Editorial - ‘Touched with the feeling of our infirmities’, Heb 4. 15.
John Bennett, Pinxton, Nottingham [SEE PROFILE BELOW]
Touched! What a precious thought it is to know that we have a sympathetic and compassionate High Priest!
We live in a hard-hearted world. Some of that condition is linked to our innate sinfulness. We are consumed by self-interest, and the pursuit of our own will. I look on the world with a desire to engage in what is good for me. However, some of that hard-hearted approach is generated by a feeling of powerlessness to change what brings adversity to some. We see the starving and homeless, and do not know what we can do to radically change their lot.
In Matthew chapter 14 we see a similar situation. ‘And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals’, v. 15. They looked at the vastness of the crowd, and felt their impotence to provide for the need. Even after surveying what few resources they had, the response was ‘What are they among so many?’, John 6. 9.
What a difference to the reaction of the Lord! Matthew tells us, ‘And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them’, v. 14. We have a compassionate Saviour. He looked at the awfulness of our lost estate and came to save us. As our Great High Priest, He observes our weakness and failure, and yet is compassionate towards us.
But is compassion enough? Many people observe the plight of the suffering with compassion but they are helpless to effect significant change. True compassion leads to action, and this is demonstrated by the Saviour. Not only did He heal their sick but He provided for their hunger, to the extent that ‘they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full’, v. 20.
In a High Priestly setting, the writer bids us to ‘come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need’, Heb. 4. 16. Resources of mercy and grace were provided for those of the multitude in the wilderness. Resources are available for the believer today. But the challenge for all of us in this hard world is to cultivate a heart like the Saviour – ‘touched’, sympathetic, and compassionate. Oh that our hearts might be such that we can be taken up and used by the Lord to minister blessing!
This magazine contains much that we hope will be a blessing to the Lord’s people. There is the informative, the expositional, the devotional, the practical, and the challenging. We continue to look for the Lord’s help, and the prayerful support of His people, as we seek to encourage one another, awaiting the coming of the Lord.