An Evident Compassion

For every high priest taken from among men is appointed on behalf of men in things pertaining to God, in order to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins; he can deal gently with the ignorant and misguided, since he himself also is beset with weakness; and because of it he is obligated to offer sacrifices for sins, as for the people, so also for himself. – Hebrews 5:1-3

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The writer of Hebrews, in his presentation of the Messiah (Jesus) as the superior high priest, wrote about the weakness of the earthly version. The earthly high priest sinned, but Jesus (the Son of God who was tempted in every way as we are) never did. The earthly high priest, who would have wrestled with issues of faith just as everyone else did, should have been compassionate concerning mankind’s common struggles. Yet, it is in Jesus (the Holy One incarnate) that we see compassion for the sinner, the same compassion that should be evident in His followers.

Harsh judgment should never come from imperfection. Only “the perfect” possesses the moral authority to judge the sins of another and Jesus, though perfect and sinless, understands and cares for the sinner. He must be our example for His are the marks of true divinity and His character is the evidence of that divine presence in us.

Compassion costs. It is easy enough to argue, criticize, and condemn, but redemption is costly, and comfort draws from the deep. Brains can argue, but it takes heart to comfort. – Samuel Chadwick

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