“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.” (Heb 4:15)
As I read the verse above, I wondered how the writer of Hebrews knew this about Christ. In my simple mind, there are only two possible explanations. Either God downloaded that piece of information about Christ into the mind of the writer through inspiration; or, Christ shared His human frailness with others. Either way, God wanted us to know this side of Jesus.
If you’re like me, you don’t often allow yourself to think about what this verse really suggests. However, the writer was careful to state that Christ was tempted in EVERY way we can be today. That means that as a child, He was tempted to steal from His brothers. He was tempted not to do His chores, and then lie to Mary and Joseph that He had. When Jesus got a little older, it means that Suzy down the street looked like a woman to Him and He had normal urges. Christ was tempted to hurt others with His words. He was tempted to be selfish and rude and impatient. You get the idea.
The reality is, if you have had the temptation, or can even imagine the temptation, Christ experienced it. But, why tells us that He did? So we, like Christ, can be sinless? We should certainly try to be, but sinless perfection is not possible for us. So why tell us? I believe the next verse provides the answer – “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Heb 4:16)
Because the Son understands, we can continue to approach the Father in confidence that we’ll find grace and mercy in our time of need. I don’t know about you, but my time of need is nearly 24/7!
I’m thankful for His understanding, mercy, and grace. How about you? –Dave
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