There are all kinds of catch-phrases we use: “That’s the pot calling the kettle black… It takes a thief to catch a thief… I can’t put anything past him because he’s been there.”
And my personal favorite, “It takes one to know one.” Apparently, this little phrase is a classic retort to an insult, one that dates all the way back to the early 1900’s.
The author of the book of Hebrews uses this idea in a much more gentle, compassionate sense. He is referring to Jesus in his role as our High Priest, our intercessor. And he tells us that the reason Jesus is so good at mediating is that he completely gets where we’re coming from.
Why? Because he’s human too. He was made like us in every way. Though true God, at his conception he became true man as well. “He entered into every detail of human life,” as The Message translation puts it.
He became human so that he could destroy death by his death. He lowered himself and humbled himself so that through humility he could defeat Satan and break sin’s power over us. He stepped down from his throne in heaven so that he could make atonement for our sins and bring reconciliation between God and man.
Never doubt that Jesus understands your position, no matter how painful it might be. He’s been there — and probably worse than “there,” depending on where your “there” is right now. If it takes one to know one, he knows you perfectly. And he perfectly empathizes with all you’re going through.
He knows exactly who you are. And he knows exactly how you are. And that’s no put-down. Because the very same One who “gets” you is here to help you.
“For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted” (Hebrews 2:17-18, NIV).
Lord, thank you for becoming one of us. I know you were willing to do that because of your great love for us. I also know that you fully understand me. More importantly, you have paid for my sins and you will stand by my side when I am tempted and help me.
Our Bible reading for Saturday, October 31, is Obadiah 1-21, Hebrews 2:1-18 and Proverbs 26:13-22.
Header image based on "Happy Twin Girls" by Donnie Ray Jones, CC By 2.0