How Can Jesus Relate?
Jesus never sinned, so how can he relate to mine?
The pastor in me is curious as to why you are asking: Are you battling a particular sin? Do you wonder if Jesus understands your suffering? Is there a part of you hoping to diminish the crime of certain sins because...well...Jesus can't relate, so maybe he’s powerless to help? It is perfectly human of you to wonder about this topic and I'm glad you did. I myself have asked the same question many times. How can Jesus even understand what I'm going through?
For starters, we cannot forget that Jesus is God who came to earth and became a man. So while he lived with us he was both deity and human in one life-form. Your question is focusing his humanity in perfection; the sinless man who walked among us. Yet the Apostle Paul proclaims that because of Jesus’ human side, he relates to our struggle: “We do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15, NASB)
Jesus had another side: He came as God in the flesh which means he embodied, yet restrained, his God-like qualities while on earth. One of them is omniscience. Omniscience means "all-knowing." In addition, one of God's names is "El Deah," which means "God of Knowledge." (1 Samuel 2:3) So while Jesus did not act on human temptations like we do, he, being God, could instantly know what it would be like to sin because he’s in charge of all knowledge. It may scramble our brains a bit to ponder this, but it's true. We must trust that Jesus knew what was for sale even though he never tasted the merchandise.
It also says in Hebrews 4:13 (TPT), "There is not one person who can hide their thoughts from God, for nothing that we do remains a secret, and nothing created is concealed, but everything is exposed and defenseless before his eyes, to whom we must render an account." There is no sinful thought, act or behavior which God doesn't know about. Every detail. He does not associate with it because he will not tolerate evil nor will he give it place in his presence. But he knows exactly what goes on.
Did Jesus sin? Nope. Can he relate to it? No. Jesus will not commiserate with our sin because he despises it. He won’t pat us on the back and excuse it away saying, “You deserve a break today.” Rest assured, however, he still desperately loves us. He grieves about the consequences of our sin; how it destroys our lives emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. He is merciful and compassionate regarding our weakness: “Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our form; He is mindful that we are nothing but dust.” (Psalm 103:13, 14)
“I don’t feel his compassion,” we cry. Right. This compassion does not mean we are suddenly relieved of our consequences and rescued from the messes we make. We still suffer the full weight of the fall-out because these outcomes help us mature, learn our lessons and hopefully stop the sin-cycle. If there were no cost to our bad behavior, we’d have zero incentive to choose the narrow road. (Matthew 7:13-15)
Luckily, Jesus does not condemn us if we repent and turn around. He welcomes the sinner and rejoices at the return of the prodigal. Yet if we make sin a lifestyle, a habit or a premeditated choice; the Bible then explains that God will give us over to it (Romans 1:24-32.) Our consequences will rule us at that point, and neither we, nor God, will be in control of our lives—sin will take the wheel. If God is not our boss, we serve other masters...and they are relentless, demanding and cruel.
Choose Jesus and set him on the throne of your world. He knows everything and he cares.
Do you have a question or comment for Pastor Adrienne? Send your inquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org or write to P.O. Box 214, Harrison, OH 45030. For more information and resources, please visit the “Ask Pastor Adrienne” YouTube channel for sermons and insights.