It is hard for me to wrap my mind around Jesus being tempted, but the Bible is very clear that he was and it was very…very real temptation. Hebrews 4:15 says, “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.” This squares with what we read in Matthew and gives us perspective as to whom Jesus is and why we can trust him. He is fully God, but for a while he gave up the privileges of being divine and lived like we do, fully human, experiencing life without being shielded or protected from pain, danger, suffering and temptation.
Jesus really gets us. He understands our struggles. He truly knows what it is like to live on planet earth like we do. The Father didn’t merely send Jesus on a short-term mission trip; instead he became one of us. This means that we have a “high priest” who can relate to us in every way as he guides, counsels and corrects us.
The more I think about Jesus being tempted, the more it blows me away. He did what he didn’t have to do so that we could have what was impossible apart from him – a brand new life and in a relationship with our creator that is real. The rest of the passage in Hebrews spells this out,
“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 (NIV)
What an amazing savior we have!