Jesus Helps Us When Tempted (Hebrews 2:18)
"Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted" (Hebrews 2:18)
Part 3 of 6
Jesus helps us in our time of need because He too suffered and experienced the full knowledge of being human. He knows and has a working comprehension of our weaknesses and struggles. Jesus shared in our humanity so He would be equipped to faithfully serve God, as our High Priest being both empathetic and merciful to us in every way. We do not have to bear the struggles of life alone. This is a promise that He will run to our rescue and help us when we are in need. What an amazing truth from God's word.
As believers we will undergo different types of temptation and suffering in this world. But understanding Jesus' role concerning this will equip us to come out on the other side unscathed. First we will look at temptation, or the things of this world that hold us. Next we will look at where temptation comes from so that we can understand our position of authority over it. Lastly we will look at being tested as a believer and how it is different than temptation. We will look at the cause of suffering and how it can prove our faith to be genuine, refined and, in the end, worth more than gold.
The Temptation of the Flesh
Just as Christ was not tempted by sin, as believers we too have been freed from the sin nature (Romans 6:6-7). He has provided the means for us to escape the desires of the flesh so that it does not hold us captive. This is a key principal for the Christian life, "So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want" (Galatians 5:16-17). We have been set free from the sin nature (Romans 6:6-7) and have been given a born again spirit that does not sin (I John 3:6; I John 3:9). But one third of our makeup is still flesh (I Thessalonians 5:23). Spirit, soul and body war against each other and the winner in this three-way tussle is the one where we place our focus and attention. So by focusing on the things of the Spirit, the things of the flesh will have no appeal or hold on us. By this principal, Jesus provided the means for effortless change.
Take the example of Jesus' temptation in the desert by Satan. When the devil told him to turn stones into bread to prove that he was the Son of God, Jesus responded with what God said about it. He was hungry as He hadn't eaten in forty days however He was more focused on the Spirit and the things of God so He could not be tempted even to satisfy His hunger. He was so consumed with the thoughts and words of God not even His physical need could redirect Him.
Tomorrow we look at Part 4 : Temptation Does Not Come From God