Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. – Hebrews 2:17
Wally Fry, a blogging compadre, has nearly daily posts called “Just a Thought,” brief, pithy, pot stirrers. At least that’s the way it works for me.
Somehow, for the last few months, I’ve had my WordPress email notices have been switched off. I suspect it was when I had to recreate my site from scratch back in January. In any case, I got them turned back on yesterday, and I was happy to see the notice come through this afternoon – “Just a Thought.”
Here’s his thought for today. (Please follow the link if you haven’t already been there, and encourage Wally personally.)
Notice that Jesus, while compassionate, did not hesitate to bring sin to light.
Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.
I did, as I am wont to do, leave him a comment about three times the length of his thought because this compassionate confrontation of sin struck me. This is exactly why Jesus needed to be like us in all things. So that He could become a MERCIFUL and FAITHFUL High Preist.
John tells us:
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. – John 1:14
And David speaks of this union in Ps 85:
Lovingkindness and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed each other. – Psalm 85:10
The Pharisees and the priesthood of Jesus’ day used their priestly positions to wield power and lord it over the masses. They were heavy on truth, or what they accepted as truth, and light on compassion.
It would be easy to let the pendulum swing the other way too. It would be easy for people to agree to a system where compassion was king, and standards had no seat at the table.
In the Beatitudes, Jesus’ stairway to heaven, He juxtaposes these two sides of the coin:
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
”Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. – Matthew 5:6-7
A hunger and thirst after righteousness must be tempered by mercy, and mercy can only be offered in the light of righteousness.
Check out Jesus’ words to the Pharisees in Matthew 23:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. – Matthew 23:23
Jesus actually corrects the Pharisees in their bad theology.
They held the tithe as more important than justice, mercy, and faith, which He acknowledges as law, in fact, weightier than the tithe. For that matter, justice, mercy, and faithfulness are written into every bit of the law.
If we see the law as how God wants us to behave, we end up with a HUGE to-do list and an even bigger not-to-do list. If we look at the law as a picture of who God is, and what’s important to Him, we’ll find that His heart is for the poor, the widow, the orphan, and the oppressed.
And doesn’t it show when Jesus walks the earth? He’s not rubbing shoulders with the big wigs and hobnobbing with the in-crowd. He’s in the streets, in the pubs, in the bad neighborhoods, with THEM.
Jesus comes, and as Wally pointed out, doesn’t cut sin any slack, but He preaches His message of repentance from a platform of compassion. [Tweet this]
He drew the woman at the well out by exposing her sin and the failure it created.
He gave the woman caught in “the very act” a clarion call to “go and sin no more,” but only after affirming that He did not condemn her.
Aren’t you glad we have a Merciful and Faithful High Preist?
I know I am.
Glory to God.
Thanks for stopping in.
Walk in the light.
If you want to catch up with our study in Hebrews, it’s all here.