In this passage, the author of Hebrews presents the significance of Jesus Christ as the perfect High Priest who can sympathize with our weaknesses and provide help in times of temptation. The author highlights the humanity of Jesus, emphasizing that He willingly took on human form to become our merciful and faithful High Priest.
The verse begins by stating that Jesus was obligated in all things to be made like his brothers. This means that Jesus willingly chose to enter into the human condition, taking on flesh and dwelling among us (John 1:14). He became fully human, sharing in our experiences, including our joys, sorrows, and temptations. This was necessary for His role as the mediator between God and humanity.
The purpose of Jesus becoming like us is twofold. First, it is so that He might become a merciful High Priest in things pertaining to God. As our High Priest, Jesus represents us before God, offering Himself as the perfect sacrifice for our sins. He is not only the mediator of our salvation but also the compassionate advocate who intercedes on our behalf. Jesus understands our weaknesses, our struggles, and our need for mercy, and He approaches the Father with compassion and understanding.
Secondly, Jesus came to make atonement for the sins of the people. Atonement refers to the act of reconciling humanity to God, restoring the broken relationship caused by sin. Jesus accomplished this through His sacrificial death on the cross, where He paid the penalty for our sins. His atoning work opens the way for us to be forgiven, reconciled to God, and restored to a right relationship with Him.
The author then highlights an essential aspect of Jesus' qualification as our High Priest. He notes that Jesus himself has suffered being tempted. Although Jesus was without sin, He experienced the full weight of temptation during His earthly life. He was tempted in every way, just as we are, yet He remained faithful and sinless (Hebrews 4:15). Jesus' personal experience of temptation allows Him to empathize with us and understand the struggles we face. He is not distant or detached from our human condition but intimately acquainted with our weaknesses.
Because of His personal experience of temptation, Jesus is uniquely positioned to help those who are tempted. He is not only sympathetic but also capable of providing the help we need. As our High Priest, He intercedes for us, strengthens us, and provides the grace and power to overcome temptation. We can approach Him with confidence, knowing that He understands our struggles and stands ready to assist us in our time of need.
In summary, Hebrews 2:17-18 highlights the significance of Jesus Christ as our merciful and faithful High Priest. By becoming fully human and experiencing temptation, He can sympathize with our weaknesses. Jesus took on human form to make atonement for our sins and reconcile us to God. His personal experience of temptation qualifies Him to be our Helper and Advocate, providing the help and strength we need in times of temptation. We can approach Him with confidence, knowing that He understands us completely and stands ready to assist us. Let us draw near to Jesus, our High Priest, and receive His mercy, grace, and help as we navigate the challenges and temptations of life.
Hebrews 2:17-18. He was obligated in all things to be made like his brothers, that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make atonement for the sins of the people. For in that he himself has suffered being tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted.