What does the bible say when you feel like your life is too messed up for Jesus? When you feel guilty and no good for God? I’m going to look at the verses in Hebrews 4:15-16 in two parts.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” – Hebrews 4:15
The first thing to learn from this verse is that Jesus became fully human. This is something you’ve probably heard before but I think it’s easy to think he was fully human but with God-like privileges.
We have probably all seen the paintings of Jesus wearing a white robe with a halo over his head. It’s a great painting but not one that helps us understand that Jesus didn’t have “Son of God” written on his forehead. The bible talks about Jesus not being attractive in the sense you wouldn’t notice him just like how you can pass a stranger without noticing them on the street. There was nothing obviously special about Jesus.
“And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favour with God and man”. Luke 2:52
Doesn’t this sound much like us? We grow physically, we learn new things and we grow socially in friendships with others. What I find most astonishing is that Jesus grew in favour with God. This helps us realise that Jesus didn’t have an intimate relationship with God from birth, it grew and matured as he grew just like our own walks with God. Jesus is exactly the same as us in how he grew physically, socially, emotionally and in relationship with God. It’s the same life cycle but the one difference is Jesus did it sinlessly and we do not.
Jesus is an example of how we can live life because he was dependent on God for everything he needed, just as we are today. It’s so important for us to get that Jesus went through all things we do or already have gone through today.
If we don’t fully appreciate the likeness between us and Jesus then it’s difficult to be able to come to God when we’ve messed up or when we feel tempted to sin because we think “well Jesus was different”. It’s hard to ask for help if we don’t believe he will understand as we think he’s not been there. The truth is though, Jesus has been there and got that T-shirt. Jesus was the same as us which means how he lived life becomes important because it means it’s the way we can live too. Instead of being in a different category to us Jesus becomes a role model and his story is a victorious one!
He’s a winner that we can follow rather than someone born in to a privileged life which was easier than our own. Jesus is our sympathiser.
In this part we are going to look a bit more at Jesus being “one who in every respect has been tempted as we are”. Because Jesus was fully man he too wasn’t exempt from temptation and the choice of following God or choosing sin. He went through those same decisions where our faith makes us stand out or even feel stupid and yet he was always obedient to God.
You may think ‘Jesus doesn’t understand the temptations we have in 2019 though- like, he didn’t have an Instagram account?!’ The truth is that there isn’t a temptation that Jesus can’t relate or help with.
Well how? It’s because the difference between us and Jesus is that we give into temptation whereas Jesus didn’t. So the times when we’ve had the decision: should I gossip, should I have sex before marriage or should I get drunk are times when we may have felt tempted to sin. There will be times when we make the right choice, but with out a shadow of a doubt there will be times when we give in and choose to do what we want rather than what God would say to do.
And that’s the difference, we give into temptation whereas Jesus went through the whole process of it. We even see it on the cross when Jesus asks God ‘Is there another way?’ He had temptation to not do what the father wanted but endured every minute and chose God. We can never understand what it feels like to walk through every temptation in the way Jesus did because we haven’t. So if you’re looking for an expert in living the Christian life well Jesus is the guy, whether it’s 2019 or 2079.
With Jesus as our example and the person who gets it completely we can thoroughly enjoy the next part of the Hebrews verse.
“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 4:16
We can confidently come to God because we know that Jesus understands all that we go through and he will always be able to help. We’re confident in his ability to give advice on how to work through temptation and of the Holy Spirit living in us to give us power to enable us to be obedient.
You’ve not messed up more than what Jesus is able to fix, and we don’t have a God who says we are a failure or condemns us. When you feel unworthy or guilty your response can be “Jesus I need you”. You can run to the throne of God and be 100% sure you will find grace and open arms.