Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. Verse 18 (NIV)
The concept of respect, especially for God, was drilled into our hearts and minds from an early age at the Geense household. My dad looked at me with much dismay the first time I used the phrase, “Jesus is my brother.” Even after explaining this Biblical Truth with my dad I never used it again in his presence because I was aware it did not sit well with him.
Hebrews 2 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.
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; “… was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Heb. 4:15 NKJV)
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 was tempted just as we are. He knows what we go through, 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. Is there any other faith system that goes to such length to redeem us? Is there any greater love expressed to us? This is amazing grace, amazing love. This is redemption, pure and simple.
Jesus, my brother, thank you for becoming like one of us. Thank you for your suffering, suffering that is making us holy and fit to live with you. Amen.