Jesus the Son of God . . . has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.
— Hebrews 4:14-15
Hebrews 4 says that Jesus was “tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.” Do we believe that? Oh, we can believe the “he did not sin” part. But do we believe that he was “tempted . . . just as we are”?
We know what temptation is all about—from the temptation to tell little lies as children, to the temptation to give in to our surging hormones as teenagers, to the temptation to turn a blind eye to racism as adults. Was Jesus really tempted the same way we are?
Well, Jesus did have teenage hormones. And he probably noticed all the pretty girls in Nazareth. Maybe he even thought about being in love with one of them. But he didn’t let desire get the better of him and lead him into sexual sin.
Another temptation we face comes from money. Jesus had a lot to say about that. But before he said any of those things, Jesus had worked with his hands and had been paid for his labors. He had learned the value of money and the good it could do to provide for his household. But he didn’t let money rule his life.
Maybe when we’re tempted, we can imagine how Jesus would handle it, and we can try to do the same thing. We can also ask for his help. (See 1 Corinthians 10:13.)
Jesus, it’s hard for us to believe that you were tempted. Temptation can be overwhelming for us, and we often give in. At times, we can hardly imagine not giving in. Please, Jesus, help us. Amen.