«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).
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE for Jesus to have been tempted by the temptations of everyone from every age. On the other hand, it not necessary for Jesus to suffer every temptation that comes to each person. Jesus had to overcome where Adam had failed, just as Ellen G. White said: «In our humanity, Christ was to redeem Adam’s failure»(The Desire of Ages, p. 117).
If Jesus had no tendencies toward evil, how could He have been tempted as we are? While the devil appeals to our evil inclinations, he appealed to Jesus’s good inclinations. By appealing to noble things, the devil tried to divert Jesus from the things of God. Paul said that, in essence, Jesus was tempted in everything as we are, but in different ways.
Let us briefly analyze Jesus’s three temptations. The essence of the first was independence; the second, super dependency; and the third, worship.
For example, when we deny God to earn our livelihood, we are giving in to the temptation of being independent from Him. When we expect to receive God’s blessings without doing our part, we yield to the temptation of super-dependence. When we exchange our loyalty to God for pleasure, possessions, or power, we yield to the temptation of false worship.
Jesus’s temptations surpassed our temptations. His temptation was to use His divinity for His own benefit in order to resist Satan’s tricks. In essence, the main temptation for Christ was the same as for all of us: the desire to walk alone and depend on oneself, rather than relying on divine power.
That is why He can (and wants to) sympathize, suffer, and endure together with us because He suffered our weaknesses in His own human nature, but without sinning. For this reason, He is our High Priest and Representativebefore the Father. Therefore, Paul says that we can be more than conquerors (Rom. 8:37).
Jesus overcame in the wilderness, while Adam sinned in paradise.
We cannot overcome with an «It seems to me,» but rather with an «It is written.» «Every man may overcome as Christ overcame» (Selected Messages, vol. 3, p. 136).