A poster from the 1960’s offered an excellent commentary on human nature.  Two babies in diapers about the same age sat facing each other.  One was reaching out to the other as though to establish contact.  The caption underneath said, “At last I have found someone exactly like me.”  One of the babies was black; the other was white.  That strikes me as an interesting comment on the similarity and dissimilarity in human beings.  Sometimes we get to thinking that our needs and problems are unique to us, that no one else in all the world has ever felt this way or faced this kind of situation.

               Perhaps it was this kind of feeling on the part of His disciples that prompted Jesus to tell of his experience of His temptation in the desert.  Surely, He must have reported it, or how else could it have been known?  He alone was there, far from the crowds, when the tempter came. 

               Some have real difficulty grasping the thought that our Lord was truly tempted.  Perhaps, the disciples had wondered about this themselves.  Maybe they thought of Him as being beyond temptation, above the struggle of ordinary people.

               Can you imagine the scene?  The disciples were engaged with Jesus in intimate conversation.  At one point, one of them opened up his heart and told of a personal battle he had been fighting; then another did the same thing.  Probably, they were uneasy baring their hearts, admitting their struggles and risking the ridicule of their peers.  So finally, Jesus put them all at ease by telling the story of His own temptations.

               Many find it a great comfort in what the New Testament tells us about the humanity of our Lord.  The mystery that He is both genuinely human and genuinely divine remains, and in this life will never be resolved.   But the fact that He had to win over temptation in order to live as He lived furnishes great encouragement to me in my own daily struggles.  Perhaps looking more closely at His temptation experience could provide each of us with the necessary strength for winning a victory.  Some key thoughts suggest themselves to us.

               The first is that everyone must face and deal with temptation.  Great strength, great power, great ability, and great character always carry with them a greater burden of temptation.  Each in his own way, on his own level is tempted; and so are we.  If our Lord had to struggle with temptation, you can be certain that no one is exempted.

               Also let us learn that we can find strength by sharing each other’s struggles.  Jesus shared His struggle to give us strength in knowing that He, too, was tempted.  Maybe He also shared them to give us a model for how to draw strength from each other.  Maybe He is trying to teach us that it is ok to be human and to admit it.

               The more we read the Gospels, the more convinced we should be that Jesus lived His life in the same strength which is available to us.  He is saying that the foundational strength of life is to get one’s power from God.  He is the basic value in life.  We receive power for living from Him.  We should not compromise that relationship.

              The question is not “Will I be tempted?”  The question is “Will I draw from the deep wells of resource that are mine in my relationship with God as Jesus did to face temptation?”