Have you ever wondered if Jesus understands you, and what you’re going through?
Honestly, until a few weeks ago I hadn’t.
Think of your biggest temptation. That one thing that pulls at you daily. That one thing that hangs over your head constantly taunting you. You try to push it away, you beg God to take it away, you sometimes go a few days, maybe even weeks without thinking about it. You’re doing a victory dance on your mountain top and then it reappears. You hate that it can find you even up here, and you think you can fight it because this is your mountain top; but you can’t. You’re weak on your own and into the valley you fall again.
C.S Lewis views it like this:
“No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you find out the strength of the German army by fighting against it, not by giving in. You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness — they have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it: and Christ, because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means — the only complete realist.”
That biggest temptation, that one thing that comes back to you day after day; Jesus knows what it feels like. And He knows what it feels like to resist it for a lifetime.
You resist it for a day or two. Jesus resisted it every single day for roughly 33 years. He is sinless not because He’s God. He’s sinless because He’s also human. He felt every single temptation you feel, the only difference is He never gave in. Not even once.
Now I don’t say all this to show you how horrible of a person you are for not being Jesus and resisting every temptation. Rather, I want to show you how much Jesus understands you.
“The more I grow in my Christian life, the more I grow in my awareness of God’s holiness and of my flesh and sinfulness. … It is not that God is becoming more holy or that I am becoming more sinful. But my awareness of both is growing. I am increasingly seeing God as he actually is and myself as I actually am. As my understanding of my sin and of God’s holiness grows, something else also grows: my appreciation and love for Jesus” // –Robert H. Thune and Will Walker
If it’s hard for you not to gossip, think of how hard is was for Jesus to never say a word about another person his whole life. He gets it. He knows it’s hard. Talk to Him. If you think it’s hard to be nice to that annoying girl in class who just loves to talk to you every day, think of how many people wanted to talk to Jesus. Think of how tiring it was for Him to give attention to all of those people. He gets it. He knows it’s hard. Talk to him.
If you think it’s hard to give up your nap time so you can run an errand for a friend, think of how hard it was for Jesus to give up His life for you. He was so human that He even asked God not to make Him do it, just as you do.
"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me;” but he didn’t give in to temptation, “yet not my will, but yours be done" // Luke 22:42
Jesus knows how it feels to be us. He gets it. He was sent Earth to fully understand the human experience so we could have a reason to resist the temptation and example to go by. He knows what we’re going through, He’s our advocate. He died to give us a chance at eternal life free of temptation. We don’t deserve this kind of grace, but that’s why it’s called grace.
- Alex // @al_steele