NT Fire Starters – Day 307: Hebrews 4:14-5:10
READ: Hebrews 4:14–5:10
THINK: Do you ever wonder how Jesus can relate to your failures, since He never actually failed God’s plan in any way? And if He never sinned, how can He truly understand the frustration and guilt of giving in to temptation as we often do? While this passage doesn’t mean that Jesus experienced every exact temptation we have, it does imply that He endured every kind of human temptation, so He can personally empathize with all we go through. The way in which Christ’s temptations were different from ours is in the results–He never gave in. While this might leave the impression that Jesus can’t relate to our failures, keep in mind that while He didn’t sin, He bore the punishment of all sin upon himself when He gave His life for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). He endured more than all of us put together. And since He never gave in to sin, He endured temptation more intensely than we ever will, pressing through to victory every time. Because of this, He knows exactly how to help us overcome, if only we will rely on Him in all situations.
RESPOND: What does it mean that Jesus is our high priest, and how should that inspire us to “hold firmly to the faith we profess” (v. 14)? (See Hebrews 8:1 note.) Why and in what way is Jesus able “to sympathize with our weaknesses” (v. 15)? What’s significant about Jesus having “been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet…without sin”? (See 4:15 note.) In what way can this provide comfort and help? Why can you approach God with confidence? (See 4:16 note.) What were two qualifications for a godly high priest, and how does Christ fill both of these? (See 5:1 note.) What does it mean that Jesus is “a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek”? (See 5:6 note.) What does it likely mean when it refers to Jesus offering “prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears,” and in what way was He “heard” by His Father? (See 5:7 note.) What does it mean that Jesus “learned obedience from what he suffered”? (See 5:8 note.) How is this an example to us? What does it mean that Jesus was “made perfect”? (See Hebrews 2:10 note.) To whom is spiritual salvation available, and what’s the difference between those who actually receive it and those who don’t? (See 5:9 note.)
PRAY: Thank Jesus for making the way for you to have a relationship with God. Thank Him for understanding your struggles and weaknesses, and for helping you to overcome them. Give God thanks that you can approach Him with confidence whenever you need help. Pray that you’ll endure suffering if that’s what it takes to fulfill God’s plans for you.
ACT: Wisely avoid situations that could unnecessarily expose you to temptation. But when you do encounter trouble or temptation, rely on Jesus for help and strength to overcome and to do what honors God.