Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
As we consider the solemn and important subject of our Lord’s temptation, we need to remember that He is God and man in one person. While as truly man as if He had never been God, He is yet as truly God as if He had never become man, and therefore we must not think of Him as merely man on probation, as Adam was in the garden of Eden.
The testing of Jesus in the wilderness was not to see whether He would sin, but to prove that He was absolutely the sinless One and therefore the fit substitute for those who were both sinners by nature and in practice.
When the question is asked (innocently enough, perhaps), “Could Jesus have sinned?” we need to consider before answering in the affirmative what would have happened if He had sinned. He was not two persons, but one. He was the Son of the Father with two natures, the human and the divine. These natures could never be separated after He became incarnate. One nature could not act in opposition to the other; therefore the thought of sin in connection with Him is utterly abhorrent. He could say, “The ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me” (John 14:30). There was no traitor lurking within. From the moment of His birth he was “that holy One” (Luke 1:35). The temptation proved Him to be all that God the Father said He was: His beloved Son, in whom He had found all His delight (Matthew 3:17).
Faithful amidst unfaithfulness,
‘Mid darkness only light,
Thou didst Thy Father’s name confess,
And in His will delight;
Unmoved by Satan’s subtle wiles,
Or suff’ring, shame, and loss,
Thy path, uncheered by earthly smiles,
Led only to the cross.
—J. G. Deck
H. A. Ironside, The Continual Burnt Offering: Daily Meditations on the Word of God (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1994), 153–154.