I think most of us know that Jesus, in His humanity, was tempted. If fact, we are told specifically in Hebrews 4:14-15;
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let’s hold firmly to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things just as we are, yet without sin.”
Think about what that verse is saying. To think that Jesus was tempted by porn does not make sense. We also need to remember that though He was 100% a man like us…He did not have a sinful nature. There was nothing within Him that temptation could latch on to as satan learned in the desert after Jesus got down to His fighting weight by fasting for 40 days without food or the comforts of home.
It is like He told the devil;
“Listen, even though I have emptied myself of my equality with God, been born by Mary, and have grown up into a man…just to give you the idea that you have a fighting chance I will go without food for 40 days and then you can get in your best shot of tempting Me.”
So, what was the first temptation? Food of course. Turn these rocks into warm sourdough and wouldn’t some nice warm bread taste delicious? Appealing to the body of Jesus having gone without food for 40 days certainly like a good idea. However, Jesus was into protein and avoiding carbs, so He responded and let satan and us in on a little secret;
“It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes out of the mouth of God.’”
Jesus had this habit that all of us should learn…nourish the mind, soul, and spirit before the body. He had been feasting for 40 days alone, undistracted, and with His Father and the Spirit. It had been a 40-day retreat with the other members of the trinity so though His body was weak His soul and spirit were in great shape.
After tempting Him with defying the laws of gravity and having rule over all the kingdoms of the world, which were no temptations at all…the devil left Him and the angels…His guys on the sidelines were called into the game to minister to Him.
I have to believe that this was not the only time Jesus was tempted. A prostitute was brought to Him having been caught in the act of adultery and there was no temptation to lust over her. Instead, it was the hypocrisy of the men that Jesus focused on not the nakedness before Him.
By the way, those people you are lusting after online and not there to pleasure you. They are being paid for their services and many are being abused and are addicted to drugs to do what they are told to do not because of any interest in you but in making money off of you.
I think the real temptations that Jesus faced were seeing His people, whom He loved, and came to save, living like sheep without a shepherd. Under the tyranny of the legalism of the Pharisees and Sadducees and having to obey the laws of the Roman Empire.
It should be no surprise that throughout history those who are made into slaves have found the ability to endure in their faith in Jesus. Those captured from their lives and families in Africa brought to America and sold as slaves so that American farmers and the wealthy could have free labor and not have to do the work themselves.
All of us can find in Jesus our Lord compassion and strength to endure any trial or temptations we have here in life. He knows the pain and power of temptation and He was tempted in every way He could have been tempted…just as we are tempted in every way we can be tempted. Yet…without sin.
This is why knowing and believing 1 Corinthians 10:13 is so important.
“No temptation has overtaken you except something common to mankind; and God is faithful, so He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”
He knows what our temptations are like. That battle with the flesh and the pull of sexual sin. He is faithful and will not allow you to be tempted today with anything beyond your ability to resist it. PLUS…He has promised to provide you a way of escape.
The reason we do not see that way of escape is that we are not looking for it. Because of years and even decades, we have created in our brain the neurological pathways for something we see, think, or imagine to arouse us sexually and in a split second, we have passed the exit of escape with our pedal to the metal driving off the washed-out road of sexual sin.
Here is what needs to happen. Think ahead. Understand from your schedule, thoughts, and feelings when temptation is first beginning and realize you need to find the escape long before you enter the city limits of sexual sin. Plan ahead against those times when you have fallen and plan your escape route using a little pre-planning and one other thing.
Use a community of others who know and understand what it is like and tell them you are about to be tempted. We have this amazing ability to actually talk with someone almost anywhere and at any time with our mobile phones.
The first failure on the road of temptation is the choice to remain isolated. We are not alone in the desert having sexually fasted for 40 days and find a porn magazine on the side of the road. We have the ability to be in community with others who are ready and able to help us in our time of need. We have the means to receive help…we just need to begin training ourselves to reach out to others before we reach into our pants.
And even if you have nobody you can call because you are imprisoned in your isolation because of sexual sin…you can call on Jesus and the Spirit to help you in your time of need. However, you have probably trained yourself to ignore the warnings and just cannot wait to get your hands on that warm loaf of bread and feed your sinful nature once again.
If you need the power of community in your battle…just like everybody else, because this temptation is “common to man.” Then email me about our Online Support Teams and stop being defeated because of your isolation. Far more men are winning this battle because they are on a team…and we have room for you.