The Sympathizing Jesus

The Sympathizing Jesus

“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” (Hebrews 4:15)

As exalted, holy and glorious as Jesus is, it would be a great mistake to think that our High Priest is remote from the realities of our lives. There ought to be no question of any incapacity on His part to relate to us in the matter of temptation, for He is one tempted “in every respect. . . yet without sin.” In fact, Jesus has unequaled ability to sympathize with us when we are tempted, because He alone has felt its full force – and He alone never yielded to temptation in sin.

Jesus feels for us, He compassionately cares for us no one else possibly could – our Lord and Savior relates to us! In a passage that gives us an idea of just how much Jesus does relate, “because He Himself has suffered when tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted” (Hebrews 2:17-18). When we struggle and hurt in temptation, Jesus feels for us and is able to run to our side to help. Think about the temptation of Christ in the wilderness by Satan (Matthew 4:1-11).

Jesus Struggled With Temptation Physically and Emotionally. The Devil waited until Jesus was at His most vulnerable, having fasted for forty days. Then Satan really tried to let Jesus have it! (Matthew 4:1-2).

Jesus Struggled With Temptation Personally and Logically. The Devil works hard to make giving in to temptation sound reasonable (Matthew 4:3-4). He surely did with Adam and Eve in Genesis 3, and he again tries to in this instance. Jesus is the Son of God and surely His Father would not want Him to die due to starvation in the wilderness! Why not use Your power to turn stones into bread? As real as Christ’s hunger must have been, His desire to please God was even greater!

Jesus Struggled With Temptation Psychologically and Socially. The temptation has to do with presumptuous behavior, even to the point of Satan misusing Scripture to make presumption seem more palatable. Casting Himself off the pinnacle of the Temple and having God send angels to His aid to keep Him from harm would “prove” to the masses He really was God’s Son (Matthew 4:5-7). However, Jesus would not “bite” the Devil’s bait!

Jesus Struggled With Temptation Visually and Materially. Matthew 4:8-11 tell us that Satan “show Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.” Satan promised Jesus that he would give Him “all these” things if Jesus would fall down and worship him.

How marvelous it is that our Savior responded properly to temptation while at His weakest when we sometimes fail to do so at what we thought was our strongest! One thing is sure: Satan still uses temptation to tempt us to sin with our bodies, emotions, psyches, minds, eyes and desires. How thankful we should be for our awesome, sympathizing, able-to-help High Priest!

-Mike Vestal


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