Sometimes, it is very easy for adults to think in those terms with regard to our Heavenly Father, and Christ--our big brother, if you will (cf. Heb. 2:11,12). Amid all the toils, trials, and temptations of our existence on this earth, it becomes easy for us to think, "How can Jesus understand what I go through every day in my life?"
Rest assured friends, we can know that we have a High Priest who can and does sympathize with our struggles. In the moments that follow today and tomorrow, let us consider some of the many things that Jesus the Son of God experienced when He walked as flesh, bone, and blood upon this earth. These human experiences make Him our perfect sympathizer.
1. HE EXPERIENCED HUNGER
Jesus became hungry like you and me. When Jesus "fasted forty days and forty nights", scripture tells us "afterward He was hungry" (Matt. 4:2). On another occasion, when Jesus and the twelve "had come out of Bethany", we read that "He was hungry" (Mark 11:12).
2. HE EXPERIENCED THIRST
Jesus became thirsty like you and me. While upon the cross, our suffering Savior said, "I thirst" (John 19:28). Also, in John 4, we read about Jesus traveling to Galilee by way of Samaria. While on that journey, He stopped to rest at Jacob's well. This is where Jesus made the request, "Give Me a drink" to "a woman of Samaria [who] came to draw water" (John 4:7). Jesus knows what it means to be thirsty.
Incidentally, John 4:6, shows us another human frailty that Christ experienced...
3. HE EXPERIENCED FATIGUE
Jesus became tired like you and me. In John 4:6, we see that Jesus rested at Jacob's well because he was "wearied from His journey". While on this earth, Jesus' need for rest was the same as any other man's need for rest. Additionally, Jesus understood the need for His followers to rest. This is evident by His instruction to His apostles: "come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while" (Mark 6:31). In Mark 4:38, we see that the Son of God needed more than just rest--He needed sleep!
4. HE EXPERIENCED LOVE
Jesus loved like you and me. Scripture abounds with references to Jesus' love and compassion for the multitudes (Mark 6:34) as well as for the individual (Mark 10:21). A very moving and personal account of Jesus' love is found in John 11--the chapter in which we read of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Consider just a few passages. "Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, 'Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick'" (John 11:3). "Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus" (John 11:5). "Then the Jews said, 'See how He loved him!'" (John 11:36). Jesus knows what it means to love another.
Make no mistake, friends. Jesus the Christ understands that which we go through because He experienced many of the same things we experience today. Truly, Jesus is a High Priest who can and does sympathize with our weaknesses and frailties (Heb. 4:15). Join me tomorrow, and we will continue examining the human experiences of our sympathetic High Priest.