IF GOD DOES NOT TEMPT ANYONE WHY DO WE PRAY “LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION “ - MATTHEW 6:13 – LUKE 11:4
St James declares plainly that God does not tempt humans, inducing them to do evil instead of good:
“When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone;”
However when we read the Lord’s Prayer as it is in the Gospel of Matthew and the simplified version in the Gospel of Luke, both versions are translated as:
“And lead us not into temptation”
(Matthew 6:13; Luke 11:4)
HOW WE EXPLAIN THIS
1 – The word used in Matthew and Luke for ‘lead’ us is εἰσενέγκῃς from the verb εἰσφέρω, which really indicates an action of directing someone or something into a place or situation. Not just a permissive attitude but an active one.
Some have tried to explain the apparent discrepancy by saying that to translate ‘lead us’ is not correct, but it is, following a literal translation of the verse.
2 – The word used for ‘Temptation’ on the other hand, it is πειρασμόν, from the noun πειρασμός, which implies also testing or probation.
As when Lord Jesus was taken to the desert by the Holy Spirit to be “tempted” (Matthew 4:1), in the same manner the Lord’s Prayer reads ‘Lead us not into temptation’; but what is really saying, is asking God to spare us from testing considering our weak nature; and if He does test us, to give us the strength to pass the trial.
The meaning of ‘Temptation’ here is ‘Trial”; not the type of temptation to do evil that comes from our own sinfulness under demonic instigation.
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