Does Jesus really understand me?
“We do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin” (Hebrews 4:15).
Have you ever read this and wondered? All of God’s Word is true, so this verse is true too. But does your cynical side ever get the best of you and you think that maybe Jesus doesn’t understand what it’s like to go through the things that you go through? Do you ever think that Jesus could not possibly have faced the temptations or challenges that you face?
Let’s consider for a moment the miracle of the incarnation and its implications. Jesus is fully God. He always was, and he always will be. Jesus then came into flesh. God veiled himself in the real-life body of a human being. His conception was a miraculous conception. He was not conceived with the same sinful nature that we have by birth, but he was still subject to the same standards of perfection that you and I are. And make no mistake about it: Satan would unleash his forces on this God-man.
When Jesus Christ took on flesh, he proved how much he values your humanity. Think about it. Jesus didn’t come to this earth as a well-developed, 30-year-old man. He wrapped himself up in the womb of his mother. God became a child with all the needs of every child. He chose to be cared for as a helpless babe. God chose that he needed to be nursed. God chose that he needed to be changed. This God-man chose to communicate in the same way every child communicates: He cried when he was hungry. God chose to grow up and learn from his father and mother. He chose to play. He chose to work. He chose to do it all because to be our Savior, he had to be human just like us but without sin.
As a human being, he did not get to pick and choose what he liked and didn’t like about being human. He did not simply get to change the essence of his humanity. He was a man—a human being in every sense of the word. He knew what it meant to be hungry, thirsty, tired, and weak. He knew what it meant to live in a sinful world where sinful people do horrible things. He knew what it meant to be betrayed, disowned, and lonely. He knew what it meant to hurt, to bleed, to die.
Thankfully, you have a Savior who became truly human and gave his perfect life for you so that just as you are connected to him in your baptism in his death, you are now connected to him in his life. Our incarnate Christ remains truly human, and through him, your glorious body will one day be like his glorious body. Next month’s article will dig deeper into the implications of Christ’s resurrection for us.
He knows what it’s like to walk in your shoes. He understands you. And because he does, he can empathize with all your weaknesses.
Author: Gregory C. Lyon
Volume 109, Number 10
Issue: October 2022
- Psalm 103: When you count your blessings
- Psalm 91: When God lifts you up on his lap
- Psalm 4: When you draw nearer to the end
- Psalm 42: When you ask, “Where is God when I’m hurting?”
- Psalm 32: When you need forgiveness
- Psalm 130: When rocks fall
- Bible study: Freedom in service
- What does this mean for me? Article 6
- Bible study: Spiritual gifts
- What does this mean for me? Article 5
- What does this mean for me? Article 4
- Bible study: Rejoice in your status!
- Bible study: Baptismal blessings
- What does this mean for me? Article 3
- What does this mean for me? Article 2
- Bible study: Gifts of tongues and miraculous healing
- What does this mean for me? Article 1
- Bible study: Jesus is everyone’s Savior
- Bible study: Love one another
- Bible study: Above all things!
- Bible study: The comfort of God’s providence
- The book of James: Waiting for Christ’s return
- Bible study: Precious grace
- The book of James: Active in using prayer
- Bible study: Rewards of grace
- The book of James: Active in showing love
- The book of James: Correctly evaluating riches
- Bible study: What’s going to happen on the Last Day?
- The book of James: Avoiding loveless judging
- Bible study: Interpretation practice
- The book of James: Taming the tongue
- Bible study: The Bible’s attributes
- Bible study: The importance of the family altar
- Bible study: God’s attitude is grace
- Bible study: The Bible’s account of Easter morning
- Bible study: Different types of sin
- Bible study: God’s inspiration
- Bible study: Giving God glory
- Bible study: Judge for yourself
- The book of James: Using the Word of Truth
- Bible study: The need for the Bible and worship
- Bible study: Citizens of two kingdoms
- The book of James: Active in good works
- The book of James: When battling temptation
- Bible study: God cares
- Bible study: God made the world
- The book of James: When facing trials
- Bible study: A loving God saved people from hell
- The book of James: A blueprint for living out our life of faith
- A Bible story just for me: Guilt
- Bible study: God provides victory over death!
- A Bible story just for me: Anxiety
- Bible study: God forgives and refuses to remember our sins
- A Bible story just for me: Grief
- Bible study: God helps those who cannot help themselves
- A Bible story just for me: Depression
- Bible study: God has not grown soft on sin
- Bible study: Only one path leads to God’s presence
- A Bible story just for me: Trauma
- A Bible story just for me
- Bible study: God wants me in heaven
- Bible study: The incarnation of our Lord