In Jesus, there was never an inner tendency (or bent) to sin that humans’ possess. Jesus had the Holy Spirit without measure, and the Holy Spirit help Jesus defeat evil and sin within His life. The temptation narrative in the Gospels is preceded and followed by references to the Holy Spirit: Jesus was “full of the Holy Spirit . . . and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days He was tempted by evil” (Luke 4:1-2, NIV). Thereafter “Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit” (Luke 4:14, NIV). Throughout His earthly ministry, Jesus faced real human temptations. Yet, Jesus had the fullness of God living within His heart (Colossians 1:19; Colossians 2:9) and He was kept from committing sins (John 1:2; John 10:30).
Following His baptism while in the wilderness, Jesus was tempted by evil for forty days (Matthew 4:1–11; Mark 1:12–13; Luke 4:1–13). Jesus’ temptations focused on three crucial areas: (1) physical needs and desires, (2) possessions and power, and (3) pride (see 1 John 2:15–16). However, Jesus did not give in to evil’s temptation. Mainly, Jesus never stopped believing and trusting in God, and He maintained a close relationship with God. Through this close relationship with God, Jesus did not give into the evil temptations of pride, sensuality, fear, self-pity, selfishness, jealousy and greed. Jesus refused to give into unbelief of God and His promises. Unlike Adam and Eve, Jesus never disobeyed God. Instead, Jesus believed God’s promises (Genesis 3; 1 Peter 1:19–22; 1 John 3:5). In essence, Jesus faced every single type of temptation that humans face, yet He did not sin. Hebrews 4:15 teaches that Jesus “has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin.”
The New Testament states clearly that even in His humanity, Jesus did not sin (see e.g., 1 Peter 1:18–19; 1 Peter 3:18). Jesus maintained His sinless state because He remained in a close, devoted, and personal relationship with God (see John 15:1-8; see 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15; Hebrews 7:26; 1 Peter 2:22; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 John 3:5). Jesus prayed frequently, especially when making important decisions (Luke 6:12). Still more, the New Testament portrays Jesus as a Man “who went about doing good” to others and wholeheartedly following God (Acts 10:38).
Jesus never disobeyed God’s commandments (Exodus 20:1–21; Deuteronomy 5). During His earthly ministry, Jesus never lied, cheated, coveted, disobeyed His Father, committed adultery, murdered, nor did He commit any of the many other sins noted in the Old Testament (John 15:10; John 18:38; 2 Corinthians 5:21). No deceit was found in Jesus’ mouth (1 Peter 2:22). Jesus loved God and obeyed God’s will with all His heart, mind, soul, and strength. Jesus was “humble in heart” (Matthew 11:29) and Jesus fulfilled all righteousness and carried out all that God requires (Matthew 3:15; see also Jeremiah 31:31–34; 2 Corinthians 5:21).
As the Sinless and Righteous Servant of the Lord, Jesus offers Himself for our sins (Isaiah 53:7–12). Jesus is the perfect Lamb of God (Isaiah 53:7) offered for the sins of all people (John 1:29; Revelation 5:6–14). We may go to Him as God and be confident that He has been there before us and so is the Helper we need (2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:14-16). Most important as followers of Jesus, we must also follow Jesus’ sinless life by continually believing and trusting in God and obeying God’s will as found in the Holy Scriptures.