for what is unseen.

I regularly teach this passage to kids who have the same initial reaction you did: Who would worship the devil? That is so clearly wrong it's hardly a temptation at all. I tell them, yes, it is clearly wrong. But when you're shown everything in the whole world, that's a powerful temptation. We want what we see that looks good. Even when we know we'll have to do wrong to get it, it's very tempting for us to go after something we see that looks desirable.

Eve's temptation was similar: "The woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes." Like us, she failed. Jesus' temptation was enormous—he saw every kingdom of the world—but he remained faithful to the Father.
 
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Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
Jesus knows temptation to an intenser degree than practically any sinner. Jesus lived from his flesh which was (prior to full glorification) not one atom or wisp of mind differing from ours. He took on our exact nature, "made like us in every way, sin excepted," Heb.4:15.

Every sinner stalls in his battle with temptation, giving in; and apart from the Spirit's enabling presence, helping believers resist and put the Tempter to flight (Jas.4:7), he does not take the Devil to the limit of his endurance. The typical man (or woman) falls almost right away, without a fight. Very little temptation-effort is even called for from evil.

Jesus vanquished the Tempter. Not once, not thrice, but his whole life and especially during his ministry (see Lk.4:13). Jesus understood the attractions temptations bore to the flesh of man; he felt the attraction. But he trusted the will and word of his Father as reliable, and evaded the snares.

The Devil ran out of tricks before Christ ran out of trust, or his immeasurable Spirit-given supply of strength. And the truth is, that this same trust is the essence of saving faith in believers; who have the Spirit also supplied to them for resistance against temptation.

Jesus did not have to be able or free to sin, for temptation to be "real." He knew the temptation, felt it, and turned his back on it. And he promises his people that they too can use his gifts for that end. That's the blessing of belonging to him.
 

Ryan&Amber2013

Puritan Board Junior
One aspect of Jesus' temptation with Satan I would point out, is that worshipping Satan and gaining the world would have resulted in Jesus not having to go to Calvary. I think the temptation would have been the thought of having glory without the tragic experience of death on a cross. So, yes, I think that temptation was probably real.
 

Stope

Puritan Board Sophomore
Ryan&Amber2013

I'm not ticketing your ear, I have found many of your pays very insightful...

Myself, a mere laymen, am reminded of something C.S. Lewis somewhere shared (paraphrased);

There was a math student who had a question, he then brought it to the teacher and the teacher basically said "this problem you bring is the least of your worries as you are off here, here, here, and here as well." Discouraged the student returned to his desk no less helped but further confused - then one of his peers was able to respond to the first question.

Thank you brother


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