17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (ESV)
The Goodness of God and the Neglect of Man. (Part 2)
Listen, for Jesus came to help the children of Abraham. He was made like us: Hebrews 2:17-18.
We are exhorted to pay close attention to God’s rescue plan, delivered by his Son. A first reason is that the punishment for neglect will be unspeakable. The second reason is because of God’s astonishing concern for man, secured at an unspeakable price.
In Hebrews 2:16, we learn that Jesus came to help. John’s gospel says similarly: For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
Specifically, he came to help the children of Abraham. This group of people are also identified as the sons that God is bringing to glory (2:10a), and as his brothers and sisters with whom he is not ashamed to identify (2:11b).
So Jesus means to help those whom God is calling. He goes so far as to become like them, entering humanity in every respect (becoming fully man), to experience humanity, and ultimately to die as an effective propitiation (2:17) for their sin.
Further, as a man he suffered when tempted, and so he can help those are tempted. How? He suffered in hope of the joy ahead (Hebrews 12:1-3). And so may we.
(This was originally posted on the Biblearc blog by Robert Elphick on January 31, 2015.)