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Ask the Pastor

† Theological musings and answers to selected questions by a confessional Lutheran pastor.

26 July 2005

Could Jesus Sin?

Q: When Jesus was in the wilderness being tempted by Satan, was He capable of sinning? I think not, because of His divine nature. He could not sin and at the same time be God. I think He felt and suffered through the temptation (according to His human nature), but ultimately could not have sinned(because of His divine nature). I have heard other people say that this takes something away from His keeping the law perfectly. What do you think?

A: I agree with you — Jesus is true God and cannot sin. However, He still felt the full effect of keeping God’s Law perfectly. His sufferings were profound; as any believer might some time suffer for the faith, even more so Jesus’ perfect obedience led to the suffering He felt in the Wilderness and the incredible pains of His crucifixion.

Your comment about some others dismissing His perfect obedience because of His inability to sin is telling. This is akin to blaming God for not “playing fair” with Satan, even though the way God “played” was to win the victory for us. Such people sound like they don’t appreciate God trying so hard on our behalf.

NB: A previous post deals specifically with the events of Jesus’ time in the Wilderness. (See Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; and Luke 4:1-13 for the Biblical record.)

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Walter Snyder is the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Emma, Missouri and coauthor of the book What Do Lutherans Believe.


Blogger Paul said...

I'm extremely confused... Jesus couldn't sin... yet what he was tempted to do was sin...

How can you be tempted to do something you're incapable of doing? I mean, I'm not tempted, say, to turn my jug of water into wine even though it would save me a few dollars. Because I can't do it.

26 July, 2005 18:16  
Blogger Xrysostom said...

Please see the next post for a detailed response.


27 July, 2005 15:04  

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