For the past couple days, I’ve been talking about Job and Bartimaeus meeting with God. And one of the texts from last Sunday, along with those two stories, was a part of the writing in Hebrews talking about Jesus being a high priest, one who represents people to God.
As I was reflecting on the text, and then on the life of Jesus, I started to consider what it would look like to have someone who knows what it’s like to be human.
In his walking around earth, Jesus apparently watched his step-dad die, and heard that his relative and colleague John the Baptist was murdered. He stepped across gender and religious boundaries to have meaningful conversations with a Samaritan woman and a Jewish woman with strong leadership gifts (Martha) and a Canaanite woman. He watched the brutally random Roman occupation executing people, demanding indignities. It likely happened to him. He watched a plot develop against him and was unwilling to thwart it. He was constantly misunderstood, regularly fatigued, intentionally homeless. He stepped away from social ladders, consistently conversing with and even touching people who were unclean, unpopular, unchosen. He left his village, and then when he returned, he was teased and taken to be killed. He escaped.
He offered radical forgiveness, not as an abstraction but while being killed. He called for radical love, even while watching his disciples squabble. He offered radical teaching, and lived it out.
So when we read that we have a high priest who understands us, he actually understands us. He modeled how to live in the middle of those obstacles. And he is with us as we are in them.
We can say to Jesus, “You don’t understand”.
We can say it, but he went to great lengths for it not to be true.