Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:14-15 NKJV)
The Bible tells us that Jesus experienced the same things we do (except guilt and shame because He did not sin). Have you ever wondered if that is really true? I certainly have in the past! The Bible does say that He did experience thirst, "I thirst" (while on the cross, John 19:28), tiredness, temptation (Luke 4:1-13), sadness - over sin and death ("Jesus wept"), rejection, homelessness, betrayal, pain, torture, and death (all 4 Gospels – the passion narratives).
Sometimes when we read the Bible, we concentrate on how Jesus came into the world and how He left, but miss the everyday stuff in the middle. We read about Him walking on water, healing dead people, feeding thousands with a few fish and loaves of bread, but forget about the struggles and frustrations He faced every day that we face. I recently went through a Lead Like Jesus study by Ken Blanchard with the Thursday morning men’s Bible group and we get below the surface of the words on the page. It was there that we were reminded by Dan Walker of how much Jesus went through that we go through every single day. Such as:
- Accomplishing a mission with imperfect people
- The need to establish a clear sense of purpose and direction
- Recruitment and selection of people to carry on the work
- Training, development, and delegating issues
- Constant conflicting demands on: time, energy, and resources
- Fierce competition
- Turnover, betrayal, and lack of understanding by friends and family
- Constant scrutiny and challenges of commitment and integrity
- Temptations of instant gratification, recognition and misuse of power
- Effective handling of criticism, rejection, distraction, and opposition
- Pain and suffering in serving the greater good
In the world we are living in right now, I take comfort knowing this about Jesus. He’s been through the same trials we have been, temptations, testing and hurt (Luke 19:41). Because I see this in His word, I know He has my back. He has a plan to prosper you through pandemics, protests, and politics. He knows what you are going through because He went through it too. His love defeated death then and it will defeat any discouragement you may have today. If God is for us, who is against us? (Romans 8:31).