Journal – October 17, 2021
17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.
BRINGING MANY SONS TO GLORY (PART 5)
Vs. 18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.
He suffered in His temptations. Temptation comprises anything, state, or condition, whereby a man may be tried, exercised, or tempted. This will give us light on the temptations of Christ, for although they were all external and by impressions from without, yet they were not confined to the assaults of Satan. Some of His temptations we may briefly recount:
- His state and condition in the world. He was poor, despised, persecuted, reproached, especially from the beginning to the end of His ministry. Here was one continued temptation, that is a trial of obedience by all manner of hardships. He says to His disciples, “You have continued with Me in all My temptations” or in the work that He carried on in a constant course of temptation, arising from His outward state and condition. In this temptation He suffered hunger, poverty, weariness, sorrow, reproach, shame, contempt, wherein His holy soul was deeply affected.
- Temptations from His relations in the flesh, being ignored and not believed by them: from His followers, being forsaken by them upon His preaching the mysteries of the gospel; from His chosen disciples, all of whom left Him—one denied Him, and another betrayed Him, from the anguish of His mother when a sword pierced through her soul. In His sufferings from His enemies of all sorts, all of which are revealed in the gospel, and all of which were inexpressible.
- Satan had a principal hand in the temptations from which He suffered. He set out upon Christ at His entrance into His ministry (Matthew 4:1-11), immediately in his own person and followed Him in the whole course of His ministry, by the instruments he set to work. Satan also had a season—an hour of darkness—allowed unto him, when he was to try his utmost strength and policy against Christ (Luke 22:53). This assault from him He suffered, as was foretold from the foundation of the world, the “bruising of His heel”, or the temporal ruin of all His concerns.
- God’s desertion of Him was another temptation from which He suffered. As this was most mysterious so His sufferings under it were His greatest perplexity (Mark 15:34). These are some of the heads, and springs of those various and innumerable temptations that the Lord Christ suffered in and under. They, for whose sake He suffered this condition of temptations are those He reconciled unto God by His sacrifice as a High Priest. Notwithstanding their reconciliation to God by the death of Christ, they have a course of obedience prescribed to them. In this course they meet with many difficulties, dangers, and sorrows, all proceeding from the temptations with which they are exercised. Hence, the description of them, “those who are tempted”,the tempted ones. It is reconciled persons who emphatically are the tempted ones; they are the mark of Satan and the world, and they maintain a continual warfare within them against temptations in the remainder of their own corruptions. This is the proper name of believers. As Satan from what he does is called the tempter, so they from what they endure are called the tempted ones.
The High Priest having suffered the like things with them, they have an assured ground of consolation in all their temptations and sufferings which the Apostle declares when he says that the High Priest is able to succor them that are tempted. His ability to succor is not an executive power—a power of working, a power of the hand, but a power of the heart and will, an ability in readiness of mind, that is here assigned to Him. Observe then:
- That He had particular experience of the weakness, sorrows and miseries of human nature under temptation. He tried it, felt it, and will never forget it.
- His heart is thereby inclined to compassion and is acquainted with what it is that will afford relief. In His throne of eternal peace and glory He sees His poor brethren laboring in the storm which, with so much travail of soul, He Himself passed through and is intimately affected by their condition.
- Their need of compassion moves and excites Him unto their relief and succor—this is the ability ascribed to our High Priest, compassion and mercy arising from an experience of the sufferings and dangers of human nature under temptations.
- That from this comes a great advantage to all the brethren in the succor He is able to afford unto them. They need strength to withstand temptations that they do not prevail against them, consolation to support their spirits under temptations, seasonable deliverance out of their temptations. And their High Priest ministers succor to them by His word and promises, by His Spirit, by communicating unto them supplies of grace and strength, by giving them strong consolation, by rebuking their tempters and temptations, and by His providence disposing of all things to their good and advantage in the issue.
- That the principal work of the Lord Christ as our High Priest and from which all other actions of His in that office was to make reconciliation or atonement for sin. We have an Advocate with the Father. . .and He is the propitiation for our sins. What He does in the heavens as our Advocate depends upon what He did on earth when He was the propitiation. They who weaken, oppose, or take away this reconciliation are the enemies of salvation of men, the honor of Christ, and the glory of God. From men they take away their hope of happiness, from Christ His honor and office, from God His grace and glory. I know they allow a reconciliation in words, but it is of men to God, not of God to men. They would have us reconcile ourselves by faith and obedience, but for the reconciliation of God to us by sacrifice, satisfaction, and atonement, that they deny. But reconciliation by blood is the only relief for a guilty soul.
- The Lord Christ suffered under all His temptations and sinned in none. He suffered being tempted, He had the heart of man, the affections of man, and that in the highest degree of sense and tenderness. No sorrows, no sufferings were like His, He made bare His breast unto their strokes, and laid open His soul that they might soak into the inmost parts of it. He left nothing in the whole nature of sorrow and suffering that He did not taste and make experience of.
- The great duty of tempted souls is to cry out unto the Lord Christ for help and relief. In every way He is able to succor them that are tempted. He has a sufficiency of care, wisdom, and faithfulness to observe and know the seasons wherein succor is necessary for us; a sufficiency of tenderness, mercy, and compassion to excite Him to grant the aid needed, and a sufficiency of acceptance at the throne of grace to prevail with His Father to grant the suitable supplies and succor, that shall be effectual for us.
PRAYER AND THE POWER OF GOD
At times and in certain circumstances, prayer may become an agonizing battle between faith and unbelief. We may be driven to God in prayer by overwhelming circumstances which try our souls, break our hearts, and test us to the utmost. The temptations and trials are such that circumstances may cloud our minds to the absolute sovereignty and omnipotence of our Heavenly Father. In other words, our circumstances may overwhelm our faith. Now faith is only as strong as its object. Our faith rests in the self-revealing triune God of Scripture who has revealed Himself as our Heavenly Father.
When pressed with overwhelming circumstances, we must realize that our God is not limited as to His power, and that the issue is ever a matter of the Divine will, never of the Divine ability! When Jeremiah was commanded by the Lord to purchase property during the siege of Judah because the Divine promise would be fulfilled in the face of absolutely contrary present circumstances (Jeremiah 32), he began his prayer with these words, “Ah Lord GOD Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You! May such truth undergird our faith and prayers!
Catechism Question 82
Q: What is required in the ninth commandment?
A: The ninth commandment requires the maintaining and promoting of truth between man and man, and of our own, and our neighbor’s good name, especially in witness bearing.
16 These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbor; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates:
“Prove it” Catechism Question 117
Q: Repeat the Lord’s Prayer .
A: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.