The compassion of Jesus
I don’t know if in this life we can fully appreciate or comprehend the graciousness of Jesus. Ephesians tell us in order for anyone to comprehend the expanse of His love, it doesn’t come naturally through our intellect. Paul prayed for the Ephesians that they would get a supernatural revelation from the Holy Spirit. Then and only then can we “comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height — to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge.”
I think we need that as well to comprehend His grace towards us, sinners. In Hebrews 5.2 there is 1 little line that many skip over. I know I had for my whole adult life but when I was studying it for communion it struck me. First a little context.
Hebrews 5.2 it says “He can have compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray.” Any Jewish reader would automatically remember in the O.T. this differentiates between sins of ignorance and willful deliberate sins. Like a trespass, I know it’s sin, I know where the line is, and I know what happens if I cross that line, but I don’t care, I’m going to do it anyway. Any one of us, would be gracious to someone who sins against us accidentally, it was a mistake. No big deal. But if someone deliberately sinned against us? I don’t know about you, but my reaction would be to treat that same person differently. Not so gracious.
But notice, not Jesus. He has compassion in both circumstances. The reason is, Jesus understands what it’s like to be a human. He was exposed to everything the sinful culture could throw at Him. He was tempted with pride, power, control, impatience hurt feelings, betrayal, character assassination and more just like you and I.
And so yes, we need a supernatural revelation from the Holy Spirit to be able to comprehend and fully appreciate just how gracious He is with us. This will also help us to be like Him, when we need compassion with other sinners like us.