Greg asked:

Since we know that Jesus was sinless and could not sin, why would the devil even bother tempting him?

Jimmy Akin replied:

"...the devil didn’t know for sure that Jesus was the son of God. And consequently by tempting him he was performing a test to find out if he could corrupt Jesus. There were many people at the time who were regarding themselves as prophets or deliverers or as kind of messianic figures and Jesus had just been singled out as one of them by John the baptist, because at the baptism it was revealed ... that Jesus was the lamb of God and he proclaimed that. So the devil may have been aware of that and was trying to perform a test to see if this is the real guy or not. If I can tempt him to commit sin, then he’s not. And so that would provide a rational reason for the devil to try do this.

On the other hand sin is irrational. There's always an element of irrationality in sin ... Trying to tempt God to sin may have just been an act of irrationality on the part of the devil. Even if he knew Jesus was the messiah he could have just been so evil and irrational that he wanted to try an throw a monkey wrench in God's plans by either getting God to sin or even just cruely putting pressure on Jesus’ human nature knowing that he wouldn’t sin, but just wanting to twist the knife so to speak."


Catholic Answers, "OpenForum" (San Diego: Catholic Answers, 2013)

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Show air date: September 12, 2013

Name of show: Open Forum

Guest comments by: Jimmy Akin

Question appeared in show: 2:36

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