HEBREWS 4:14-5:10 (NIV – UK)
Jesus the great high priest
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to feel sympathy for our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
1 Every high priest is selected from among the people and is appointed to represent the people in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2 He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. 3 This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people. 4 And no one takes this honour on himself, but he receives it when called by God, just as Aaron was.
5 In the same way, Christ did not take on himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him,
‘You are my Son; today I have become your Father.’ [Psalm 2:7]
6 And he says in another place,
‘You are a priest for ever, in the order of Melchizedek.’ [Psalm 110:4]
7 During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8 Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him 10 and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.
AN INTIMATE GOD
The popular view of God is a distant deity – a tyrant in the sky who keeps himself far removed from everything that goes on down here – watching us suffer but doing nothing about it.
But here in Hebrews our attention is drawn to the God revealed in Jesus. The God who took on human flesh. He has experienced what it is to be human and therefore he feels sympathy for our weaknesses (v. 15), knows what it is to be tempted (v. 15), and is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and going astray (v. 16).
Far from being a distant and detached God, this is the God who wants you to know him – who wants to join you and strengthen you in your weakness – to help you with temptation. This God is deeply intimate and wants a personal relationship with you. This is the beauty and joy of our God – and the very reason for our existence!
Question: Do you feel as if you have a personal relationship with Jesus? Is it a natural or strange concept to you? What difference does a relationship with Jesus make in your life?