1 Corinthians 10:13 DRB:

Let no temptation take hold on you, but such as is human. And God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able: but will make also with temptation issue, that you may be able to bear it.

Matthew 4:1-11 ASV:

  1. Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
  2. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he afterward hungered.
  3. And the tempter came and said unto him, If thou art the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.
  4. But he answered and said, {cf6 It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.}
  5. Then the devil taketh him into the holy city; and he set him on the pinnacle of the temple,
  6. and saith unto him, If thou art the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and, On their hands they shall bear thee up, Lest haply thou dash thy foot against a stone.
  7. Jesus said unto him, {cf6 Again it is written, Thou shalt not make trial of the Lord thy God.}
  8. Again, the devil taketh him unto an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
  9. and he said unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
  10. Then saith Jesus unto him, {cf6 Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.}
  11. Then the devil leaveth him; and behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

The question is so simple:

Was the temptation of Jesus human or superhuman?

Human temptation can be borne by the ordinary human, while superhuman temptation can not be borne by the ordinary human. Thus, was the temptation of Jesus human or superhuman?

The tempting of Jesus was the Devil, for example, while the tempted was Jesus.

  • What do you mean by "human" and "superhuman" temptation? Who was doing the tempting?
    – curiousdannii
    May 19, 2020 at 11:39
  • What makes you think it was possibly supernatural temptation as you've defined it?
    – curiousdannii
    May 19, 2020 at 15:26
  • @curiousdannii I don't think it was superhuman temptation. I am not sure if it was superhuman or human, that's why I am asking. 1 Corinthians 10:13, says that there is Human temptation, this means that may there is Superhuman temptation. Jesus was full human and full divine, so He has Superhuman part, so his temptation may be superhuman.
    – salah
    May 19, 2020 at 15:41
  • @salah. The wording "superhuman" is troublesome and perhaps, need a rephrasing. He was tempted just like all of us. The doctrine of Jesus - fully God and fully human (the Son of God and the Son of man)- a mystery to human minds - is Biblical nonetheless. He was fully human (a unique) - means "fully human" not a superhuman. He was conceived by the Spirit, full of the Holy Spirit, led by the Spirit in constant communion with God the Father, yet He is fully human, tempted just like all of us yet lived a sinless life (vs. Adam created sinless, but sinned).
    – Sam
    Jun 25, 2021 at 22:39

3 Answers 3


According to James 1:13, God cannot be tempted. In that sense, Jesus' temptations were not superhuman.

However, (and this is a bug "however"), Jesus was divine (John 1:1, 18, 20:28, Phil 2:5-8, etc) but fully human. During the time of His incarnation and earthly ministry, Jesus voluntarily laid aside His divinity (without renouncing it nor abandoning it) to live as a human subject to all the trials and difficulties we experience. Thus Hebrews 4:15 says:

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who was tempted in every way that we are, yet was without sin.

Therefore, when Jesus was tempted by various forces, both Satanic and human, He could have used his divine advantage but chose to live as a human. Take for example, the first temptation in the wilderness where the very hungry Jesus was tempted to turn stones into bread (Matt 4:3, 4). Jesus could have very easily used His divine power to do just that but replied with a quote from the OT.

On other occasions when Jesus performed miracles, He only used the power of the Father (eg, John 11 at the raising of Lazarus), which is available to any of us as well. That is, Jesus' temptations were more severe that any of ours because He had much greater power available that we do.

Thus, Jesus' whole life here was lived as an example to us, including the way we should meet temptation. Here is a short sample.

  • Walk as Jesus walked. 1 John 2:6.
  • Jesus was led by the Spirit Matt 4:1. The Christian must be born of the Spirit (John 3:5) by receiving the gift of the Spirit (Acts 2:38) and walk by the Spirit (Gal 5:25, John 6:63, Phil 3:3, John 4:24). In fact the whole life of Christian is to put aside the “psychical” mind and live by the Spirit (1 Cor 2:14, 1 Cor 15:44-46, Gal 5:17, Jude 19, John 6:63, 1 Peter 3:18).
  • Love as Jesus loved. John 13:34, 35, 15:12, 1 John 4:8, 11, 19, Eph 5:1, 2.
  • Lay down life for friends. John 15:13, Eph 5:2.
  • Jesus’ suffering leaves us an example. John 16:33, 1 Cor 7:28, 2 Tim 1:4, Heb 13:12, 13, 1 Peter 2:21.
  • Because Jesus was persecuted, so are His followers. John 15:20, 21.
  • Conformed to the likeness of the Son. Rom 8:29.
  • Transforming our will and bodies to conform to God’s will. Rom 12:1, 2.
  • Jesus was baptised (Matt 3:13-17, Mark 1:9-11, Luke 3:21, 22) and so should we be baptised, Matt 28:19, Acts 2:38, 10:48, 16:31, 22:16, Rom 6:1-9, etc. See “Baptism”.
  • Forgive as Jesus forgave. , Matt 6:12, Eph 4:32.
  • Be imitators of God. Eph 5:1.
  • Be holy as Jesus is holy. Lev 11:44, 45, 1 Peter 1:15, 16.
  • Be pure as He is pure. 1 John 3:3.
  • Partakers of the divine nature. 2 Peter 1:4.
  • Hmmm; he fasted for 40 days and is still alive; while theoretically possible to do naturally, bulking up first and then taking that sudden weight loss is going to do a wonder on one's health.
    – Joshua
    May 19, 2020 at 4:38
  • I think you need to understand what "fast" meant in NT times. The main meal was the mid-day meal. Going without this was considered a fast. Jesus would have lost weight, certainly and would have been weakened, but was far from dead.
    – Dottard
    May 19, 2020 at 8:21
  • @Dottard it specifically says he fasted 40 days and nights - what are you suggesting?
    – Steve
    May 19, 2020 at 12:01
  • This is not the place to debate - ask another question to fill this void. Suffice to say here that Moses was in the mountain 40 days and was not even hungry. Jesus may have been sustained by supernatural means. Daniel fasted three weeks by abstaining from delicacies (Dan 10)
    – Dottard
    May 19, 2020 at 21:37

We can read the biblical text without if's and but's and however's and simply accept what it says... what it meant to the people of the day.

Think on the last Adam... do you think for a moment that God would send one who could not be beaten to do battle with the adversary? Do you think it would be a fair fight to try to defeat 'God'? It makes a mockery of God's righteousness to send a God/man to beat the devil. We can make up superhuman stories, but the bible doesn't do that. How can God stop being God and be tempted like we are, be born or die like we do?

The NT consistently presents Jesus as a man. Made in the image of God. Just like the coin Jesus referred to with the image of Caesar. (Col 1:15)

Acts 2:22 ‘a man approved of God’

Rom 5:15 ‘the grace of one man, Jesus...’

John 8:40 ‘a man who has told you the truth’

Every text that 'seems' to contradict that truth must be re-examined in the light of every other text. There are no contradictions if the text is true to it's roots.

  • 1 Timothy 2:5 of the American Standard Version says, For there is one God, one mediator also between God and men, himself man, Christ Jesus. Romans 5:19 For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the one shall the many be made righteous.
    – user35499
    May 19, 2020 at 1:22

Excellent observation and question. You are correct, 1 Co 10:13 reflects the type and nature of this temptation recorded in Mat 4:1-10 KJV. The key to the temptation highlighted in 1 Cor. is summed up in the words: ...no temptation...but such as is common to man: ... ." (My emphasis)

We note that the hunger resulting from that 40-day fasting was a definite human condition, not a spiritual one. Satan tempted Jesus to use His spiritual power to overcome that human weak condition. Moreover, Jesus's response was from the standpoint of Jesus, the "man," when He said in verse 4:

... It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Again, verses 5 and 6 were to tempt Jesus in the earthly holy city and on a pinnacle of the earthly temple. Satan tempted Jesus to cast Himself down so as to have His spiritual power overcome the resulting harm. Jesus responded in verse 7 with scripture that had been written to "man", not to angels:

Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

And again, in verses 8 and 9, Satan tempted Jesus with the promise of giving Him the earthly kingdoms of the "world" and the glory of them, in exchange for Jesus to worship him. Again, Jesus' response in verse 10 was through scripture directed toward "man", not toward angels:

Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

So, as it is also written in Heb 4:16:

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Matthew is written to show that Jesus--as the "Son of man" and as the "Lion of the tribe of Judah"--is the rightful heir to the throne of David that will last into eternity. Jesus does not have to prove that He is the Son of God to be the King of kings. He is the only living (resurrected at that) heir to the earthly throne of David. Jesus does not have to go through any more suffering and death to be the King of kings. He will not come in meekness like before, but with great power. He will not come to take judgment upon Himself, but rather to RULE and JUDGE MEN in righteousness, as revealed in John 5:22:

For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: (My emphasis)

On the other hand, Jesus is also the Spirit Savior of mankind, as it is written in John 6:63:

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

As Savior, Jesus was all four--the Son of man, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the righteous and obedient Servant, and the Son of God, as it is further written in John 5:24-27:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

  • 1
    "Satan tempted Jesus to cast Himself down so as to have His spiritual power overcome the resulting harm." What spiritual power are you referring to? Jesus said he could do nothing of himself numerous times, even his words came from the Father.
    – Steve
    May 19, 2020 at 0:53
  • The Almighty God will judge the world by the man he ordained, Acts 17:31 American Standard Version says, inasmuch as he hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
    – user35499
    May 19, 2020 at 1:31
  • @user48152 Do you believe that the miracles Jesus accomplished arose out of His fleshly being only? Are you saying that Jesus--the very WORD of God--was lying when He said., "I and my Father are one." ? May 20, 2020 at 14:28
  • looks like you need to ask a new Q. The whole 'one' thing is explained in Jesus prayer in John 17:21 - we can make one verse mean anything out of context.
    – Steve
    May 20, 2020 at 21:37

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