Could Jesus have Sinned?

For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses,

but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin .

Hebrews 4:15

Was Christ Peccable?

Theologians call this debate about this doctrine The Impeccability of Christ. Peccability means capable of sin; impeccability means incapable of sin. God is incapable of sin; humanity is capable of sin. And Jesus was both God and man. So, could He have sinned? Great question!

High View or Low View

This question is related to whether a believer has a high view of Christ or a low view. The terms high view and low view are not used the way someone might think when you first look at them.

A person with a high view of Christ would say that Christ could not have sinned.

A person with a low view of Christ would say that Christ could have sinned, but He didn’t. 

An Example of Reluctance

The three synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) all tell us that Jesus faced temptation from Satan in the wilderness for forty days. Neither Matthew nor Luke imply any reluctance on Jesus’ part, but Mark does:

“(After Jesus was baptized) Immediately the Spirit impelled Him to go out into the wilderness. And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to Him (Mark 1:12-13).”

Another way to interpret the word translated impelled in this passage is drove. Mark implies that Jesus was reluctant to face Satan’s temptations, but the Spirit drove Him out (to ensure He went). The usual response of any human is to avoid a dangerous situation. Implying that Jesus was reluctant is having a low view of JesusA high view of Jesus is if Jesus had no misgivings about facing Satan’s temptations.

Honoring Jesus

Having a high view doesn’t mean that a person who holds that view has the best or even more honoring understanding. Mark’s low view emphasizes Jesus’ humanity because Mark is using Jesus’ victory over Satan’s temptations as an example for his readers to follow when they face temptation. So, even though reluctance is normal, that doesn’t mean you should give in to temptation–instead, stay faithful while enduring it.

The Challenge

It’s challenging to resolve the peccability debate because Jesus is both God (unable to sin) and man (vulnerable to sin).

When Jesus walked the earth, He was vulnerable to Satan and his temptations. But Jesus received a resurrection body when He rose from the dead and was no longer susceptible to sin. As believers in Jesus, we will be like Him when He comes for us, and then we will never again be vulnerable to sin.

Jesus Won the Victory over Sin

Jesus didn’t sin, and all orthodox Christians agree on that. But, could He have sinned? Because Jesus is fully God (among other reasons), He wouldn’t and couldn’t sin. As a human, was He vulnerable to temptation? Yes, and because He was, He can sympathize with our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:14-16).

God Knew the End from the Beginning

Because of God’s omniscience, He knows the beginning from the end. We also know that Jesus didn’t sin because the story has played out.

“I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done,

 Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure (Isaiah 46:10).”

So, God made the plan of the ages and knew the end from the beginning. He knew Jesus wouldn’t sin and knew everything that happened on the way. We can trust in our omnipotent, omniscient God and our impeccable Savior.


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If this video connected with you in some way, and you’d like to find out more about having a relationship with God and how His forgiveness and grace applies to you, a great place to start is praying the prayer below. The words themselves aren’t magic, but if you earnestly pray them and mean them, God will hear you! He’ll help you in ways you don’t understand, and we’ll help you find support and next steps.

The Prayer

Jesus, I don't know You, and I don't know what Your plan is for me. But thank you for coming to die in my place. I'm sorry for anything I've ever done wrong in my life. I don't understand how You could ever forgive me, but if You really would, I would like to accept your free gift of grace and complete forgiveness. Please come into my life and take control, and help me trust You. In Jesus' name I pray,

Did you pray this prayer?

So Now What?

If you really meant that prayer, the next step is to get you connected with other Christ-followers near you so you can grow, learn and become stronger in your faith.

Click the CONNECT NOW button below to find a group of believers who can help you establish that relationship with God that you’ve only just begun.

God loves you – specifically you! And because He does, you have a bright future! Trust Him to help you find it.

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Take the next step and get to know others just like you who are looking for real answers. You will find amazing support and community, and answers to questions you may have not even thought to ask!

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