Hebrews 4 : 14-16
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
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. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
These verses in Hebrews are jam-packed with meaning about who Jesus is and what he has done. Just the first verse (14) tells us that He is our great high priest – He is the one who acts as a mediator between God and His people. He has passed through the heavens, ascending to the right hand of God to live forever. He is the Son of God; He is divine and worthy of our worship. We could stop right there and be absolutely amazed by Jesus.
As we go onto the next verse, we are hit with another humbling, sweet truth. Jesus - the One who intercedes for us, who lives and reigns with the Father, who is Himself God – is able to sympathize with our weaknesses. Jesus became human; He took on human flesh. He has experienced this world and the temptations in it. He is truly capable of sympathizing with us. What exactly does sympathy mean? It means He has compassion on us; He understands, empathizes, and cares for us.
God has always known that we are weak. Jesus tells his disciples in Matthew 26:41,
“Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
And even going back to the Psalms, we see that God understands our limits:
As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust.
- Psalm 103:13-14
Jesus understands when you have trouble finding the strength to do what is right. He gets your frustration when you cannot seem to align your feelings or motivations with what you know to be true. He cares for you when you are overwhelmed with fears and pain and grief. He offers grace when you have given into temptation once again.
Does this mean that we lean on the phrase “I’m only human” as the justification for all our shortcomings? By no means!
The implications of the truth that Jesus sympathizes with our weaknesses are much more wonderful than that. Remember, Jesus is our Great High Priest. He is the go-between for us to the Father. We can go to him for help in our time of need. He is the High Priest who intervenes for us in our weakness.
Because He understands and has compassion on us, we may draw near to His throne with confidence, trusting that we will receive mercy and find grace. We are weak, but He is strong.
See Y'all In The Round!