Friday, March 11, 2011

Jesus has been where we are

So I've always been a bit baffled by what the Bible says in Hebrews 4:15.

"For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning."

I've read this and thought, Well, yeah, but Jesus never had to choose between the TV and the Bible.... He has no idea of the ups and downs I go through as a girl.... He never had the pressures of a cell phone interrupting His Bible reading....

I'd come up with a ton of different reasons why this didn't make sense that Jesus had been tempted as we were because he didn't face some of the specific scenarios we face in today's culture. Don't get me wrong - I believed it must be true because it was the Bible. I just didn't get it.

Well, I've been thinking about this a lot recently and it is making more sense. Jesus wasn't tempted with the exact situations that you and I face, but he was tempted with the same feelings, thoughts, and deceptions that the devil throws in the face of people living in any age. (As Erik pointed out to me earlier today, the devil doesn't have too many tricks up his sleeve!)

In fact, we all face the exact same stuff as each other. Guilt. Condemnation. Fear. Rejection. Jealousy. Just as Jesus was faced with these feelings and thoughts, we are faced with these feelings and thoughts, even though our circumstances vary. Someone may feel guilty for disobeying their parents. Another person may feel guilty for cheating on their taxes. Another person may feel guilty for forgetting to say goodbye to someone on the phone. But they all feel guilty, and all of them need to learn how to properly deal with (aka get rid of!) those feelings of guilt.

Jesus may have been tempted to feel guilty that he couldn't take care of his mother as much as some might have wanted him to. He may have been tempted to feel guilty that he didn't take over the carpentry business. Who knows? But I bet that He had moments where thoughts of guilt came. The difference between him and us is that He didn't let himself become guilty. He didn't accept guilt to be a part of His life. He dealt with it differently.

The biggest thing the devil wants to do is make you feel like you are alone and no one knows what you are going through. Yes, you are correct that no one has a life exactly like yours, but you are incorrect in thinking you are alone. In reality, we're all in this thing called "life" together and we all face complications in life and thoughts of incompetency or guilt or whatever it is we deal with. We all have a stumbling point; my stumbling point is different from yours - but I guarantee someone else gets tripped up in the same way I do just as Jesus at one point dealt with feelings I'm dealing with.

Second Corinthians 10:3-4 says: "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds...."

Like I said earlier, the enemy doesn't have many tricks up his sleeve. He lies, steals, and kills (John 10:10). That's it. He deceives us into thinking we should be condemned or feel rejected or be jealous. In reality, God has made a way for us to be completely free from all of that junk the enemy throws our way. Amazing. Jesus was perfect, but became sin for us that we could become perfect - or righteous - in Him.

Hopefully that makes sense. It's a work in progress and a whole lot more could be said... but it's a start.

God is with you in whatever journey you are on right now. And somehow, someway, Jesus can relate to what you are going through. He knows how hard (or easy!) it is to face what you are facing. He's been there and defeated the enemy so you can walk through this and defeat the enemy today. 

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