Perhaps you’ve heard the Indian challenge to “walk a mile in another man’s moccasins.” Maybe you have done so in some way and it has led you to a deeper place where compassion is concerned in a relationship. If God is about anything in this undertaking with mankind He is about offering a relationship. All of the details about His plan find their meaning and application in this reality.
What does it mean to you that God, in the person of Jesus Christ, was human like you for a while? In other words can He now relate to the “moccasin” thing? Hebrews 5:8 Hebrews 5:8Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
American King James Version×tells us that “though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.” So God can learn! That alone is worthy of deep contemplation. What application is there for us personally and as His Body, the Church?
The Bible is laden from cover to cover with the decision these two Beings made to become intimately involved with their creation. It demonstrates Their willingness to “get Their hands dirty” with us in order for us to know the depth of Their active love for us. For true godly love is an act of the will, lived out, not just a feeling. In describing the One, Jesus Christ, who is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8 Revelation 13:8And all that dwell on the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
American King James Version×), the apostle John writes in John 1:14 John 1:14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
American King James Version×, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” He became one of us for a while.
Even one of His names, Immanuel, mentioned in Isaiah’s prophecy, means “with us is God” (Isaiah 7:15 Isaiah 7:15Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.
American King James Version×). The reality and power of the nativity of Christ’s very humble beginnings as a baby should not be under-appreciated.
So let’s ponder some ways in which all this can change lives. Let’s ask a few questions along the way.
During and after last year’s Passover, I chose to think about these things more. It has led to a deeper gratefulness and affection for God the Father and His Son. It has also led to more power in the overcoming process knowing that I am not condemned for having the struggles of human nature that my Savior also had.
In 1 Peter 2:5 1 Peter 2:5You also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
American King James Version×it says: “You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
We all can relate in some personal way the struggles of human nature and need the help of God and a loving, caring support group of brethren in order to become those “living stones” in the spiritual house of God as we see in 1 Peter 2:5 1 Peter 2:5You also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
American King James Version×.
Let’s ask and let Scripture answer the question: What qualifies Jesus Christ as a perfect High Priest?
The entire second chapter of Hebrews is worth reading slowly through in this regard. However we will just look at verses 17-18: “Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.” Also let’s bring verse 11 into this to remind us of what you and I battle and how God feels about us. It reads: “For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them [us] brethren.” Is it possible that as is stated in the aforementioned Hebrews 5:8 Hebrews 5:8Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
American King James Version×, that He learned more about mercy by way of His fully human experience? These are beautiful things to meditate upon.
Hebrews 4:15-16 Hebrews 4:15-16  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.
 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
American King James Version×deepens this connection even further with tremendous implications: “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” So not only can we know we are not experiencing anything “new” as flesh and blood, but we can also to be bold in those dark moments of temptation or trial with cries for help, which God loves to hear I’m sure. To me the pivotal word here is “all” in verse 15. The Greek word for this is pas, meaning “all, any, every, the whole.” I checked for loopholes, so maybe I could remind God that He couldn’t help me with something because His Son could not relate to it. That’s what unbiblical shame looks like.
However on the contrary, the truth is that there is nothing we can take to God that Jesus cannot (with familiarity) advocate for us before the Father. What is it worth to you that you would not hear the words: “Sorry, I can’t help you with that. I don’t know about that aspect of being human,” uttered by Christ when you come boldly before that throne of grace? This introduces perhaps even a deeper question.
In the book of Romans, chapter 7, the later verses are especially about the struggle with sin. It is fascinating to read that this apostle of God of some 25 years is living life like you and I do. Yet Romans 8:1 Romans 8:1There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
American King James Version×reads: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” This is a very positive statement in the face of our walking out this life of overcoming. God is not in the condemnation business, but is all for us in the growing process. We have to ask ourselves why we are self-condemning, if indeed we are. That may be a part of a personal belief system that needs healing. See 1 John 3:18-21 1 John 3:18-21  My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.  And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.  For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.  Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
American King James Version×.
That same chapter 8 of Romans contains the seed for our next probing question. Romans 8:7-8 Romans 8:7-8  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
American King James Version×reads: “Because the carnal mind is enmity, for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” I think the question begs asking. Did our perfect High Priest know what it is like to be enmity? Did He learn how it felt to be at “odds” with the divine nature because He was a participant in the flesh with all its aspects? We read he was tempted in all points! Yet what tremendous respect and awe He is owed because He never sinned on any point. That is why He is spoken of as the “captain of our salvation” in Hebrews 2:10 Hebrews 2:10For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
American King James Version×!
Pondering the answer one can then begin to ask further to help in overcoming. Will Jesus sympathize with us and advocate for us if our particular struggle with this flesh includes alcoholism, unbiblical expression of anger, various crippling fears, homosexuality, pornography or other addictions, feelings of shame and guilt, etc.? If God would turn a deaf ear to helping with the most basic problem of enmity, with all that can emanate from it, then the question is what do we do and where do we go?
But I think we know better, and so it does not matter what the sin or habit or challenge is, we can, like the prodigal son, run back to God, and He’ll run to meet us and celebrate His son or daughter’s homecoming. We should run to Him boldly, not away in ungodly guilt or shame. As we individually do so we are becoming ready to be a helper with Christ when He returns.
How can we as the Body of Christ help each other do more to thrive in “working out our salvation”? Each of us can do our part to open our hearts and hands to one another no matter what the issue, while standing with God’s standards of blessed behaviors. We are all made of clay, for now, in need of the hands of the Creator. John 13:35 John 13:35By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another.
American King James Version×tells us that “by this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” That would be an active supportive love, the how-to of which are found in the study of biblical principles. There may well be someone in your congregation who is battling some temptation all alone. Ask God to teach you how to help create significant relationships. Don’t underestimate the “power of one” to positively affect a life now and perhaps for all time. Visiting http://breakingfree.ucg.org may help you in understanding these real battles that some of our brethren face and how to help them be victorious.
Let’s be a people, the people of the Great God, who don’t run away for any reason. Let’s not cause others to do so by our less-than-Christ-like acceptance of their weaknesses, but come together in His love for all.
What does it mean to you that God became one of us for a while?
Tony Kuczynski is from the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, congregation, and is on the Focused Education Task Force.