We have pictures of God. We hear parents and Sunday school teachers and friends say things and we pick up little pieces. We hear something about needing lots of people to pray so God pays attention. So we think that the more we offer the more God will notice us and will HAVE to do what we want. We hear a well-meaning family member say, “God must have wanted another angel” or “God wanted her up there” and we think, “God killed my baby” or “God killed my grandma.”
We have lots of little things we’d heard ABOUT God, and they often keep us from getting to know God, allowing ourselves to see God.
In a text from Hebrews, we read that we have a high priest who know us, know about us, knows what it’s like to be alive, knows what it’s like to lose friends and family members, to struggle with a lack of food, to see discrimination and to respond to it.
In his walking around earth, Jesus apparently watched his step-dad die, his relative and colleague John the Baptist murdered. He stepped across gender and religious boundaries to have meaningful conversations with a Samaritan woman and Martha and a Palestinian woman. He watched the brutally random Roman occupation executing people, demanding indignities. 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.
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, “You don’t understand”. We can say it, but he went to great lengths for it not to be true.
From a sermon.