Jesus, not ashamed to associate with me

. 3 min read

Dec 2019, Christ Mountain Top
the Scripture, Isaiah 63.7-9
Matthew 2.13-23 (escape to Egypt, the mad king)
Hebrews 2.10-18
to the world: he comes to make his blessings flow far as the curse is found.
This passage continues to unfold that theme in its own unique way. But first, a
story that encapsulates the presence of curse in some of our most important
       Boys to the mall as teenagers: Ashamed to
associate with me.
back to the passage before us:
pastor who writes the letter to the Hebrews writes it as a sermon, a sermon
focused on the person and work of Jesus, in the plan of God from eternity to
eternity, introduced here in this passage in multiple roles:
·       Pioneer
of salvation, the one who blazes the trail for us to follow
·       Champion
who delivers from death, through death, and fear of death
·       High
priest who ministers for us, making atonement for us
for each of these roles, each of which deserves sustained focus and is repeated
in various ways in the letter, one particular thing is required, one specific prerequisite
applies equally to all three roles: Jesus must suffer.

through suffering” (2.10) – Perfected? Was he imperfect prior to suffering? We
recognize in our own lives that there are ways that suffering and pain build us
as people. “No pain, no gain.” And we also recognize there are many kinds of
suffering that are simply evil, simply wrong. No matter how much they may
stimulate our personal growth, we would rather not, thank you very much.
       Here, the expression “perfected” refers
not to moral, social, or character development. It is a throwback to the Greek
word used for the consecration of Israel’s priests (Craddock, 39). It is an
expression for the ordination of priests, particularly high preists, who are,
by and in ordination, made competent as pioneer of salvation, made capable as a
champion, made complete as a high priest.
       For Jesus to become our pioneer,
champion, and high priest, “
he was obligated to be made like his brothers in all respects[1].
He must, and indeed did, become fully human, “in every respect” like us. We
struggle with that expression, wanting to keep some distance between us and
divinity, wanting to maintain a boundary. But Jesus destroys the boundary and
God becomes “one of us.” “What if God was one of us? Just a slob like one of
us. Just a stranger on the bus?” The pastor who gives us this sermon called the
letter to the Hebrews answers just that question, and offers only one exception
Jesus becoming like us “in every respect”: He is “without sin” (Hebrews 4.15).
If God becomes one of us, then Jesus is our pioneer, our champion, our high
       And, in becoming one of us,
God embraces – and transforms – human suffering.
life short of suffering and death would have been less than an identification
with humankind and, therefore, less than a full understanding of the human
condition” (Craddock, 39). For Jesus, suffering was necessary, not only in the
cross, but also in life. He had to experience grief, pain, hunger, loneliness,
       2nd grade
betrayal: Ashamed to associate with me.
he is not ashamed to call us brothers (and sisters)” (Hebrews 2.11). It is not
an embarrassment to God despite the fact that becoming human and embracing
human suffering requires being lower than angels!
       Indeed, as the pastor unfolds these three
roles for Jesus, he not only makes the claim that Jesus’ perfection through
suffering – a perfection defined as becoming fully human – that Jesus’
perfection through suffering is necessary for each role. He also points out
that, in each role, we become part of Jesus’ family, described alternatively as
Jesus’ children and Jesus’ brothers. This is among the most important implications
of Jesus taking on blood and flesh, being made like us in every respect: We
become family, and we have the privilege of “being with” God. And Jesus is not
ashamed to associate with us.
       Homeless man who worshiped at Bethany

Harris, W. H., III, Ritzema, E., Brannan, R., Mangum, D., Dunham, J., Reimer,
J. A., & Wierenga, M. (Eds.). (2012). The Lexham English
(Heb 2:17). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.