Back in 2005, I was ordained, which just means I became a licensed legit pastor by a board of five men. I’ll never forget the piece of advice I got as I was trying to soak up all the knowledge of the board. One of men, who was in leadership at the church that I was assistant pastor, said to me: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
I’ve never forgot it.
As I was listening to our passages this week in the car, I got the sense that this was missing as Jesus prays in Gethsemane alone. We read about Peter, James, and John handpicked to spend time with Jesus the night Judas betrays Him. As we read, we find that the three can’t keep their eyes open and fall asleep on their best friend and leader. It actually happens three times where Jesus invites them to pray with Him and they fall asleep each time. Then Jesus just taps out and tells them to sleep tight.
I find myself pouring out my guts to people and at times it feels that they’re not even listening. They’re pre-occupied with their phone, looking off, or just changing the subject. If I’m honest, that sounds like things I’ve done when people are vulnerable as they pour out their hearts to me. One of things that I’m learning about my human nature is that I care more about my wants than I do about other people’s needs. Basically, no one hurts as much as you or I do—because it’s our situation, our hurt, and our pain.
Then the “aha” moment…although we’re like Peter, James, and John, Jesus isn’t. Jesus is the high priest. Jesus sticks it out with us and empathizes with us for days, weeks, months, and years. I’ll fail people and people will fail me. Jesus doesn’t…He’s able to give us the attention we need to recover through our pain, questions, uncertainty, and suffering.
So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. 15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. 16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
Hebrews 4:14-16 (NLT)
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