“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet was without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)
Sympathy can be very powerful. It can draw people together. It can impact lives in ways that simple words or actions could never do. The greatest example of sympathy used was Jesus Christ.
The above verse comes from the book of Hebrews. The priests of old could be sympathetic, but their sympathy was flawed because they were flawed. But, Jesus Christ was a better high priest because his sympathy is never flawed. He knows what we go through on a daily basis. He lived the life that we live. He was tempted in the same ways we are tempted; the only difference is that Jesus did not fall to the temptations like we do. But, why does the author of Hebrews mention how sympathetic Jesus is towards us? Why is that important?
Hebrews 4:16 gives us the answer. It says, “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Because Jesus understands, those who put their faith in Him can approach the throne of grace with confidence not to receive condemnation, but, rather, to receive mercy and grace. When we come to Jesus heartbroken over our sin, Jesus’ response is, “I understand and I forgive you.”
If the sympathy of Jesus leads us to grace, then shouldn’t we respond to that grace by showing sympathy to others? Those who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior have been changed by his radical love and grace. We can go to him countless times and his sympathy leads us over and over to grace and mercy. Once we experience that grace, we should respond by showing sympathy to others so they may be led to the same throne of grace.
Question: Have you experienced the sympathy of Jesus?
Challenge: How can you be sympathetic to others?
Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for being our sympathetic high priest who leads us to throne of grace always.
Ryan Reveley, League Coordinator -- Appalachian League