Study in Hebrews: Jesus Understands and Helps :: By Sean Gooding

14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Over the past weeks, we have explored the different aspects of how Jesus blesses us in the Christian life and walk. I can tell you without a doubt that He makes himself real to me in a myriad of ways, and He develops my confidence in Him and His plan. One of the wonderful ways that we are blessed in this Christian life is the promise of a personal God. Not some generic national deity that has no power and no ability to actually help. As the Psalmist tells us in Psalm 115: 5-7,

They have mouths, but cannot speak; they have eyes, but cannot see; they have ears, but cannot hear; they have noses, but cannot smell; they have hands, but cannot feel; they have feet, but cannot walk; they cannot even clear their throats” (Berean Study Bible).

These idols are useless and are worshipped by the very men who made them, a complete turnaround from what should be. We worship the God who made man, but they worship the god that man made. It seems so crazy to us, but if that is all you know, then you are trapped. The Bible offers us the real God, a personal God; one who cares, one who knows, and one who can affect our situations.

  • Jesus Our High Priest, verse 14

The High Priest had to offer an offering for his own sin before he could offer one for the sins of the people. He had to acknowledge the fact of his own weaknesses before he could help the people. Jesus is human. Yes, but he never sinned. But He knows what it was like to be tempted. Of course, we know He is also God, but for today we will take a look at how His human existence is a benefit to us.

God has no limitations. As such, there are certain things that He knows but He has never experienced. Jesus came to understand our experience and to then be able to truly help us in this life from experiential knowledge. Jesus experienced hunger, fatigue, thirst, and betrayal. He experienced being hated and despised (in Heaven, He is worshipped and adored). He experienced limitation (in Heaven, He had no limitations). He experienced being accused of evil when He is the very essence of good. He experienced pain, suffering, death, loss, and every other human experience and emotion that you can imagine. He has been there and understands from experience what you and I are going through. Jesus knows it for sure.

We can stand assured that when we come to the Lord in prayer and in real need, He truly understands, and He can sympathize with us and offer genuine comfort from the perspective of experiential knowledge. Jesus can offer us practical solutions. He can offer us honest steps that He knows will make a difference and that will help us get through.

All too often, we do not take the advice that the Holy Spirit gives us, and we make the situation worse than it needs to be. Jesus understands the limitations that we humans have. He understands the frailty of life. He saw death over and over, from Joseph, His dad, to the many Jews around Him and the graves that were a part of the landscape. He understood suffering and poverty. He was poor, He had no money, and He was not very popular. Jesus is more popular today than He was when He walked the earth in the flesh. Jesus can feel what you and I feel, and He can help; He will help, and He wants to help.

  • Jesus, Our Mercy and Grace, verse 16

Jesus can and will help if we come and ask for help. If we ask for help while we are being tested and tempted, He will help us to sin less and to avoid sinning as often as we do. When we do fail, He is our Advocate before God the Father.

1 John 2:1-2,My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world” (NKJV).

Jesus was tempted, and He never sinned. He was tempted like we are in the very same way: the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. These are the three ways that we are all tempted.

1 John 2: 15-16,Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world— the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and the pride of life— is not from the Father but from the world” (Berean Study Bible).

Jesus is ready, willing, and able to help us to resist our urges to sin. He is ready, willing, and able to help us when we do fail, and no one loves us as He loves us. No one can comfort us like Him. Why? Because we serve a living God, a personal God, one who has felt what we are feeling. He can have compassion on us in our limits, and He can help us to transcend those limitations in His power and in His grace and mercy.

We have a personal God. The relationship I have with Him is individual, just like yours is. It is unique to me and yours to you. This is why Jesus came, not just to save us from our sins, but to offer us true, hands-on love, compassion, and mercy because He understands our limitations and our frailty. He knows our emotions first-hand, He knows our pain first-hand, and He will help. Just ask Him. He stands at the ready to run to your side, first of all, to help you not to fall, but if you do, and sadly, we all do, He is there to pick us up, dust us off, remind us He still loves us, and help us to try again.

Oh, what a loving and merciful God we serve! I pray that you have this kind of God at your side. I am thankful to have Him at my side.

God bless you,

Dr. Sean Gooding
Pastor of Mississauga Missionary Baptist Church

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