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
One of the most amazing things that can be said of Jesus of Nazareth – and cannot be said of anyone else – is that He “has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” What kind of man is this who never yielded to temptation?
We read yesterday about how Jesus was tempted by Satan to doubt His very identity as the Son of God. This is the granddaddy of all temptations: to doubt what God says. The voice from heaven had said “This is My beloved Son…” and Satan counters with “If You are the Son of God then…” This is reminiscent of how Satan tempted Eve in the beginning. God had said they could eat from all the trees of the garden but one and Satan countered with “Indeed, has God said…” In order to succeed, Satan doesn’t have to get us to believe him; all he needs is to get us to doubt God.
If Jesus was tempted to doubt things God has said, how much more are you and I going to be tempted to doubt them!
The good news for us in this passage is that because Jesus knows what it’s like to experience temptation, He can relate better to our experiences. He is not a God far removed from the earth – He’s been here, and He knows what it’s like.
Therefore, we come each day to His throne – the throne of heaven – to “receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” We know that if we fail to show mercy to others, we stop the flow of God’s mercy to ourselves. Let us, therefore, live life generously – as He lived it.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord Jesus, our hearts are comforted to know that You have experienced life on earth as we experience it. Grant us Your perspective to be able to navigate the day before us…(this is where you remain quiet in order to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.
(All scriptures, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the NASB.)