Temptations ….. --Yet he did not sin.
When we think of temptation, we may think of David’s weakness when he sees Bathsheba for the first time. Another thought would possibly be of Adam and Eve’s failure in the garden, when they decided to believe the serpent rather than God himself. We may even think of Esau’s moment of weakness, when Jacob his brother seized the opportunity to secure his precious birthright. In actuality, we only have to look into our own lives to see that temptation has exposed some of our fleshly weaknesses.
Each of the above scenarios only shows the depth of our human frailties. Every day as humans, we are faced with decisions that we must make in regard to resisting temptation. Sometimes these temptations take the forms of thoughts that carry us away from the loving way of God. However, because God has shown us a better way through Christ, it does not have to always end in failure. Christ has not only told us that he is the way, he has also shown us that very way while here on earth.
I am truly comforted when I read the scripture that says, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are, yet he did not sin.” (Hebrews 4:15-NIV). Jesus after spending forty days in the wilderness, was tempted by Satan, but was able to prevail by using God’s written word. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was able to overcome a moment of weakness because of a loving relationship with the Father.
If we expect to be successful on this Christian journey, we should do no less. I am comforted in the fact that we have a high priest who is not only able to empathize with my weaknesses, but has also been tempted in every way, just as we are --- yet he did not sin. As we go through this Lenten season, let us remember that we too do not have to be a slave to sin. Let us follow Jesus’ winning way by reading and embracing God’s written word and truly developing a loving relationship with our loving and merciful God.
John McClay serves on the Board of Laity as the Greenwood District Lay Leader