A FUNNY THING HAPPENED TO ME on my way through paraphrasing the Book of Hebrews for the Casual English Bible.
By the way, yesterday was the day I finished the beta edition of the New Testament. It’s all online and free to use. I saved Hebrews for last.
Hebrews is one strange book. It’s a wild ride for a Gentile. Probably even worse for a Jew, which might help explain why Christianity became a predominately non-Jewish religious movement.
Here’s one of the many passages in the 13-chapter book that caught my attention, and surprised me.
“God made everything that exists. Creation belongs to him. He wanted to share this glorious place with a big family of children. So, it seems fitting he sent a hero to rescue us, a leader made perfect through the suffering he endured.
Jesus and those he spiritually purifies all come from one Father. That’s why Jesus isn’t embarrassed by us. We’re family. He’s not ashamed to call us his brothers and sisters.” Hebrews 2:10-11
Isn’t that odd?
I’ve noticed that Bible writers seemed a lot more comfortable with the humanity of Jesus than we do. We struggle with his humanity. But the early writers knew him as a human. I guess it makes sense they would struggle more with his divinity.
Certainly they did. It took Christians 300 years to figure out they couldn’t figure it out. So they called Jesus fully human and fully God, which provides us with a phrase to talk about what we can’t understand.
Human in every way
The writer of Hebrews tries to explain why Jesus became human.
“Since God’s children on earth are flesh-and-blood humans, God’s Son became human, too. He did this so he could die like a human, and in the process defeat death and decimate the devil, who had weaponized death against humans.
Jesus freed people from their fear of dying…
Before Jesus could help his brothers and sisters, he had to become like one of them—human in every way. Then he could serve as their high priest and settle with God the matter of their sins, granting them mercy.
Jesus suffered when tempted. Because of that, he knows how to help others when they’re tempted.” Hebrews 2:14-18
I’m not sure Christians today are all that comfortable thinking about a Jesus who was seriously tempted.
Until we give in to the temptation.
Then, it’s good to know.