Key verse: Hebrews 4:15 “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin.”
In some mysterious way, Jesus was fully human and fully divine. I believe if we put humanity and divinity on opposing ends of a teeter-totter, many of us would sit on the “divinity” side when we think about Jesus. We affirm that Jesus is God in human form. But sometimes it’s hard for us to also affirm that Jesus was fully human.
Jesus was born as a baby, unable to speak or to walk or to feed himself. Like every human baby, he learned to speak by mimicking those around him. Someone held his hands as he took his first steps. He was loved by human parents and surrounded by human friends. The writer of the letter to the Hebrews reminds us that Jesus faced human temptations. Faithfulness wasn’t automatic and easy for him. He consistently chose God’s will but I suspect he struggled sometimes to make the right choice.
Jesus is not a distant impartial high priest or a condemning judge. He is sympathetic because he understands just how difficult it is to be faithful to God in real life situations. Jesus knows what it’s like to be tested, yet he chose God’s will and did not sin. That truth should encourage us that God’s way is possible in the world. We follow Jesus, fully human, fully divine and he is our high priest who offers us grace.
Jesus, when I feel alone or overwhelmed, remind me that you understand all my weaknesses. You know what it’s like. Thank you for your sympathetic grace. Deepen my trust in you. Amen.
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission.
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