For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are…
1. In attempting to describe the human sympathy of this Divine Being, I will first refer to His wonderful keenness of feeling. Intensely sensitive to nature, and drinking in illustration of highest truth from her homeliest appearances, He felt most keenly anything that could touch the feelings of the fellow-men. Unlike many people who, because they do not feel their own trials very keenly, nor crave for much sympathy amidst them, cannot understand the sufferings and cravings of more sensitive natures, Jesus was so touched by His own troubles, and had such a longing for the Divine and human sympathy in the midst of them, that He is marvellously quick to understand, and ready to sympathise with the most insignificant sorrows of the most sensitive souls.
2. But the sympathy of Jesus is as wide as it is ready. He whose exquisitely sensitive soul was thrilled by the beauty of a lily, and moved by the fall of a wounded sparrow, is keenly touched by whatever can touch a human heart, whether high or low, good or bad, a friend or an enemy. No man can be beyond the reach of His all-comprehending sympathy, because no man can be beyond the embrace of His all-comprehending love.
3. And His sympathy is as deep and tender as it is ready and comprehensive. And the reason of this is two-fold. He has been tempted in all points like as we are; and yet He is without sin. He can sympathise with the poor because He has been poor; with the weary and heavy laden, because He has been tired and worn; with the lonely, misrepresented, and persecuted, because He has been in their position. And because He was also tried, tried in mind as well as heart, by fear, by sad surprise, by mental perplexity, with the hard conflict with evil, and great spiritual depression, He is able to feel to the uttermost for those keenest sorrows of our earthly lot. And then this tried One was without sin. That was what enabled Him to drink in sympathy, and nothing but sympathy from all His sorrows. That is why He received all the sweetness from His sorrows and none of the bitterness, so that He is able out of the pure and exhaustless treasures of His sympathy to sweeten all our bitter cups.
4. For let us also remember that His sympathy is as practical as it is ready, deep, and comprehensive. Smpathising with the fond feeling which led the mothers to bring their children to Him, He at once took the little ones up in His arms, and blessed them; feeling for the hungry multitude He delayed not to spread a table for them in the wilderness. His compassionate soul melted with tenderness when He saw the widow weeping beside the bier; but at that very moment He stopped the bier and restored her only son to his mother's arms. How deep the sympathy which caused Him to burst into tears among the weeping ones He loved, before the grave of Lazarus; but how prompt the power to "help which caused the dead man to come forth. It is the knowledge that now as then He is ready and able to help us as He is to feel for us, that emboldens us to come with all assurance to the throne of grace, and confide to Him our every trouble. And if His sympathy is to be to us anything more than a beautiful dream, we must there come into personal contact with Him amidst our own sorrows, and sound the depths of His sympathy by proving the fulness of His help.
(P. J. Rollo.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.