Nov 7, 2012
It can feel futile.
The temptation is so strong, my faith so weak, my heart is so hard, that resistance feels hopeless.
Like a 100-pound weakling facing a 400-pound sumo wrestler.
Why bother fighting?
But there’s a truth found in God’s Word that gives you reason to fight.
Jesus will help
This is taught in Hebrews 2:18 —
For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
So every time you are tempted — Jesus promises to help you.
Really? Every time?
How can I be sure?
The author anticipates that question.
So in the next six verses he shows how faithful Jesus is to keep His promises.
He starts by telling us that —
Jesus is faithful to help His people, just as Moses was
Therefore … consider Jesus … who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God’s house. (Heb 3:1-2)
God’s house is a metaphor for God’s people (Heb 3:6). So whenever God’s people needed help, Moses was faithful to help them —
- They were slaves — Moses went to Pharaoh and worked signs and wonders until he relented
- They were trapped — Moses parted the Red Sea
- They were thirsty and hungry — Moses provided water, manna, meat
- They needed instruction — Moses gave them God’s Law
And just like Moses, Jesus will be faithful to help you whenever you face temptation —
Are you tempted with discouragement. Jesus will help you.
Self-pity? Jesus will help you.
What about weak faith? Jesus will help you.
Lust, or greed, or fear? Jesus will help you.
Just as Moses, Jesus will always be faithful to help you.
But not only will Jesus be AS faithful as Moses —
Jesus is even MORE faithful than Moses, because as God He is all-powerful
For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses–as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) (Heb 3:3-4)
Moses was part of the house of God’s people. But Jesus is the builder of that house.
And since the builder of all things is God, therefore Jesus is God.
So every time I am tempted — the Jesus who is ready to help me is all-powerful GOD.
This is crucial, because often when I am tempted it feels like nothing can change my heart —
- the temptation is too strong
- the unbelief too big
- the discouragement too great
But Jesus is all-powerful God — so He stands before me with power to–
- conquer that temptation
- strengthen my faith
- overcome my discouragement
Not only that —
Jesus is even more faithful than Moses, because as the Son He provides all we need.
Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant … but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. (Heb 3:5-6)
What’s the difference? Moses was a servant IN God’s house, but Christ is the son OVER God’s house.
The servant can’t supply everything the house needs — that’s what the son does.
So Jesus as Son is over His house — ready to supply everything His people need.
Which means that whatever you need to overcome temptation — Jesus will provide it.
Need stronger faith? He will provide it.
Power over lust? He will provide it.
Forgiveness, encouragement, endurance? He will provide it.
Whenever you are tempted, Jesus is standing before you ready to provide whatever you need to overcome that temptation.
But why don’t we experience this?
Good question. Let me be blunt.
It’s because we stop seeking His help too soon.
He always stands before us ready to help — but there’s two things we must do to receive His help —
- We must pray earnestly for His help — like He prayed for His Father’s help while in Gethsemane (Heb 5:7).
- And we must use the Sword of the Spirit — like He did when the devil tempted Him while fasting (Luke 4:1-13).
Jesus doesn’t free us from temptation while we are channel-surfing.
He frees us from temptation when we are on our face crying out for His help and praying over His promises.
When we do that — He will always help us.
In time we will feel our hearts changing — our faith strengthening — our temptations shrinking.
Behind the sumo wrestler
It’s true. When tempted you are a 100-pound weakling facing a 400-pound sumo wrestler.
But behind the 400-pound sumo wrestler stands Jesus — who can squash sumo wrestlers with His pinkie.
So don’t just see the sumo wrestler. See Jesus.
Have you experienced this — or not?
I’d love to hear — leave a reply below. Thanks.
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And here’s some related posts you might find helpful —
Last Night's Pit -- And How God Pulled Me Out
A promise for when you are tempted
How the Holy Spirit enables us to obey
Why I'm taking this book back to the library
(Picture from everystockphoto.com by brainloc.)