Jesus wasn’t good.
Just ask Him. In fact, a man once referred to Jesus as a ‘good’ teacher. Jesus quickly stopped him saying, “Why do you call me good?” (Luke 18:18-19). He went on to say that no one was good except the Father. Ok, before you run to all your family and friends to let them know I am some crazy bald-headed preacher who doesn’t think Jesus was good, let me say that Jesus was perfect. But how can He be perfect, yet not good? This brings us to our Verse of the Day:
13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;
The Scripture clearly says that Jesus was ‘perfected’ through suffering (Hebrews 2:10). Jesus came as a man. He was God who came as a man. We must understand this. Because of this, like you and I, He was tempted. The Bible says He was tempted in every way (Hebrews 4:15). To be tempted is to be human. His resistance at every turn proved Him to be the only perfect man. Imagine the temptation to call down 10,000 angels on the Pharisees responsible for Him being crucified, yet He says, “Forgive them” (Luke 23:34). That is powerful. So, Jesus was perfect. He is now in His glorified state so He is more perfect.
The Father, unlike Christ living as a man on Earth, cannot be tempted. He has never looked at sin and been intrigued and tempted to partake. He is never tempted, nor does He tempt. This is why Jesus said what He said. He was comparing Himself to the Father and in His human form, there was quite a difference between a man tempted and God who cannot be tempted. So then, when Jesus calls us to be ‘perfect’ not as He was perfect, but as the Heavenly Father was perfect, that was a huge command (Matthew 5:48).
Is it possible to be perfect like God?
I am going to say ‘yes’ it is. I don’t know anyone still alive that has been perfected this way, but Jesus is calling us to a higher standard. This is not something we can do. The Lord would have to change our hearts and change our desires in order to perfect us in this way. He would have to radically transform us that we would love as He loves. But isn’t that the point. In every moment, my goal should be to submit to the Holy Spirit in a way that allows me to love like God (John 13:34), to think like God (1 Corinthians 2:11-16), to forgive like God (Ephesians 4:32).
The context of Scripture teaches us that we will always have to deal with the sinful nature (Romans 7:18) until we arrive in Heaven in our glorified state (Philippians 3:20-21). But my goal is to be ‘perfected’ in each moment being like Christ. My goal today is to be conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29) by the more perfect Father. He is able to do this in me just as He did in Christ. Submitting myself to be conformed to the likeness of Christ will one day bring me into a more perfect state of glorification and the full righteousness of God. The Bible says I have been reconciled through Christ so that I might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). This is a process that is brought to fulfillment when we return to our Home in Heaven. And only God, who is absolute perfection can do this work in us.
I love it that our God is above sin.
Jesus had to humble Himself to the extreme to become like us that He might experience sin as we have, but in His original state, He is above sin and He is making us like Him.
If you are struggling with sin, I want you to know that there is hope. Keep seeking the Lord. Stop beating yourself up. Take His hand and He will lead you to a new place of freedom and what tempted you before will cease to be an issue. All things are possible with God.
Are you struggling? Are there temptations God has delivered you from? Leave me a comment so I can pray and celebrate with you.
Live Blessed and Be a Blessing!
Pastor Lee is a pastor and Biblical life coach. He has been helping people through counseling, pastoring, teaching, and preaching for 20+ years. His ministry focuses on helping people overcome the strongholds of the past and press on into God’s plan for an abundant life. He has been married to his wife, Amy for 28 years. He has three sons and one daughter-in-love. For more about Pastor Lee or to get some Biblical advice, go to the About page.