Connecting People to Jesus



“God Gets It”


Prayer:  Lord Jesus, we have no one else that we can truly trust except You.  Only You know all things, only You know us as we really are, and only You truly understand what we are going through.  Keep us firm in the faith and salvation You won for us on the cross.  Amen.


Scripture: Hebrews 4:14-16

14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.


Devotion – “God Gets It”

One of the most important responsibilities a pastor has, is to be present.  To be there when people need to hear the reassurance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ the most.  Whether it be in the hospital, alongside a casket, in the middle of a family crisis or when a person just needs someone to listen to them…it’s important for a pastor to be present.  One of the things you learn early on as a pastor is that, despite your best intentions and desire to help someone, it is just not possible to truly understand and relate 100% to what someone is going through.  We certainly can have, and Scripture calls us to have sympathy for any of our neighbors in distress -feeling sorry for them and hurting for them.

Empathy, however, is different from sympathy.  Empathy is not only understanding what someone is going through but sharing in their pain and how they feel.  Although many of us go through very similar circumstances that may look identical on the surface, no two people are exactly the same.  Previous life experience, unique personalities, morals and religious beliefs, personal desire and a slew of other factors ensure that although we may be able to relate to many parts of what another person is experiencing, we can never truly understand exactly how they feel or what they are going through.  We can never really have true empathy.

Everybody wants and hopes that there is someone out there that truly understands them and what they are going through, especially when in the middle of a crisis or difficult time.  Although there isn’t another person that can ever truly understand exactly what we are feeling or going through, there is One who knows us better than we know ourselves – the One who made us and the One who put on our flesh and lived as a man in this broken world, experiencing everything that we could ever go through and then some.  That One is Jesus.  As our text from Hebrews 4 today says, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”

Only Jesus can have true empathy, and only because He knows firsthand and in exacting detail the hardships and pains and disappointments of this life.  It is only Jesus that can be our comfort and our strength and our hope when everything and everyone else in this world inevitably fail us.

Jesus knew temptation: “He was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan” (Mark 1:13).

Jesus knew poverty: “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20).

Jesus knew frustration and anger: “He scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.… ‘Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!’” (John 2:15-16).

Jesus knew weariness: “Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well” (John 4:6).

Jesus knew disappointment: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem…how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks…but you were not willing” (Luke 13:34).

Jesus knew rejection: “From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him” (John 6:66).

Jesus knew sorrow: “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” (Matthew 26:38).

Jesus knew ridicule: “Again and again they struck him…and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid [mocking] homage to him” (Mark 15:19).

Jesus knew loneliness: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46).

No matter what it is you are going through my friends, Jesus knows, and more importantly, Jesus is with you!  There is certainly nothing wrong with turning to others and confiding in others for help.  In fact, Scripture implores us to do just that.  Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”  Faithful Christian parents, family members, close friends, professional counselors and, of course, pastors are all ways and people God works through to minister to us and help us – but none of these speak with more authority or more true empathy than the One Son of God, Jesus, who literally put on our flesh and walked in our shoes.  He is worthy of all of our trust and putting our hope in Him will never disappoint.

Thanks for joining me for another daily devotional, and remember, that God has forgiven yesterday, is with you today and has already taken care of tomorrow.  Amen.