So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. (NLT)
Sometimes when we are in need of help, well-meaning people tell us they know exactly how we feel. And then perhaps regale us with stories of their own woes. Of course no-one knows exactly how we feel. All trials and experiences are somehow unique. The best another person can say to us is that they may know something of what we are going through.
But that doesn’t apply to Jesus. He is not like us in that he is divine as well as human. So he can embrace and understand the entire scope of human feeling and experience. He was not only a specific human being in time and space, but somehow represents all humanity.
When this text says Jesus experienced all the testing we experience, it is speaking generally. Jesus didn’t experience the stress of parenting; the temptation to be unfaithful to a marriage partner; the temptation to cheat on a job application.
Rather he knows what it is like to experience rejection and misunderstanding; to experience sexual temptation. He knows what it is like to resolve to tell the truth rather than lie. Obviously he could not have experienced every possible temptation open to human beings. But he faced them all in their most general terms.
We can come to Jesus and trust that he understands what we are going through. He is no dispassionate, indifferent, detached deity. He alone can tell us he knows exactly how we feel.
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