Why Jesus is the only one who really understands temptation

By Faith, General

This morning I was reflecting on the perfect nature of Jesus. He was without sin and perfect in every way. Hebrews 4 puts it this way:

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.” — Hebrews 4:15 

Not very many people would argue that Jesus was without sin… but they would question whether or not Jesus can REALLY understand and sympathize with us since he had no sin. He never had to feel the crushing defeat of coming up short or failing.

Then I ran across this quote from C.S. Lewis that sums it up perfectly:

No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you find out the strength of the German army by fighting against it, not by giving in. You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it: and Christ, because he was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means–the only complete realist.

– C.S. Lewis from Mere Christianity


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