Mark D. Roberts

Mark D. Roberts

Living Christmasly, Part 4

READ Hebrews 2:10-18

Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested.

Hebrews 2:18

Does God understand us? How does God regard us when we struggle? When we’re discouraged? When we’re tempted? Hebrews 2:10-18 offers an encouraging answer to these questions.
As we saw in yesterday’s Reflection, the main point of Hebrews 2:10-18 is that the Incarnation makes salvation possible. Because Jesus was fully human, he was able to break the power of sin and death over human beings through his death on the cross.
The last verse of this passage offers yet another piece of good news: “Since [Jesus] himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested” (2:18). The Greek verb periazein is translated here as “to test.” It can also mean “to tempt,” and this translation is used in some translations (KJV, NIV). In fact, Jesus experienced both temptation (most notably in his encounter with Satan in the wilderness) and testing (most pointedly in his passion). Thus he knows what it’s like to be tempted to sin and he knows how it feels to be tested by suffering. (Photo: “The Temptation of Christ,” by one of my favorite painters, Jim Janknegt. See his website.)
This means that Jesus understands when we are tempted or tested. He knows the magnetic pull of sin, even though he was always able to resist it (Heb 4:15). And he knows how it feels to endure pain, rejection, and injustice. Thus, Jesus is able to help us when we’re struggling, not by standing apart from us and shouting orders from a safe distance, but by standing alongside us and offering his empathy as well as his wisdom.
Living Christmasly means being comforted and encouraged by the empathy of Jesus. When we live in light of the Incarnation, we will allow Jesus to help us we life’s difficulties and temptations threaten to defeat us.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: When you are tempted, or when you are going through hard times, do you ever think that Jesus understands how you feel? What difference would it make in you life if you were to take seriously Hebrews 2:18?
PRAYER: O Lord Jesus, how I thank you today for experiencing human life. To be sure, you knew many of its joys. But you also knew its sorrows and struggles. Thus you know today how it feels when I am tempted to sin. You know how it feels to be discouraged and exhausted. Thank you for understanding my challenges and suffering.
Help me, dear Lord, when I am tempted. Give me strength to live a holy life that honors you.
Help me, dear Lord, when I am tested, when life is painful, when I wonder if you’re there for me. Give me the strength to hang onto you in all things.
All praise be to you, Jesus Christ, Word of God Incarnate, because you know what it’s like to be human. All praise be to you because you are able to help me when I need it most. Amen.



Today’s post is one of the Daily Reflections that I write for The High Calling of Our Daily Work (, a wonderful website about work and God. You can read my Daily Reflections there, or sign up to have them sent to your email inbox each day. This website contains lots of encouragement for people who are trying to live out their faith in the workplace.

Previous Posts

More blogs to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Mark D. Roberts. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Red Letters with Tom Davis Recent prayer post on Prayables Most Recent Inspiration ...

posted 2:09:11pm Aug. 27, 2012 | read full post »

Why Did Jesus Have to Die? Conclusions
In this series on the death of Jesus, I have presented four different perspectives on why Jesus had to die: Roman, Jewish, Jesus’, and Early Christian. I believe that each of these points of view has merit, and that we cannot fully understand ...

posted 2:47:39am Apr. 11, 2011 | read full post »

Sunday Inspiration from the High Calling
Can We Find God in the City? Psalm 48:1-14 Go, inspect the city of Jerusalem. Walk around and count the many towers. Take note of the fortified walls, and tour all the citadels, that you may describe them to future generations. For that ...

posted 2:05:51am Apr. 10, 2011 | read full post »

Why Did Jesus Have to Die? The Perspective of the First Christians, Part 3
An Act and Symbol of Love Perhaps one of the most startling of the early Christian interpretations of the cross was that it was all about love. It’s easy in our day, when crosses are religious symbols, attractive ornaments, and trendy ...

posted 2:41:47am Apr. 08, 2011 | read full post »

Why Did Jesus Have to Die? The Perspective of the First Christians, Part 2
The Means of Reconciliation In my last post, I examined one of the very earliest Christian statements of the purpose of Jesus’ death. According to the tradition encapsulated in 1 Corinthians 15, Jesus died “for our sins in accordance with ...

posted 2:30:03am Apr. 07, 2011 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.