"He was tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin"
Hebrews 4 displays a tremendous, hopeful picture for a believer. On earth, Jesus had to deal with sinful people and the effects of a broken world just as we do. Yet even in the midst of temptation, Jesus never sinned. He never got sinfully angry. He never retaliated. He never complained. He never feared the future. He never sunk into depression. He loved perfectly. He served humbly. He gave sacrificially.
What does this truth mean for us?
- Jesus understands our temptations. Since He Himself faced temptation, Jesus is keenly aware of the temptation we face. In the midst of temptation, Jesus shows us much grace and desires for us to turn to Him and lean on Him (Pr. 3:5-6).
- We don’t have to give into temptation. Life is full of difficulty. Jesus doesn’t promise that we won’t have trials, but that we have a way of escape in the midst of temptation (1 Cor. 10:13). This "way of escape" isn't an escape from the reality of the problem, but an escape from a sinful response on our part. We don't do this by mongering up enough determination on our part. It requires humility and dependence on Christ. We can do nothing apart from Him (Jn 15:5).
- We can receive mercy and grace in our need. We can draw near to the throne because of the Perfect Lamb who endured temptation and remained sinless, dying a substitutionary death on our behalf. It is His grace that is sufficient (2 Cor. 12:8, Heb. 4:14-16).
John Piper encourages, “So today, let’s trust that Jesus, ‘who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin’ (Hebrews 4:15), will provide a way of escape that is more persistent (Hebrews 13:5), far more powerful (1 John 4:4), and far more satisfying (Hebrews 11:25–26) than what our ‘common to man’ temptations are promising.”
This should give us great hope! In the midst of difficult situations, we can turn to the hope in Christ—that He understands our weakness and temptation and is eager for us to draw near to Him, that we may receive mercy and grace.
Are you turning to Christ in the midst of challenges, difficult situations, and temptation? Or are you trying to make it on your own? God doesn't give grace to those who try to do it on their own. He gives grace to the humble (Jam. 4:6). So humble yourself before God, and receive His mercy and grace.