ODJ: the gritty road

August 23, 2015 

READ: Hebrews 4:14-16 

This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin (v.15).

Car manufacturers use features like leather seats, more horsepower and media accessories to entice new car buyers. One feature that’s gaining popularity for purchasers is quiet cabins. While this is a wonderful feature for those at the wheel, it also means that they’re less aware of what’s going on around them. In a sealed cabin it’s easy to ignore the blaring horns of other drivers and not realise that you’re driving far too fast. Being a good driver means that we stay connected to those around us and are aware of their situation as well as our own, even if this creates an inconvenience for us.

True connection is also an important aspect of Jesus’ ministry to us. He wasn’t disconnected to others while on earth—simply ‘floating’ above the crowds and their concerns, waving at them peacefully. No, He lived a very human and gritty life. He was born in a stable (Luke 2:7) and raised by human parents (v.39); and He dealt with temptation (Matthew 4:1-11), grief (John 11:35) and even death (Galatians 2:20). Because of these experiences, Jesus knows exactly what real life is like.

And even though He is perfect He doesn’t look down on us and say, “I made it through life without sinning, what’s your excuse?” Hebrews reveals that He understands and empathises with us, and that we can approach Him with confidence to find mercy and grace (4:16).

—Peter Chin

365-day-plan: Mark 10:1-16

Read Hebrews 12:1-13 for more reasons why we shouldn’t try to steer clear of all difficulties and avoid connection with others. 
What’s one situation in your life where you can apply Jesus’ empathy and compassion? How has God been encouraging you to stay connected with other believers?