For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. Verses 17-18 (NIV)
I have been a believer and a follower of Jesus for many years, yet there are a couple of things I am uncomfortable with. One of them is calling Almighty God, “Dad.” The other is referring to Jesus, our Lord and Saviour as “Brother.” According to scripture both are acceptable.
Hebrews chapter two makes it very clear that Jesus is our brother. Sometimes we might not like to think of Jesus this way because we might think we’re lowering his divinity, power, or authority. But this is exactly who Jesus is.
Our text today emphasizes the reality that Jesus was made “fully human in every way.” We cannot stress this enough. Jesus did not simply appear to be human; he was and is fully human. As the writer explains, we needed one who is exactly like us to be able to break the power of the devil for our sake.
Calling or referring to Jesus as our brother does not reduce his power or authority. It highlights the very real fact that he became fully human in order to “make atonement for the sins of the people.” As a human being, he experienced temptation just as we do. He is no stranger to our experiences. He knows what we go through because he himself went through it.
Jesus doesn’t just sympathize with us as one who does not really know what our life is like. As a human he has suffered, and he was tempted just as we are. He knows the power of temptation, and as a result, that can help us in our weakness. Jesus suffered and was proved perfect through his suffering in order to make us holy. Not only do we have one who understands, but because of his suffering, we are being made holy through him.
Jesus, our brother, thank you for becoming like one of us. Thank you for your suffering, through which we are being made holy. Amen.