Posted by: AJ the Irish Lass | February 3, 2008

Deepest Empathy

“For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.  Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”-Hebrews 2:17-18 NIV

I’ve diverted from using one of Sunday’s readings because this passage really leapt out at me while praying Evening Prayer earlier.   It truly brings to mind the full scope of Jesus’ sufferings for us.

We tend to think of God as being “way up there” someplace and unable to fully identify with our human suffering and frailty.   Indeed, it seems as though our human nature has always been unable to comprehend the concept of God-in-the-flesh suffering for us.  Perhaps this explains the reluctance of many of the Jewish people to accept Jesus and His message.

God is not “way up there”, but with us.  He can identify with our sinfulness, our frailty, and our suffering. He is for us, so who can be against us? While we can’t expect perfection this side of Heaven, we can look to Jesus the merciful High Priest as our example.  If only all Christian leaders were responsive to God’s grace and followed the example of Jesus. I’ve been blessed to have known many clergy and other leaders who were and are examples of mercy and faithfulness. May the Body of Christ be blessed with such faithful servants!


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