September 22, 2021

September 22, 2021

Author: Mark Bauer
September 22, 2021

“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.”

Hebrews 4:14-16

Let’s focus on the fact that we have a great high priest who is able to sympathize with our every weakness.

Sympathy, I looked it up in the Webster’s dictionary. One of the definitions says, “It is the act or capacity of entering into or sharing the feelings or interests of another.” For example, let’s say that you have a friend who comes to you and shares with you a specific grievous trial that he is facing and once you have knowledge of that trial then you are able to share the feelings of your friend, share the feelings of the suffering and pain that is being brought on by that trial. In doing so you are showing sympathy for your friend. Then imagine that the trial this friend is facing is the same type of trial that you have already personally experienced in your life. You know it firsthand. You understand the level of the pain and suffering that he is undergoing because of that trial. In this case I imagine how much more deeply you are able to enter into and share the burden and the weight of this trial that your friend is facing. By having shared the same experience the depth of your sympathy will undoubtedly be even greater than it would have been had you not experienced that trial yourself.

As I was reading this passage I was reminded that our great high priest, Jesus, is able to sympathize with our weakness. As I was thinking about his sympathy, I realized that he has a sympathy that is based on a knowledge of our weaknesses; a knowledge that is complete. As God, Jesus has a perfect knowledge of our weaknesses, of our burdens, our cares, our every trial that we face. He knows us, he knows our thoughts, he knows our hearts, he knows our innermost feelings. But Jesus has more than just a knowledge of our weaknesses, he also has experienced our weaknesses. The trials and afflictions that are common to man. When he walked on earth he took on human flesh. In his humanity he experienced temptation. We read, “In every respect has been tempted as we are yet without sin.”

Think of it, the Son of God, he was in every respect tempted as we are. Although it may not be the exact same trial that every one of us faces, it is the same type of temptation, the same type of trial that man faces. Jesus experienced the temptation of Satan, who tempted him to believe the lies of Satan rather than to trust in the Word of God and to obey God’s command. Jesus experienced the attacks, the attacks of a sinful world, slanderous accusations, lies, mocking and ridicule. But Jesus also experienced the sorrows, he was a Man of Sorrows, he was acquainted with grief. He experienced the deep sorrows and mourned sinful Jerusalem, a Jerusalem who rejected him. He experienced the loss of a loved one, his friend Lazarus. As he was there by the grave, he cried out in grief. And Jesus even faced death and ultimately he even experienced death.

These are just but a few of the examples of the experiences that Jesus had in his humanity, experiences of the trials that are common to man. Based upon his absolute knowledge and also his personal experiences, we can have confidence that he sympathizes with our weaknesses. We can come to him with our every care, our every burden, our every trial that we face. For he is our great high priest. He is one who is able to sympathize with us.

May that even encourage us to come before the throne of grace with all of our requests. Let’s draw near to that throne of grace from which we may receive mercy and help in time of need.