Jesus Was Fully God and Fully Man
It is a mystery to us how, in Jesus Christ, humanity and deity are co-mingled. Jesus is clearly God and claimed to be on many occasions (Colossians 2:9; Philippians 2:6–8). Yet, He allowed Himself to be humbled, voluntarily experiencing human limitations.
The account of Jesus crossing the Sea of Galilee with His disciples exemplifies that He simultaneously succumbed to human limitations and possessed God’s omnipotence. What could be more human than our Lord’s sleep of total exhaustion in the boat, and what could be more divine than His stilling of the winds and the waves? (Mark 4:36–41).
Jesus also faced temptation, as we do. Some people wonder if Jesus was truly vulnerable to temptation. This is a very important question, for the answer clarifies that incredible and never-to-be-repeated blending of deity and humanity in one person (Luke 4:1–13).
Although Jesus could have met Satan’s offers to sin with the full force of His deity, Jesus chose to meet Satan in meekness, withholding His vast supernatural power. He did not banish His tempter or remove Himself from temptation’s presence. He displayed power under constraint. To be sure, Jesus felt the presence and pressure of temptation like we do, but remember that Jesus did not share our sinful nature, so the necessary element for temptation to succeed was not present (Hebrews 4:15, James 1:14).
Jesus left us an example to follow as we face temptation. You may think that His temptations were not true, since, as God in the flesh, He did not really have the capacity to fall. But let me ask you this, Have you ever been tempted and resisted? Or do you believe the adage, “The only way to get rid of temptation is to give into it”? Is temptation only real if you give in to it? Certainly not; it merely becomes resisted temptation. The presence and the pressure of temptation are quite real, regardless of our response.
It was important for Jesus to be tempted. His temptation experience shows us that our God cares for us and can fully understand the pressures we face (Hebrew 2:1–7). Because He has faced the devil’s taunts and resisted, He is able to aid us, who are likewise tested. His example also teaches us how to effectively resist temptations. He showed us how to use God’s written word to defend ourselves against the devil.