Jesus‘s superiority over the angels is discussed in Hebrews chapter 2, and we’re told that he was made lower than angels to free us and to save us. Out of several reasons listed from verses 9-18 regarding why Jesus was made lower than angels, 2:18 tells us that Jesus became flesh and blood so as to be able to aid those who have suffered, having suffered temptation Himself.
In Matthew 4:1-11, we know that Jesus was tempted by the devil but stood firm and blameless. Suffering in temptation – what does that mean? How would you suffer when you are tempted? I think the temptation here wasn’t referring to the temptation recorded in Matthew 4:1-11. Not a temptation to greed, to lust, to food. The temptation here is to be angry, to be self-righteous, to grumble against God. The temptation to sin. The temptation to lash out at your wife. The temptation to stumble into self-pity.
Father, father, why have you forsaken me? [Matthew 27:46] – this line is perhaps the closest to suffering that we have seen Jesus in – a line that is so seemingly close to desperation, to defeat. If it was anybody but Jesus who had said it, surely it would have been in a defeatist tone, accusing a perfect God of abandoning his perfect Son. Jesus said it knowing God‘s will and intention, out of an incredible sadness that comes with pain of being flesh and blood rather than in defeat. Indeed, how did Jesus suffer! Jesus understands in a way no mortal does, because he put down his status and lowered himself beneath the angels to become a body of flesh, so that he could understand the pain that we go through. When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone [James 1:13]. Jesus would never have been tempted had He not lowered himself and taken on the flesh. He didn’t need to go through that, but he did. For us.
- Jesus understands our pain.
- We have hope even in temptation or in suffering, because Jesus understands our pain in an intimate way of one who has suffered as well.
- And yet Jesus was sinless
- Hebrews 4:15 – 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.
- We have suffered in temptation, and we have fallen to sin. But Jesus is a perfect example of standing strong in the face of temptation – regardless the type of temptation – and not sinning. He is our role model on being victorious to sin and to temptation, even in the face of the devil.
- We have the assurance of God‘s faithfulness- He will make a way
- 1 Cor. 10:13 – No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
- God has promised not to allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear. And no matter how gloomy the situation seems, no matter if we cannot seem to be victorious over the temptation, God has already assured us that He will make a way.
In times of trials and tribulation, and when things do not look like getting better, let us be patient [Romans 12:12 | Article] in God‘s promise. When we are tempted, and on the brink of giving up, of giving in, let us have hope because it is not impossible for us to be victorious over any kind of temptations. Jesus was victorious – even in a human body, just like us. When tempted, and when in pain, he will help you out.