Was Jesus Tempted?

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Some assert that Jesus could not be tempted by citing the following passage:

Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone (James 1:13).

Two claims

Two claims are given to support the above conclusion:

  1. Jesus was God in the flesh.
  2. Since God cannot be tempted, Jesus was immune to temptation.

The true claim

The first claim agrees with scripture. Jesus was indeed God in the flesh. Read John 1:1-5, 14 and Colossians 2:15-18 for this evidence.

The false claim

The second assertion does not agree with scripture. Twice the writer of Hebrews indicated that Jesus was tempted.

For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted (Hebrews 2:18).

For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15).


Jesus was tempted by Satan, and was in fact tempted in all the ways that we are tempted today. Yet He did not sin. One reason Jesus is our perfect high priest is because he can sympathize with us. He knows how it felt to be tempted.

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