24 Apr He is the God who symphatise
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 singled out the lagging, limping puppy and said, “What’s wrong with that little dog?” The store owner explained that the veterinarian had examined the little puppy and had discovered it 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 upset. He looked straight into the store owner’s eyes, pointed his finger and said, “I don’t want you to just 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!” Dan Clark © copyright – http://danclark.com/story-of-the-day/
Why I am telling you this story? Because there is a similarity in the story with our relationship with Jesus:ds
- Same as the puppy, we are also born with defect (sinner)
- Jesus came to earth so He can carry our sins
- Jesus refused to have us for free but rather value us so much and pay us with high price by dying on the cross and shed the blood
So, what all the above have to do with my message today? The messages that I want us to learn today is:
- Jesus came down as a perfect human being (Phil 2:6-8) apart from being a perfect ransom for human race, He also willing to go through “human’ temptations and sufferings”, why?
- To help and give us an assurance that He understands our challenges, pain, temptations when we pray to Him in our daily prayer time
- He does it all so we have confidence to approach throne of Grace in the time of needs to receive grace and mercy.
“Since then 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 is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need”
First – Great High Priest – Why is this important?
Refer to Exodus 20-23 for high priest’ role. In understanding the role of the high priest, we can better comprehend the significance of Christ offering Himself for our sins once for all. Through Christ’s sacrifice for us, we are sanctified and set apart for Him. By entering God’s presence on our behalf, Christ has secured for us an “eternal redemption” (Hebrews 9:12). As Paul has written, “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5)
Second – Passed through the heavens – Why is this important?
Not like the others high priest, Aaron, Eliazar, Phinehas, Eli, etc that only can stand before the Mercy of Seat in the Holy of Holies in the temple, Jesus has surpassed them by gone through to heavens and sit on the right hand of God. Even the Father says:
- Heb 1: 5 “You are my Son, today I have begotten you? & “ I will be to him a Father and He shall to me a Son”
- Heb 1:6 “Let all God’s angels worship Him”
- Heb 1:8 “Your throne of God, is forever and ever. The sceptre pf uprightness is the sceptre of your kingdom …”
- Heb 1: 13 “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”
Third – who is able to sympathise with our weaknesses – Why is this important?
The story about the puppy above tells how the kid is able to sympathize with the puppy because he understands the feeling being crippled.
Human behaviours dictates that we would, if possible, find a person who has gone through the same issue because we expect the person can sympathize with us. Some example:
- One of my closest friends at work being redundant recently. As I was sitting and listening to my friend, I can sympathise with the event that she was redundant, even though is not fully, why? Just because I have never being made redundant so far (this is not a boasting but just saying that show the relationship). It would be different if I had that experience then I would be able to encourage and have empathy towards her.
- On the other hand, I can sympathize with friends who are both working parents and have young children in day care and going through difficult time such as; time management, working arrangement, financial stretch because I am going through the same challenges
So, how can Jesus, as our high priest sympathize to us? Because…
Fourth – in every respect has been tempted as we are – Why is this important?
“If Jesus never sinned, then he doesn’t know what temptation is like. He lived a sheltered life and is out of touch with how strong temptation can be”
“A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is . . . A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in . . . Christ, because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means—the only complete realist”
When it says that Jesus was tempted in all things as we are, it doesn’t mean every conceivable temptation, which would be impossible. Nor was Jesus ever tempted by indwelling sin, as we are. In this, He was like Adam and Eve before the fall. Temptation had to come to Jesus from without, not from within:
- Revenge (to take revenge to ppl who did He wrong
- Greedy (want to have all nice things that Zacchaeus owned)
- to lie (to save his life)
- to steal (to help his poor mother when his father died)
- to dishonor his parents (when they were more strict than others)
- to lust (when Mary wiped his feet with her hair
- to pout with self-pity (when his disciples fell asleep in his last hour of trial)
- to murmur at God (when John the Baptist died at the whim of a dancing girl)
- to gloat over his accusers (when they couldn’t answer his questions)
Fifth – with confidence draw near to the throne of grace – Why is this important?
The “throne of grace” is an oxymoron, meaning it has opposite meaning from each word. If anyone remembers the story of Esther, the throne is the place where you meet the king however if the king did not hold out his sceptre then we are dead so the throne is about “authority and judgement” but at the same time the place to find ‘grace’ from the king.
There 4 questions that we can answer from the above verse:
- Why do we need to draw near to the throne of grace?
Because we are weak and we have a high priest that sympathize to us. We don’t come to the throne because we know how to sort out things in life or we never messed up. That’s not the point, Jesus said in John 15:5 “without me, you can do nothing”
- When we should draw near
In the time of need? Which literally means ‘everytime” as we can’t live without Him. The reason sometimes we don’t pray because we don’t fully understand how needy we are. The fact that we are alive and well right now because of Him.
- How should we draw near?
With confidence that our God understands every challenge we have and He is a good God that won’t roll His eyes on us. He will be as forgiving as parents toward their toddler. Confidence not because our own merit but because of Christ redemptive work on the cross and have purchased us with His blood.
- What can we expect?
We will receive ‘mercy’ and ‘grace’ that will help us persevere and continue our walk with Him. When we come with our broken heart, He will not turned us away or turn His back on us. He is like a loving father who runs with open arms toward His lost son regardless the condition of the child. He never sees us as today but rather what our potential and what we will be in the future in Him