If God Was One of Us?

Hebrews 4:15-16

For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

A while back, pop singer Joan Osborne did a tune called “If God Was One of Us” in which she speculated on the (to her) novel idea of what it would be like if God had to share in our human condition rather than just sit up in heaven and be omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. Many people, like Ms. Osborne, have a notion of God that is not very far from that of the ancient Greeks. Many people fancy that God just sits up in heaven, a Superbeing watching us with detached amusement and periodically sending in tornados or floods to liven things up. Many have the notion that God no more understands what it is like to be human than you or I can relate to pond scum. But the reality is that the outrageous flight of fancy sung by Joan Osborne actually took place 2000 years ago when the Creator of all the galaxies was born as a Palestinian peasant and spent 30 odd years traipsing around the villages of the eastern fringe of the Roman Empire. In every respect, he was as human as you or me and, in every respect, he endured what you and I endure in temptation. More than that, he did so because he loves us and means to help us bear the load as he did. So we need not cringe before our temptations. He knows how much they weigh because he himself was tempted. He can help.

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