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 4:15-16, NKJV
My daughter and I clashed this weekend. That’s unusual. Don’t get me wrong, I get snappy and my kids aren’t perfect, but we don’t act like a couple of numbskull rams on a regular basis. But Saturday…well, we both hit a physical and emotional wall and things turned ugly. And then we cried, snuggled up together and let all the draining events of the past month stir up the healing tears.
That scene smacked my memory this morning as I read through this passage in Hebrews. Jesus knew exhaustion. He can sympathize with my weakness. Obviously, He wouldn’t have responded the way I did…but He knows the heaviness of a weary body. He knows the overwhelming tide of an enormous job.
Consider some of the major events of Christ’s life that we have recorded:
Crowds. Always, it seems, there was a crowd. Waiting. Watching. Demanding.
Illness. They brought them in droves, the lame, the blind, the deaf, the crazed, the dying. In every corner and every crowd, there were people crying out for healing.
Unbelief. Jesus could not open His mouth without some high-minded, super-educated guy challenging His authority. What gives you the right to forgive? What do you mean we’re slaves—we’ve never been slaves! You’re God’s Son? Ha! We knew your father—he was a lowly carpenter, and we know that your parents weren’t married when your mother conceived.
Weariness. At one point, we see Jesus deep in sleep on a boat while a storm claws at the ship. That’s some kind of tired. Throughout the gospels, He is seen often withdrawing for a time. For prayer. For rest.
Jesus knows my weaknesses. Not just from a screen-view of my life, but from experience. He’s lived them. He can sympathize with them. So, I can come to Him knowing His grace and mercy, as well as His sympathetic heart, will give me the help I need.
I simply need to remember to come.