He’s Been There

I think that it is true that we, as humans, usually have more sympathy for those who struggle with the same issues we struggle with.We have an easier time overlooking a person’s failure if we have experienced failure in the same area. Someone who struggles with their temper knows how hard it is to stay calm and is a sympathetic soul to those who share that same struggle.
I believe it is also true that we tend to look down on others who struggle with issues that we don’t struggle with, or in areas that are foreign to us. Someone who does not struggle with something like lust will often fail to realize how difficult and powerful that struggle might be for another person. And in many cases we look down on people with different struggles, while sympathizing with those with similar problems.
Thankfully Jesus is a sympathetic High Priest. The author of Hebrews writes:

 “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

Jesus is a High Priest who can identify with our struggles. He was sinless, yet He knows how hard it is to seek righteousness in a fallen world. Take note that we are told that Christ was tempted in every respect that we are.   This gives us confidence to go to Him as someone who can identify with our individual struggles, and seek His help. Jesus is  a priest who knows how difficult your temptations are.  He understands and tells us to come to Him with bold confidence. As the next verse makes clear:

“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

It is comforting to know that after we fail Him, we can approach our Great High Priest looking for mercy and grace in our time of need.  We can do that, because He has been there. He knows our struggles. He can identify with our weakness. Yet better still He was victorious over these struggles and gives us the power, grace, and forgiveness to overcome them as well.


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