Concept Review | Hebrews 4:15 Word Study by Ken Nair

“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities: but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”  (Hebrews 4:15)

This is a passage which clearly defines Christ’s capacity to experience emotions and to identify with my (and all people’s — even wives’) emotions.

The implications of this verse offer a life that is richer than most men can imagine. It gives us an example that is essential; one which, if neglected, will result in a lack of spiritual maturity.

If God requires that I become more and more Christ-like, and I know that God’s ways and thinking are not a part of my ways or thinking, (Is. 55:8) then my mind is going to have to be expanded way past its natural capacity. Emotions, for example, are commonly reflected on by men as a nuisance, as untrustworthy and unreliable, and reserved as an exclusive source of disturbance to women.

This Scripture, however, serves to dispel that contrary thinking. It exhibits some very important characteristics about Christ and of what Christ-likeness definitely consists. It clearly provides an example of who He is. I think Jesus elevates emotions to a very high status, and He gives them great significance for men and women. Let us study the words and phrases in this passage that further define Jesus the Christ.

An High Priest (Greek. archiereus, ar-khee-er-yuce) high priest, chief priest, chief of the priests

Touched With The Feelings (Greek. sumpatheo, soom-path-eh-o) to feel sympathy, to commiserate, have compassion (compassion is a French word meaning, com: with—passion: emotions) be touched over the feelings of

Infirmities (Greek. asthoneia, as-then-i-ah) feebleness (of body and mind), by implication malady, moral frailty-disease, infirmity, sickness, weakness

In All Points (Greek. Pas, pas) according to all things

Tempted (Greek. Peirazo, pi-rad-zo) to test, assay, examine, go about, prove, tempt, try

Without (Greek. Choris, kho-rece) separately, apart from, without

Speaking of priests, keep in mind that a major part of a priest’s duty is to oversee and represent the people he is responsible for before God. That being the case, the duty of the Chief of all the priests (Jesus) is to oversee and represent all of humanity before God. So, a paraphrase of this verse would look like this to me:

God has blessed me with a chief of all the priests; He has absolute compassion (is with emotions) for me. He is deeply touched by the feelings that I experience. Being Christ, He realizes that my feebleness of body and mind keeps me from being spiritually mature. He wants me to be more and more like Him in that when He experienced temptations and tests, He kept Himself separated and apart from sin.

Scripture requires that a husband be his wife’s Christ-like spiritual leader. (Eph. 5:23) Scripture also says, “To know to do good and do it not, it is sin.” (Jas. 4:17) Thus, if I know that I should discipline myself to become more Christ-like, (and that is good) and yet I do not do it I am being disobedient, and isn’t that sin? If I am to become Christ-like, I must become emotionally capable of being touched by the feelings of others.

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2 thoughts on “Concept Review | Hebrews 4:15 Word Study by Ken Nair

  1. As of May 2007 the website stated that there were some 406 411 priests serving the Church worldwide. Thus the New Testament says that as high priest Jesus has made the Church a kingdom of priests for his God and Father. All who are baptized are given a share in the priesthood of Christ that is they are conformed to Christ and made capable of offering true worship and praise to God as Christians. This ministerial priesthood is at the service of the priesthood of all believers and involves the direct consecration of a man to Christ through the sacrament of orders so that he can act in the person of Christ for the sake of the Christian faithful above all in dispensing the sacraments.

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