Spiritual Warfare – Did Jesus Worry & Sin?
Did Jesus worry and therefore sin? If you are a Christian, you know what it feels like to be attacked by the enemy. They love to place fear and doubt into your mind to trip you in your walk with the Lord. Sometimes, if allowed, that trip can turn into a stumble and fall. How long you stay down is up to you.
Recently, I was thinking about my anxieties and fears of the future and was reminding myself of the verses related to fear, and not to worry, and not to be anxious, that it is a sin. Then out of the blue, that’s when the attack hit. “You know, Jesus worried and was very anxious in the Garden of Gethsemane, so even He sinned”.
Jesus Never Sinned
Right away I knew it was an attack, because it was a lie. Jesus never sinned, the Bible is very clear about that.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are, yet he did not sin.
– Hebrews 4:15
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
– 2 Corinthians 5:21
He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.
– 1 Peter 2:22
There are more, but you get the picture. So why is this such a big deal? Well, if Jesus had sinned, He would not have been the perfect Lamb of God, the perfect sacrifice, who He said He was, and all our faith is based on, Jesus, would crumble to ashes. Thankfully, this simply isn’t true. Jesus did not worry, or have anxiety the night before His crucifixion. Let’s dive in.
Fully Man, Fully God
Jesus was fully human, and fully God. Being fully human, he experienced the same temptations, struggles, heartache, all types of pain, joy, happiness and other human emotions as us. This is why Hebrews 4:15 says that He can relate to us. He knows what we face day to day.
All that being said, He was tempted in every way that we are, but He never gave in to temptation. Simply being tempted is not a sin, not at all. We face temptations every day. What we decide to do in the face of those temptations determines whether or not we choose to sin. In Matthew 4:1-11, satan tempted Jesus. Jesus was in a humanly physically weakened state, where many of us can easily fall victim to sin, but Jesus rebuked satan. Jesus could have chosen to give in to satan’s lies and requests, but He didn’t, therefore, no sin.
What I was struggling with, was the idea that Jesus worried the night before His persecution. After all, Luke 22:44 states the following.
And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
At surface level, that would seem that He is very worried. However, He’s not. The following verses express His emotion.
And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled.
– Matthew 26:37
And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled.
– Mark 14:33
Worry, doubt, anxiety, as the Bible tells us, is sin. Worrying, doubting, and anxiety are the acts of allowing fear to control your life and decisions instead of placing your faith in God. Fear, sorrow, and distress are not sins, they are natural human responses. What would lead to sin is if you allow the fear, sorrow, and distress to turn into doubt and worry, and letting the doubt and worry determine your actions.
We know by the above verses that Jesus was greatly troubled and his adrenaline was through the roof. This is not worry, this is knowing that the absolute worst possible death, shame, agony, torture, pain, humiliation, and ultimately a moment of being forsaken by the Father awaited Him in just a few short hours. That would make anyone distressed.
The difference is like this. You could worry every day that you are going to get mugged by a criminal, and therefore make the decision to never go out of the security of your locked doors and let it control your life. The second option is to realize that ultimately God is in control and we are not called to live a life in fear, and so you go out on a regular basis. One day, someone holds you at gun point and proceeds to rob you. In those moments when you are being violated and held at gun point, you aren’t worried that you are going to be mugged, you’re being mugged. However, you are greatly distressed and troubled. Your blood pressure would be going through the roof, which is what causes sweating blood (Hematidrosis), and your adrenaline would spike.
This is what Jesus is experiencing. There is no sin in that. It would have been sin if He would have allowed those feeling to lead to fear and doubt, or worry, and not follow through with the plan of the Father. His emotions are very comforting really. It would be morbid and unlike a loving God to want such a gruesome future or not feel emotion about it. Similar to a mother who is about to give birth, she knows it is going to be terribly painful, yet still faces the labor with joy. She knows that soon she will be holding her newborn baby.
Jesus shows an even far greater example. Jesus knew what He was about to endure and faced it head on. He said in His prayers that night, “not as I will, but as you will”. There is no worrying or doubting the Father in that. He asked if there was any other way, but trusted that if there wasn’t, then let’s do this. Trust. He chose to trust, obey, and therefore NOT SIN.
Trust and Obey
What satan tried to use against me to make me struggle, and fall, actually made my faith and knowledge that much stronger. I believe it is a sin to give in to fears, the fears that are clearly outlined that we are not to have, involving trusting Him or doubting His Word and promises. That is motivation for me to not allow these types of fears and worry to dictate my life.
What fear(s) are determining my decisions. What worries are influencing my choices between trusting God, or something else. These are sins, and when compared to the temptations and knowledge of what would happen that Jesus faced, I am left without an excuse. This is monumental for me, because being a person that struggles with anxiety and worry, this again shows me that there is no excuse. There is nothing too big for God to handle, if I choose to trust Him with it and obey.
When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.
Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
But is blessed if we trust and obey.
But we never can prove the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.
Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet,
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way;
What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.
-John H. Sammis, 1887