Our text today is Hebrews 4:14-5:3.
“14: Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15: For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16: Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.1: For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: 2: Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity. 3: And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins.”
In the discussion of Christ’s priesthood, the following points are made:
• He was touched with the feeling of our infirmities. He walked among men. He knew what it was to have the desires of men. He knew what it was to be tempted. He also knew what it took to say ‘no’ to temptation.
• Priests taken from among men (under the Law of Moses) were able to have compassion on those they served because they also were men with infirmities and weaknesses. They should have readily empathized with the men and women coming to them in sin. Because they could empathize (put themselves in the same shoes), they could have the compassion to help.
• God’s children, the penitent, the prodigal can come boldly to the throne of God with confidence that he who makes intercession for us (Heb. 7:25) to the Father understands our plight. The penitent can count on his compassion even in the repetitive failures to follow his will.
Brothers and sisters, Christians today are God’s priesthood on earth (1 Pet. 2:5, 9; Rev. 1:5). The weaknesses, infirmities, imperfections and vulnerability of our own humanity should motivate our compassion. We, however, have been given the commission to ‘go’. As our Lord “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38) motivated by his compassion, should we not also do the same? What lives might you touch with the gospel through such continuous action? Compassion makes a difference.