Jesus Understands. Bible Lesson. Teen Bible Meditation.
“Therefore, since 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 cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Hebrews 4:14 – 16 (New American Standard Bible)
Many times we think Jesus is far removed from our day-to-day experiences and existence; that He can’t (or doesn’t) really understand us or what we go through. Even though His existence is eternal, He became one of us (John 1:1 – 14). Because Jesus was given humanity (Galatians 4:4), He had characteristics we can relate to.
Let us notice a few of examples. . .
1) He had physical limitations and vulnerabilities (Matthew 4:1, 2; John 4:6 – 8).
2) He felt and expressed anger. In His case, it was a controlled and righteous anger (John 2:13 – 17; Mark 3:4 – 6; Mark 10:13 – 16).
3) In a family disagreement, His unbelieving brothers teased (dared) Him to go to Judea and become a “celebrity”. Jesus knows the rejection from those even in His own family (John 7:1 – 9). On another occasion, He was violently rejected by the folks in His hometown (Mark 6:1 – 6).
4) He was patience with Thomas’ doubt (John 20:26 – 29). He understands how hard it is for us to believe in things that are not physical or “in our presence.”
5) He had spiritual vulnerabilities. There is ample evidence He was a prayerful man. And every incident or situation of His life given in the Bible had an element of temptation. If we placed ourselves in any of those situations, would our actions, motivations and attitudes been pure and righteous as Christ’s were? He was hurt and annoyed that the disciples seemed to be unconcerned in His darkest hours (Matthew 26:36 – 46).
6) Jesus knows the sorrow and pain of losing a family member and a close friend. His cousin John was executed in prison. While fearing for His own life, He still wanted to spend time to Himself and with His Father to grieve and pray (Matthew 14:10 – 13). He also grieved for and with His friends while knowing all along that He could (and would) raise Lazarus from the dead (John 11:1 – 44).
7) He was betrayed and disowned by all His disciples (His closest friends) (Matthew 26:31 – 35; 56b; Luke 22:56 – 62).
8) He experienced growing pains (Luke 2:52; Hebrews 5:7 – 10). And on top of this, He may have even grown up with the stigma of being perceived as an illegitimate child (Mark 6:1 – 6 ‘son of Mary’; see also Matthew 1:18 – 25).
9) We value our reputation and social standing, (don’t we)? And we’re subject to various “indiscretions” (aren’t we)? Consider the episode with the woman at the well (John 4:1 – 42). There was strong hatred between Jews and Samaritans. Females had a very low social status. It was demeaning for a man to even speak to a woman in public. Respectable women got their water early in the day or late in the day. Remember Jesus was a young, unmarried man. The scenario was very inappropriate and suspicious. What would a casual observer suspect if he saw a young Jewish man and a presumed, promiscuous Samaritan woman (a vile, ethnic half-breed) talking in a remote location?
10) Jesus knows about extreme emotional, physical and mental stress. He has endured more pain than any person who has ever (or will ever) experience. Who can deny the excruciating beating His spirit, emotions and body took before and during His crucifixion? His beating was so severe, His appearance was disfigured. Severe dehydration and loss of blood, puncture wounds, gory contusions, swellings, quivering ribbons of ripped and mangled flesh, extensive nerve damage, etc. He literally didn’t even look like a human being by the time He died.
But He endured something immensely more painful and unimaginable: for each and every one of us He experienced spiritual separation from God. The Father poured out the full force of His righteous condemnation, fury and anger upon His Son. None of which was deserved but willingly accepted by Jesus because of His decisive love for us. God’s burning hatred of the sins of every human being throughout human history was weighed upon Jesus.
If we can understand and acknowledge just these few examples, doesn’t it stand to reason that Jesus understands quite literally like no one else what we all really and truly need at our core?
It is true we need help, we need friendship and we need love.
It is undoubtedly true we need grace and mercy.
God created each of us and He has the ultimate authority over us.
God intimately knows everything we could possibly need.
He values you more than anything else He has created.
Yet what we need above all else is to be saved from sin, to be saved from eternal doom and to be reunited with Him.
Through the Savior Jesus, God provided the only way back to Him (John 14:6; Acts 4:8 – 12). To accept Him and His grace is our choice. It your individual and personal decision. Likewise, I am responsible for my decisions concerning His Lordship in my life. God is not far. He is eagerly waiting, looking and reaching down to you and I. Reaching out to us every second of every day.
What is our response? Will you lift up your head and surrender your heart and your will to Him? Will you reach out to Him? Maybe for the 1st time? Even for the 1,000th time? Will you take the steps necessary to be safe in His arms?
His body, mind and spirit were torn, tortured and brutalized. We should remember His terror, horror and anguish. But let us also remember His victory, our peace, His promise, our salvation and the future rewards He has prepared for us.