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
When I have struggled with temptation or when I have encouraged others who are facing a struggle with sin I have often thought of and quoted this scripture. It says that Jesus was in all points tempted as we are. The English Standard Version renders it “In every respect” and I in my first understanding of this issue thought that any temptation I face, Jesus also faced. However; that is not exactly what the Bible is telling us though the underlying truth .gives us a great hope
To cover this subject let’s look back to the temptation which our Lord experienced while fasting in the wilderness after His baptism.
And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:3-4
We need to see that Jesus was not so much tempted with every exact sin every person has ever faced. The scripture says that he was tempted in every respect, in every manner, every way. What ways could there have possibly been to tempt the only Son of God? They are common to us all so let’s look at temptation number one – command stones to become bread.
Matthew tells us that after forty days Jesus was hungry (who wouldn’t be!) The devil showed up at the weakest physical moment to tempt him but it was not the bread that was the sin. If Jesus had simply pulled out a loaf of bread and begun eating it would have been both natural and holy for him to do so. The temptation Jesus came face to face with was to provide for his needs outside of the Father’s will for his life.
Providing for our needs outside of God’s will is like commanding stones to be bread. Stones are not bread! They have no nutritional value. They are hard and would break our teeth, not to mention what they might do to our digestive system. There is nothing good about stones that could be used as food! Now stop to think how many times we have tried to command stones to be bread. We took a second job to buy things but we sacrificed our time with our family. We were able to pay for our vacation because we cheated on our income tax. We did something for money that involved surrendering our will to something we knew to be sinful. See the same temptation we face in all of these activities is just a faint reflection of what Jesus was being asked to do. He was being asked to cease trusting His heavenly Father’s provision. Jesus was being asked to take control over his own destiny for temporary gain no matter the eternal consequences. These were all the very things the devil himself had already done in the vast eons of the past when he no longer was satisfied with what God had given him and he reached out to take what was never to have been his. But in response Jesus gave to us the words we can hold to in every battle with this sinful direction. “Man does not live by bread alone!” Our life is more than just what we make of it, what we have or what we can experience. Our life comes from a source that is unchangeable, immovable and unceasing. Our life is in hearing and obeying every word that God has spoken. Every other word is just a stone!