14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16 For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. 17 For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
We are people of flesh and blood, human in every way. We accept that Jesus was fully human too, even though he was also fully divine, God’s only Son. The author of Hebrews is trying to help his readers understand why Jesus had to be human, in order to offer himself in a sacrifice of atonement on the cross. Jesus himself suffered when he was tempted, even as we suffer – sometimes because we have succumbed to temptation, and sometimes when we have not. Jesus is our example because he resisted temptation, and he was able to be our sacrifice for sin because he did not sin himself. Therefore he could be our savior.
Jesus can help. He can help us when we are struggling to get past a tough place, when we are tempted to continue down the same bad path. He gives us strength even as he is our example of courage in the face of temptation. May we call on him for help, and have confidence that he will be there.
Lord Jesus, be my help. Help me when I cannot see the path in front of me and I don’t know where to go. Help me when my path is rocky and painful with every step I take. Help me when I have to choose between one way or another – one that is narrow and hard rather than the one that is wide and easy. Let me choose the path that leads to life, as I keep focused on you. Amen.