Useful Bible Studies > Hebrews Commentary > chapter 4

Jesusí sympathy

Hebrews 4:15

Jesus understands our weakness. Although he is always God, he became completely man. And daily, he knew the same kind of problems and difficulties that we suffer. He felt these things in his own mind and body.

Jesus was not someone who talked much about his own feelings. But the Gospels (the books about Jesusí life) tell us about some of the things that he suffered. He had the same troubles that are part of everyoneís experience in this world. He knows what it means to be tired (Mark 4:38) and hungry (Matthew 4:2). He lived in a hot, dry country and sometimes he was desperate for water to drink (John 4:6-7). He felt extreme strain (Luke 22:44). Often, people were trying to kill him (Luke 4:29; Mark 3:6). He had many enemies.

But the Gospels do not tell us how extreme were the effects of these troubles on Jesus himself. To find out that, you must read some passages from the Books of Isaiah and Psalms in the Old Testament. The Old Testament means the 39 Bible books that already existed before Jesusí birth. God showed some of the prophets (holy men) who wrote those books about Jesusí troubles. Passages like Isaiah chapter 53, Psalm 22, Psalm 69 and Psalm 102 are clearly about Jesus. And the descriptions of his troubles there are truly terrible.

Jesus suffered all these troubles. And by them, he qualifies to be our chief priest. Only a man can act on behalf of other men and women as their chief priest (Hebrews 5:1). Only a man can know how difficult it can seem to obey God. Only a man can truly sympathise with our weaknesses.

But there was one difference between Jesus and us. We all sin (Romans 3:23). In other words, we all do bad and wrong things that are against Godís law. Sometimes we all fail the test of whether we are loyal to God. But Jesus never did. He never sinned. His closest friends, Peter and John, were witnesses of that fact. Peter declared that Jesus was perfect (1 Peter 1:19). John declared that Jesus is God. And he added that God is perfect (1 John 1:1-5).

And because Jesus obeyed God completely, his work as our chief priest was completely successful. He dealt with all our sin.

Next part: Pray with confidence (Hebrews 4:16)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.