Was it POSSIBLE for Jesus to sin? Did Jesus have a conscience?


The argument for the Immaculate Conception is that Mary had to be pure to be the mother of God and therefore was born without the “stain” of Original Sin. Thomas Aquinas argued that she was born with Original Sin because she said that she acknowledged the need of a Savior Luke 1:46-55, but was later after she accepted the task of bearing Jesus she was cleansed of it. But if either of those positions were true then it would be impossible for Jesus to ever have sinned. But was it? Did Jesus have a conscience?

Original Sin was taught as a “black mark on the soul”, that we were born evil and in need of salvation. Today it is largely taught that we are born good but with the propensity and the ability to commit evil. For me that description seems far more likely. For a sin to be a sin it must be a grave matter done with full knowledge. It is not something which we can do by accident nor by inheritance. The sins of my father were his sins, not mine. The story of Adam & Eve seems to be more focused on the development of a conscience (knowledge of good and evil) therefore what we “inherited” from our first parents was the ability to commit sin rather than the sin itself.

Scripture seems to say that Christ did have the ability to sin. He was tempted in the desert three times. Luke 1:46-55 The temptations were to commit the sins of hedonism (hunger / satisfaction), egoism (spectacular throw / might) and materialism (kingdoms / wealth). But it begs the question of whether or not we can be tempted to do something which we cannot possibly do? I am not tempted to fly to the moon because it is totally impossible for me to do so. I am tempted to rent and R.V. and travel across the country because I can do that. If Jesus did not have the ability to sin then he could not be tempted. If He was tempted then He did have the ability but chose not to sin. Likewise Christ displayed that He had a will of His own which at times differed from the will of God. He asked that His task be taken from Him. But He did the will of God rather than follow His own will.

This is not an argument about whether or not Christ sinned, but whether He had the ability.


It seems to me that if Jesus did not have the ability to sin, he was not truly human, which to the apostles and early fathers would have been a huge problem with regard to our redemption. That which is not assumed is not saved, right?

However, we see in Matthew and Mark that Jesus was subject to temptation, which assumes that he has the ability to sin. Also, in the garden of Gethsemane, we see Jesus’ most human moment where he asks God to remove the cup from before him, yet not his will be done, but the Father’s.

However, I think the author of Hebrews really puts it best and most succinctly:

“For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering…Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery…Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”


To rephrase, you are asking,
“Could God have sinned ?”

It would be wrong to answer this question with an affirmative or negative response.
Both of those answers would also imply a heretical understanding or imply something that is not true.

Your desire to seek clarity is to be commended.
However, your implied question above also implies a self-contradiction,
ie. A Perfectly Good God – being bad.
So, your question is a meaningless association of words.

Please do not be offended. I just seek clarity in understanding and expression.

If a person says God could have sinned, then he is implying the idea of an all Good and Perfect God being bad. That is a contradiction.

If a person says God could not have sinned he is implying that God is not all powerful.

Luke 1:37
“For with God nothing will be impossible.”

Muslims will claim that their God is greater and more powerful than The Christian concept of God because Muslims claim their God can contradict himself.

The correct way of explaining God, the One True God of Christianity, is to say that
He Freely chooses to always be Good and to never sin.

Read more in depth at

“Can God Lie?”



And yet the Bible states a number of times that God created both good AND evil. Atheists always point to the existence of pain and suffering among little children. They ask a perfectly good God could create evil, and allow for such things. This is the so-called “Epicurean Dilemma”, and they would be right until you considered the fact that God has a reason for the existence of evil, pain, suffering, toil, and death. (more to come on that later… I am tired).




Jesus could feel temptation, but he lacked concupiscence: an inclination to sin. He would feel inclined to sin as much as I currently am to shoot a nail through my foot to stop an itch, which is to say, not at all.


Saint Thomas Aquinas, great as he is, doctor of the Church - is neither pope nor council. He simply got this one wrong. Mary was preserved from the stain of sin before her conception - saved - by the action of her Son. Thus, the Lord was indeed her Savior.

No, Jesus could not sin, as He is God. His human nature, in the hypostatic union, so closely allied, so utterly conformed to the will of the Father, that sin was and is impossible.

Full story, bro’

End of story.


Are you saying that it was impossible for Jesus to be tempted? I am only tempted to do things that I am capable of doing! He prayed that His task be removed from Him so obviously His personal will was different from the will of God. You are overlooking the fact, as the Bible says on a number of occasions, that God created evil. If He created evil then it is obvious that He wanted evil to exist. The answer lies in what evil actually teaches us. Without the free choice to do evil we would not have the free choice to reject that evil and do good. If we are incapable of doing good then we never could have learned to love.


Again, we are only tempted to do things which we are capable of doing. He sweat blood in worry while thinking about what was to come with His suffering and death and asked that God remove that task from Him. He seriously did not want this to happen even though it was the will of the Father. Concupiscence is actually far beyond the “inclination to sin”. It is a sin in and of itself. Look up the definition. He had all of man’s emotions as seen when He cursed the fig tree for not producing figs during a time when it was not the season for figs and his anger when drove the money changers out of the temple. Certainly Jesus always put His will behind the will of the Father. That one has always puzzled me… would I be sinning if during a third or fourth collection at Mass I overturned the collection baskets because I saw it as making a mockery of the true meaning of the Mass and Christ’s message? I am not asking if He did sin, I know that He did not.



He could not sin!

He could be tempted, but without effect as we see, since he drove the devil away.

Got a catechism?



“In its widest acceptation, concupiscence is any yearning of the soul for good; in its strict and specific acceptation, a desire of the lower appetite contrary to reason.”

Are desires in of themselves sins? No.

Nor have the inordinate desires (actual concupiscence) or the proneness to them (habitual concupiscence) the nature of sin; for sin, being the free and deliberate transgression of the law of God, can be only in the rational will; though it be true that they are temptations to sin, becoming the stronger and the more frequent the oftener they have been indulged. As thus far considered they are only sinful objects and antecedent causes of sinful transgressions; they contract the malice of sin only when consent is given by the will; not as though their nature were changed, but because they are adopted and completed by the will and so share its malice. Hence the distinction of concupiscence antecedent and concupiscence consequent to the consent of the will; the latter is sinful, the former is not.”

Anger is not in of itself a sin. Nor is experiencing it sinful.

How would they be? You do realize that the Collection during Mass stems from the tradition of the laity supplying the wine and bread to the priest? It is giving what we have, the fruits of our labors, and presenting them to be made holy. In the case of money, it’s supposed to support the Church and our community. Is that not a holy task?

Define capable. Was Jesus not capable of the things the Devil tried to tempt Him to do?

His humanity was reluctant, His divinity was not. He demonstrated to us how we should act when the flesh is in conflict with the spirit.


We are creatures with rational, immortal souls. Sin is inherently irrational, because sin causes death. Why would an immortal being choose death? It is against our nature!

Adam and Eve were born without sin, and were capable of living without sin. They were full of grace, just like Mary. Yet, they freely chose to sin.

Jesus was full of grace. Possessing God’s grace, he was perfectly capable of fulfilling the temptations of the devil. He could have led an army of demons to enslave the earth, and God the Father would be powerless to stop him! But it was through humble obedience that Christ followed the will of the Father.

As a rational, immortal soul, Jesus could not want death. He agonized over this, but choose obedience out of love for all his created. Rather than enslave us, he set it free.


A search would yield:

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.
-1 Peter 2:21-22

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin -Hebrews 4:15


I love this analogy.


@WileyC1949 , your question “Was it POSSIBLE for Jesus to sin?” has got me pondering .

As the New Adam for Jesus to have sinned would have messed up salvation big time .

Jesus said , " I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me…My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work."

"Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.”(Hebrews 10:9)


Where? God permits evil. He had to or we would all be slaves with no free will. God loved us too much to make us slaves.

That’s part of the requirements for mortal or serious sins. Venial sins may not have full knowledge, for example.

The temptations were of a higher order. The devil rules the world. Jesus was here to win it back. If Jesus turned stones into bread, there would be no hunger in the world. As Bishop Sheen said “Jesus would be the bread king” and be immensely popular. But Jesus did not want to win souls that way. In the end, we have to accept suffering to gain eternal life.
Three examples where you stated something as true when it was not. You can’t find truth that way.


Why do these questions have to be so long to read ?

One paragraph is good enough -

Then as people reply - THEN - say more … .


Jesus did not, would not, and will not ever sin.
Because he is Goodness itself, he cannot sin! It goes against his divine nature.

Omnipotence is full power of all that is. This does not contradict his omnipotence because sin is not included in “all that is”. Virtue is part of all that is, and sin is the ABSENCE of virtue. All that is - is Good, evil is the absence of good. So sin/evil is not a thing, but the lacking of a thing.


Jesus was tempted to sin because he had free will and was fully human.

Because he saw the full potential of goodness in all things, he was actually more tempted than any of us could possibly be!

The only reason we fall to sin is because we see some good in something and settle for some of it. We settle for things, Jesus doesn’t.

Jesus knew all that was good and all that was evil and always chose good. He had a conscience and it was perfect.


Possible? Yes. That’s the whole point.
I’m willing to bet that he blinked in the desert. The devil had him for one and only one moment. Jesus: tired, hungry. “All this if you will worship me…”.
Of course he wouldn’t do it. But, even thinking about it for a second would make Jesus far more real and accessible to us all. It wouldn’t be a sin; it would be a human reaction under great stress.
Personally, I cannot relate to Jesus at all.

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