If Jesus was God as well as man how could Satan expect to tempt him?

In this question and answer post of Gerald Sigal, we get answers to the question, as to how, if Jesus was God as well as man, Satan felt he could tempt him? Let's find out.

If Jesus was God as well as man how could Satan expect to tempt him?

Answer: Mark simply states that Jesus was tempted by Satan (1:13) but Matthew (4:1-11) and Luke (4:1-13) elaborate the story. It is claimed that during Jesus' alleged forty days' sojourn in the desert, following his baptism by John, Satan tempted him with promises of an earthly kingdom if Jesus would only worship him.

If Jesus is part of God, how could he possibly sin, and how could Satan possibly hope to tempt him? Satan's words would be absolutely meaningless. Surely, even the earthly Jesus was incapable of committing as sinful an act as the worshiping of Satan. Indeed, unlike a mere mortal, it was decreed that the Gospels' Jesus follow exactly the life outlined for his earthly existence by the very godhead of which he was an integral part.

In assuming a human body, the Jesus of Christian theology knew what God's purpose for the future of mankind was and what was expected of him in order to bring this about. Did Jesus, the perfect god-man, have free will to sin while on earth? Obviously not! Had he failed to carry out God's plan, the entire timetable would have been eternally disrupted. Lacking free will to do as he pleased, Jesus could not truly have been tempted.

Neither could Satan, as one of God's creations, promise Jesus, who was already divine and in control of the universe, a mere kingdom as a reward for worshiping him. As puffed up with pride as one might envision Satan to be, he is certainly not stupid. In the Gospel narrative Satan knew Jesus was not a mere human, given to flattery and subject to the temptations of the flesh. Jesus was not one who would accept worthless promises.

Even if we suppose that Satan did make Jesus the most extravagant of offers, as reported by the New Testament, it would not in the least have been a temptation to the divine Jesus of Christianity. In view of the claim by Christian theology that Jesus was offered an earthly kingdom by God: "Ask of Me, and I will give the nations for your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for your possession" (Psalms 2:8), can anyone believe that a member of the Trinity would have difficulty in choosing between the two opposing offers? Certainly Satan would not have wasted his time on such a futile endeavor. It is obvious that the account of Satan's attempt to tempt Jesus cannot be reconciled with the overall view of Jesus as held by Christians.

© Gerald Sigal