Here is my response. First, we need to be absolutely clear that Jesus lived His life as an example for us to follow. This is taught in the following verses:
1 John 2:6 the one who says he abides in Him [Jesus Christ] ought
himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.
1 Peter 2:21-23 For you have been called for this purpose, since
Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His
steps, WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously;
Second, we need to realize that, even though Christ was unable to sin due to His divine nature, He truly experienced temptation. The temptation He faced was real, authentic temptation. The only difference between His experience and ours is that He never gave in to the temptation.
Hebrews 2:17-18 Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all
things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things
pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For
since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come
to the aid of those who are tempted.
Hebrews 4:15-16 15 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. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the
throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of
As our example, who was "made like His brethren in all things" and was "tempted in all things as we are," Christ resisted temptation in the same way we are to resist temptation, in the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus did not use His own power to resist temptation, but relied on the Holy Spirit in the same we are to do, for after Jesus resisted the devil's temptations in the wilderness, the Bible says that "Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit" (Luke 4:14 NASB). This is how Jesus lived His life. He lived in dependence upon the Spirit, which is part of what it means that Christ humbled Himself in becoming a man (Phil 2:6-8). If He had not depended on the Spirit, He would not be the authentic example for us that Scripture says He is.
The very same power Jesus used to resist temptation is available to all believers, the power of the Holy Spirit. We should never seek to resist temptation in our own limited power, always in the Spirit's infinite power. This requires faith exercised through serious prayer, which Jesus also models for us in His habits of serious prayer.
So Jesus' example of befriending unbelievers is an example that we can follow in the power of the Spirit and one that we should follow. This does not mean we should do something foolish like going with unbelievers to a bar if we have a tendency to get drunk. But it does mean we should seek to befriend unbelievers while exercising wisdom.
Of course there will be times when we give in to temptation. But the good news is that when we do sin, there is a sympathetic High Priest who is merciful and faithful, who has made propitiation for our sins!