Hebrews 4:14-16 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 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. 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.
Definition of SYMPATHY
1 a : an affinity, association, or relationship between persons or things wherein whatever affects one similarly affects the other
b : mutual or parallel susceptibility or a condition brought about by it
c : unity or harmony in action or effect <every part is in complete sympathy with the scheme as a whole — Edwin Benson>
2 a : inclination to think or feel alike : emotional or intellectual accord <in sympathy with their goals>
b : feeling of loyalty : tendency to favor or support<republican sympathies>
3 a : the act or capacity of entering into or sharing the feelings or interests of another
b : the feeling or mental state brought about by such sensitivity <have sympathy for the poor>
4: the correlation existing between bodies capable of communicating their vibrational energy to one another through some medium
God can sympathize with us
I have heard it for years. Jesus came to the earth, lived in human form and experienced the same temptations and had emotions, troubles and so on. He knows how you feel. I’m pretty sure I’ve said most of that to someone else at some point, but those words always fell a little short for me. I didn’t believe it.
Jesus was never as upset about life as I am
I remember one dark day I was angry with my life and God. I was struggling. Really struggling. I felt alone and in despair. I thought only that it would be better in heaven. I already felt like I was dying inside. I wasn’t suicidal, but I did feel as though I was dying inside. It was at this time that I was doing a Bible study of some sort that said something to the effect of God knows what you’re going through. I thought to myself, “He never felt like this, like he was dying inside.” I began to wander through scripture and by the grace of God found this verse, Mark 14:32-34, “Then they came to a place called Gethsemane. He said to his disciples, “Stay here while I pray.” He took Peter, James, and John with him and began to feel distressed and anguished. He said to them, “My anguish is so great that I feel as if I’m dying. Wait here, and stay awake.”
He gets it!!!!
I couldn’t believe it. The verse had three parts that spoke to me that day.
1. He began to feel anguished
2. He began to feel distressed
3. I feel as if I’m dying
Somehow I had decided that my heart hurting, my not being happy, my anguish was a sin. That somehow if I wasn’t happy that I wasn’t relying enough on God or I wasn’t reflecting Him enough in my life. But Jesus never sinned. He felt anguish, distress and He felt like He was dying. I could relate. I now knew that God really does know how I feel. Like our verse for today says, “we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses”.
Let us hold fast our confession
I pray that this concept of Jesus sympathizing with us will bring you comfort as it did me, and that it might strengthen your faith and help us all to hold fast to our confession. Jesus is Lord.
Can you relate?