“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to feel sympathy for our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin.” – Hebrews 4.15From David:
Temptation is sneaky – it never fights fair. Have you noticed that? It waits until we are feeling weak, tired, emotional or hurt, before it strikes. This is because behind the temptation is the tempter and he is out to trip us up. In light of all these things, it is no surprise that at this time of turmoil we are experiencing all sorts of temptation and testing. What makes it worse is the fact that there is so much talk of people doing wonderful things and being wonderful people, that we feel ashamed that we are struggling and so we keep quiet.
The book of Hebrews comes to our help. It holds out the hope of Jesus. In the verse above it speaks of how he is able to help us in our testing. So let’s unpack it together.
The Greek word behind our translation ‘temptation’ can also mean ‘tested’. I think that this is really helpful. When we think of temptation we always think of failing. Testing, though, has two possible outcomes, both success and failure. Jesus is the one who passed.
One of our enemy’s greatest lies is to convince us that failure is inevitable for humans, that even if we hold out for a while, we will eventually lose. Jesus though proved him wrong. He is the one who is fully human and yet passed the test. We will think more about what that means tomorrow, and how it helps us. But for today, why not thank Jesus that he passed the test for you and me. Then thank him that he offers you the power to pass the test too:
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. 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 endure it.” 1 Cor 10.13