How Can Jesus Possibly Understand Your Troubles & Temptations?

Over the past few decades, I’ve heard more and more people say that we have nothing in common with Jesus and therefore, they are unable to relate to Him. Quiet often, they say that Jesus didn’t have to face many of the same troubles or temptations that they face today.

They go on to talk about the problems they face with their jobs, with their families, their finances and even some have shared about their struggles with tobacco, alcohol, gambling, sex, pornography, anger, depression and so on. They believe that all of the things they are struggling with have no correlation to what Jesus dealt with in His time here on earth.

My general response is that they probably never really read the Bible carefully enough to see and understand what Jesus endured. They fail to realize that Jesus was a real person with a real human lifespan. He had real human needs and emotions and he experienced a real human death.

This has caused some to admit they believe that the biblical account of Jesus is more of a moral lesson than reality. To this, I respond that the Bible isn’t the only historical account of Jesus, but that his life and some of his teachings were written down by other non-biblical writers and historians.

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Flavius Josephus wrote about Jesus when he mentioned his brother James. Roman politician Tacitus wrote about Jesus being executed during the time of Pontius Pilate being the Roman prefect of Judea (26-36AD) and when Tiberius was Emperor of Rome (14-37AD). In some of the Jewish writings of the time, Jesus was described as the illegitimate child of Mary and some un-named sorcerer.

There was no doubt from those that lived at the time or shortly thereafter that Jesus was a real person.

In addition to Jesus coming to earth as a baby, living a sinless life and then dying on the cross to be the ultimate and final sacrifice for our sins, Jesus also came to earth to be a pattern for how we should live. 1 Peter 2:21 states:

“For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.”

In 1 Peter 2:22-23 it states:

“He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.”

Note that it says that Jesus was reviled but that he did not retaliate as we often do, but he suffered and endured when he was treated wrong. Jesus knows what it’s like to be reviled, ridiculed, and insulted. He entrusted His situation to His heavenly Father.

Therefore, we are to look to Christ as our example. If you find yourself frustrated in your immediate earthly circumstances; you find people who are mistreating you, even in your most intimate relationships; you find that others disappoint you with their actions, their words and their lives, look to Christ as your example. You don’t retaliate against those who wrong you.

Realize that another reason Jesus came to earth was to be our sympathetic helper. When we come to Him with our problems, He receives us in sympathy, in empathy, in mercy and in kindness with a sense of understanding and the desire to comfort you in the midst of your woes.

Because Jesus lived as a man, He can sympathize with your experiences of sorrow and frustration and the realities of life. In Hebrews 2:17-18, it states:

“Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”

Jesus experienced temptation, in fact temptations beyond what we are ever tempted. It also says that He suffered under His temptation. He lived in the midst of sinners who were against Him. He was on the receiving end of hostility and rejection. He was on the receiving end of dusty roads of Jerusalem. He was on the receiving end of the crown of thorns. He was on the receiving end of the spit. He was on the receiving end of the beating fists. He was on the receiving end of the mocking.

Jesus knows better than we do, what the fullness of sin is when it is unleashed against us. In His humanity, he felt the pain of it all. He felt the betrayal of someone close to Him, in Judas, a man who shared bread with Jesus.

This is why when you come to Christ with your woes, He can receive you in kindness, in mercy and with sympathy because He was a man who experienced life and faced many troubles, sorrows, temptations and being treated unjustly. He knows how difficult these things are which allows Him to receive your as sympathetic friend.

Joseph Scriven understood this when he wrote the lyrics to a song that most of you know, What a Friend We Have in Jesus. In times of trouble, sorrow, turmoil and more, begin singing the familiar tune and pay careful attention to the words you are singing:

  1. What a friend we have in Jesus,
    All our sins and griefs to bear!
    What a privilege to carry
    Everything to God in prayer!
    Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
    Oh, what needless pain we bear,
    All because we do not carry
    Everything to God in prayer!
  2. Have we trials and temptations?
    Is there trouble anywhere?
    We should never be discouraged—
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
    Can we find a friend so faithful,
    Who will all our sorrows share?
    Jesus knows our every weakness;
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
  3. Are we weak and heavy-laden,
    Cumbered with a load of care?
    Precious Savior, still our refuge—
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
    Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
    Take it to the Lord in prayer!
    In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
    Thou wilt find a solace there.
  4. Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
    Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
    May we ever, Lord, be bringing
    All to Thee in earnest prayer.
    Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
    There will be no need for prayer—
    Rapture, praise, and endless worship
    Will be our sweet portion there.







The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

R.L. David Jolly holds a B.S. in Wildlife Biology and an M.S. in Biology – Population Genetics. He has worked in a number of fields, giving him a broad perspective on life, business, economics and politics. He is a very conservative Christian, husband, father and grandfather who cares deeply for his Savior, family and the future of our troubled nation.

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