Could Jesus have sinned?


Jesus was fully man in body and spirit so he had the capability of sinning, but didn’t. When he was tempted, is it that he didn’t cave to sin (the way that Adam and Eve were tempted and did fall) OR is it that because he was also fully God he couldn’t possibly sin?


This is a great question that a lot of people ask. The apostle Paul called Jesus the “last Adam” (1 Corinthians 15:45). This is important because Jesus is, in a sense, the opposite of Adam. The things that Adam did, Jesus must undo, and what Adam failed to do, Jesus must fulfill.

Jesus is completely human and, just like Adam, he had no sin nature. Yet, Adam still chose to sin. Jesus also could be tempted and had to resist those temptations. The fact that he had a human will that could go against God’s will is evident when he prayed, “Yet not what I will, but what you will” (Matthew 26:39). So, if Jesus could have sinned, Jesus would have sinned, just like Adam.

However, Jesus is not only human; he is completely God as well, and his divine nature did affect whether he could have fallen to his temptations. Let me give you an example of how that works:

Imagine you have a metal clothes hanger and a thick iron rod. There is a good chance that you can easily bend the metal hanger but not the iron rod. However, if you weld the two together, you can no longer bend the hanger. This is not because the hanger became stronger but because the iron rod is now fused to it. It’s the iron rod preventing you from bending the metal hanger. In the same way, Jesus’ divine nature prevented his human nature from sinning, even though he was legitimately tempted to sin.

Bonus answer: When Satan was tempting Jesus in the wilderness (read Matthew 4:1-11), Jesus did not face the temptations as God but as man. Rather than telling Satan, “I’m God, get away from me,” he prayed and quoted Scripture — exactly what he expects us to do. So, Jesus not only helps us when we need it (Hebrews 4:14-16), but he also serves as a model for us to follow before we need it.

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