Hebrews 2:16 – 3:6 Jesus was tempted so that we can overcome
Hebrews 2:16 – 3:6
16 For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham. 17 Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.
3:1 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession; 2 He was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was in all His house. 3 For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house. 4 For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God. 5 Now Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later; 6 but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house — whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.
Jesus’ exposure to the common temptations of men gave Him first hand experiences with the human struggle against sin. Hence, He is able to empathize with our daily struggles and weaknesses without condemning us. Jesus’ faithfulness and loyalty towards God amidst the temptations won Him approval and a seat at God’s right hand. Today’s passage teaches us to depend on Jesus, the High Priest to help us navigate and overcome the hurdles of life. It also teaches us concerning our role as servants to the Son who alone is the Lord of all.
He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God.
The calling of Jesus is to save every person who responds to the message of repentance and reconciliation with God: He gives help to the descendant of Abraham. “Descendant of Abraham” does not refer to his biological offspring, but those who possess faith in the God that Abraham worships. This calling requires Jesus to be incarnated in human form so that He could function as a human Mediator to reconcile men to God. The role of High Priest serves to satisfy God’s terms of reconciliation and salvation. The terms of reconciliation involves making a propitiation for sins of the people. A “propitiation” is a sacrifice that satisfies the payment that God requires for sins committed. Hence, Jesus is the High Priest who by offering Himself made propitiation for humanity’s sin.
For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.
When Jesus was exposed to diverse temptations of the devil that appealed to His human weakness, He began to experience the reality of the human struggle against the power of sin. This experience (suffering) forced Jesus to confront His human weakness and find strength through the Spirit to overcome the desires of the flesh. Because Jesus remained steadfast and faithful to God’s ways despite facing a myriad of temptations, He is well qualified to help humanity overcome the temptations of the devil. Because Jesus has overcome His own fleshly weakness, we can by the help through His Spirit to do likewise.
For He (Jesus) has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses.
Jesus is the Apostle (the One who is appointed) to the human race as High Priest. As High Priest, His role is to reinstate humanity in glory and sonship: partakers of a heavenly calling. Jesus is faithful to God in building all things and in bringing humanity into God’s kingdom. Even though Moses is faithful in leading the people out of Egypt towards the Promised Land, Jesus however, is accorded more glory than Moses because Jesus is the Son, and Moses, a servant. Jesus as Son differs from Moses and other sons (humanity) in that He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation (Colossians 1:15). Jesus is also the High Priest who died and was raised sitting at God’s right hand. Christ now presides as the Lord over the universal church – whose house we are. Therefore, we must hold fast to Christ, the Son who is able to reinstate us in glory and sonship.
Jesus as High Priest is able help us navigate the hurdles of life towards victory. The main issue people have in facing the hurdles and challenges of life is not the lack of solutions but discouragement and despair. Under such conditions, they find it hard to make right decisions and the courage to pull through. Jesus, during His tenure on earth experienced the full spectrum of human trials and misery: He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered. After all His struggles, God approved of Him and raised Him from death. Hence, having achieved victory, He is fully qualified to lead men to a glorious end and be approved by God. The Holy Spirit possesses the full repository of Jesus’ earthly struggles and experiences. Hence, He is able to empathize with our despairs without condemning us. Jesus, having encountered His own “dark night of the soul” will be able to help us overcome ours.
Therefore, in the midst of our own struggles, we can depend on the Holy Spirit for two things: empathy and grace. The Holy Spirit empathizes with our struggles and gives assurances of love and hope for greater things; He does not condemn us for the weaknesses we exhibited but He keeps on believing in us for greater things. Then, the Holy Spirit gives grace, in that He removes the emotions of despair and fills our minds with peace, and wisdom. He gives us the power to rebuke the evil spirits that hinder and tempt us continually.
– Jesus, having been betrayed by His own disciples, will enable us to forgive those who have hurt us.
– Jesus, having lost His own cousin John the Baptist, will enable us to overcome the pain of losing a loved one.
– Jesus, at one point on the cross felt rejection from the Father. Hence, He will help us hold on to God’s promises even when our friends and family forsake us.
No matter how anointed you can be, you are still a servant, and Christ is the Son. Many believers are willing to submit themselves to God as servants when they are still insignificant. But once they become more successful, they begin to harbor ideas that run contrary to God’s. They see themselves as the Son of the house instead of as servants. As a result, God has to move them to their rightful position by removing them from their roles. As business owners, managers and pastors, we are not to lord over the people, but to lead them in the way of righteousness. The size of the business, department or ministry does not matter for we are but stewards of His house.
- When you are loaded with anxieties do you seek distractions like shopping, TV and drinking? Distractions can never remove the insecurities and fears within. Seek Jesus who is able not only to empathize with your circumstances, but also to help you overcome.
- Do you have a tendency to want to amass wealth and to lord over others? Remember, we are mere stewards at God’s bidding. We don’t own anything but are mere stewards of the resources God has entrusted to do His kingdom’s work.
Dear Lord, I thank you for empathizing with my struggles and weaknesses. I reject the lust of the flesh, the pride of life and the tendency towards unbelief. I acknowledge that I am just a steward over the resources that you have entrusted to me. I commit myself to accomplishing the task that you have given me so that I may please you as a faithful servant. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.