Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16
So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. John 1:14
One can't understand an issue from afar. Asking questions that drive to the heart requires entering someone’s world. This action does not come natural to many of us, so we stand at the gates confused at what to do. We want to help, but don't know where to begin.
Understanding how to create depth in one’s relationships starts with studying the life of the relational God we worship. We have been given life through an encounter with Jesus Christ. Through this experience we were impacted and made a decision that began to shape us.
This encounter was an investment; an investment on God’s behalf for us and one that transforms us through the development of an intimate relationship with Him. Over time our heart begins to reflect His very own. The depth of this relationship requires more than simply a series of requests from God, but requires active participation through steps of faith; trusting God with each step before we take them.
But, how did He do it? How did God develop this intimate relationship with us? How can His investment in our lives provide a model on how to develop relationships that go beneath the surface and encourage our walks? How did Jesus "lean in" to the issues He was confronted with on a daily basis?
Entering our world and enduring everything it could throw at Him, Jesus is able to sympathize with our weakness and struggles. From the time He appeared on the scene in a manger in Bethlehem to hanging on a cross in Golgotha, Jesus was experiencing what it was like to be human. He understands the circumstances we face and shows compassion, mercy and grace towards us. Jesus was willing to do everything in His power, including laying down His body, to offer help and a different way to live life.
When you face trouble or life does not seem to make sense, what are you looking for? You aren’t searching for pity, a few words of wisdom, a lecture or a pat on the back along with the usual response of “hang in there..things will get better.” What you hope will be in your life are people who are willing to show compassion and walk with you as you take steps towards change. Sometimes you just need people who are willing to listen first and speak second.
Using Christ as our model for intentional help, our goal as brothers and sisters in Christ, is to understand people’s stories so we can better speak God’s Truth into their lives. This allows us to see past the issue and come face-to-face with the person on the other side. God’s relationship with us is anything but casual; the same should hold true for our connections with others.
Taking the time to get to know someone reveals how much you care about them. If all we do is focus on the circumstances or situations that people struggle with and see them solely through that lens, we will completely overlook the individual that we are called to love. God is the author of everyone’s story, which makes each story we hear unique along with the individual telling it.
According to today’s passage, what resulted from Jesus entering our world? How does it encourage openness in our relationship with Him? What response can we expect to receive when we come to Him with our struggles?
What prevents us from moving into relationship like this with others?
God, thank you for pursuing a relationship with me. Through Your compassionate example, I desire to reflect Your heart to others. May my words and actions point others towards You. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.