Jesus is the God Who Understands:
“That is why we have a great High Priest who has gone to heaven, Jesus the Son of God. Let us cling to him and never stop trusting him. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it.” (Hebrews 4:14-16, NLT).
Do you ever wonder what God is like? Many people have different concepts about the nature of God. Some people think of Him as The Man Upstairs, a Cosmic Force way out there somewhere in outer space. But is God—in the words of the popular Bette Midler song from the 80’s—watching us from a distance? Well, although it is true that He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-present, and although He is the Lord God Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth, He is so much more than those things. He is the God Who Came Near. He is Emmanuel, God with us. He is Jesus, who “became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14).
In our key Scripture in Hebrews chapter four, the Bible tells us that Jesus is our High Priest who, after dying on the cross to pay the price for our sins, ascended into Heaven. We are encouraged to cling to Him, and never stop trusting Him. Why? Because He understands our weaknesses! But how can that be true? Because of the incarnation. The incarnation is just a fancy word that means God became a man, in the form of His Son Jesus Christ. As a human being, Jesus faced all of the same temptations that you and I do every day, and yet He did not sin. Because of this, the Bible tells us we can come boldly to the throne of grace to receive His mercy, and find grace to help in our times of need. Jesus is the God Who Understands.
To really help you to understand the amazing love that our wonderful Heavenly Father has for us, I want to share a story with you called Puppies for Sale. This story best illustrates how Jesus is someone who understands us in our human frailties and weaknesses.
A store owner was tacking a sign above his door that read “Puppies For Sale.” Signs like that have a way of attracting small children, and sure enough, a little boy appeared under the store owner’s sign. “How much are you going to sell the puppies for?” he asked. The store owner replied, “Anywhere from $30 to $50.” The little boy reached in his pocket and pulled out some change. “I have $2.37,” he said. “Can I please look at them?” The store owner smiled and whistled and out of the kennel came Lady, who ran down the aisle of his store followed by five teeny, tiny balls of fur. One puppy was lagging considerably behind. Immediately the little boy signalled out the lagging, limping puppy and said, “What’s wrong with that little dog?” The store owner explained that the little puppy didn’t have a hip socket. It would always limp. It would always be lame. The little boy became excited. “That is the little puppy that I want to buy.” The store owner said, “No, you don’t want to buy that little dog. If you really want him, I’ll just give him to you.” The little boy got quite upset. He looked straight into the store owner’s eyes, pointing his finger, and said, “I don’t want you to give him to me. That little dog is worth every bit as much as all the other dogs and I’ll pay full price. In fact, I’ll give you $2.37 now, and 50 cents a month until I have him paid for.” The store owner countered, “You really don’t want to buy this little dog. He is never going to be able to run and jump and play with you like the other puppies.” To this, the little boy reached down and rolled up his pant leg to reveal a badly twisted, crippled left leg supported by a big metal brace. He looked up at the store owner and softly replied, “Well, I don’t run so well myself, and the little puppy will need someone who understands!” (Chicken Soup for the Soul).
Pastor Chris Jordan
(note – the above photo is a picture of our dog Cooper).