A best-selling secular book began with three words: “Life is difficult.” Christians have a difficult life, too. Among our many struggles is that we’re always tempted. Yes, always. But Jesus helps us in those temptations.
Jesus became flesh like us so He could help us in our temptation and “render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,” (Hebrews 2:14b, NASB). 1 John 3:8 affirms this, “The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.” The author and proclaimer of death, the Devil, was silenced through Christ’s human life and death.
When Jesus became like us “He Himself was tempted,” (Hebrews 2:18). Jesus became flesh like us so that He could be a helper for us. Christ is a “merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God,” (Hebrews 2:17). Christ does not condemn us for our temptation, or our struggles. Remember, He’s been through everything we’ve been through. He knows what it is like to struggle with hunger, temptation, and emotions.
As our high priest Christ “gives help to the descendants of Abraham,” (Hebrews 2:16). That’s you and me! Through our faith in Christ we have spiritually become descendants of Abraham, (Galatians 3:7, 29). When it says that Christ gives “help” to us, the writer used the Greek verb, epilambanomai. The verb means to be concerned about, take an interest in, and to help. We should be comforted knowing God is concerned about us. He takes an interest in us and He helps us.
The last part of this passage says that because Jesus was tempted “He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted,” (Hebrews 2:18). The Greek word used for “come to the aid of” is the verb boetheo. This verb means to render assistance to someone in need, or to furnish aid. All of us are in need and we should find comfort knowing that Christ comes to our aid when we need Him.
My dad loves to fish in the ocean. For years he has owned his own boat and would travel miles out into the ocean to find the good fishing spots. But one of his boats had a habit of breaking down, often while far away from land. Each time his boat broke down he contacted the Coast Guard, asking for help to tow him back to land. Each time the Coast Guard responded, “We receive many calls from broken boats that need a tow. You will need to find a neighboring boat to tow you in. If you become in dire danger and your life is at risk due to extreme weather or if your boat is sinking, we will come get you.” It was discouraging news to hear every time!
Life is difficult. But unlike the Coast Guard that cannot respond to every request for help, Jesus helps us with every temptation and every struggle.
Christopher L. Scott is a pastor living in Exeter. Prays Together is a rotating faith-based commentary and advice column between the pastors of the First Presbyterian Church of Exeter, Church of Christ of Exeter, Nazarene Church of Exeter, Church of God of Exeter, the New Life Assembly of God and Rocky Hill Community Church as well as the Lemon Cove Presbyterian Church.
This column is not a news article but the opinion of the writer and does not reflect the views of The Sun-Gazette newspaper.