The Sympathy of Jesus
In one of my quiet times last week, I read Hebrews 4:15-16:
15For 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. 16Let 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.
The verses tell us that we can “with confidence draw near to the throne of grace” since we have high priest, Jesus, who sympathizes with our weaknesses, and “who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”
But what is the connection between Jesus being sympathetic to our weaknesses, and us drawing near to the throne of grace with confidence? Or we can put it this way: Why do we need to know that Jesus sympathizes with us in order for us to approach the throne of grace with confidence?
Since sympathy is a human experience, I will recount a personal one. And I hope this will somehow, if not perfectly, address the questions we have asked ourselves a while ago.
I lost my dad more than 5 years ago. He passed away after years of battle against diabetes and its complications. His passing away left me an orphan of his, and my mom a widow. Inevitable, financial difficulties arise, since my mom is the only one working in the family.
In the ministry, I’ve encountered people of different backgrounds. But I noticed that my heart is closest to those who are orphaned by a parent, or whose mother is a widow, or who are facing financial difficulties. I can’t help but immediately offer my counsel, encouragement, and prayers. I’m always ready to extend them grace. It has become automatic.
So why am I eager to extend them grace? It’s because I sympathize with what they’re experiencing. I know how hard it is to be an orphan of a parent, or a child of a widow, or a person facing financial difficulties. Sympathy makes me want to extend grace to others.
I believe it is the same with Jesus. Since He is able “to sympathize with our weaknesses,” and He “in every respect has been tempted as we are,” He knows how difficult it is to face temptations. And He is always ready to extend us grace “in time of need.” Therefore, we can approach the throne of grace with confidence, and “receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Are you facing temptations or battling sin right now? I exhort you to approach the throne of grace with confidence. The Lord Jesus, who sympathizes with you and me and everybody else, is always ready to extend grace to you.