Summary: Because Jesus became human and lived among us, He can understand us. And because Jesus was fully divine, He has the power to help us. When we approach God looking for help, we can know that He understands us and will patiently help us.
A. One afternoon, a man came home from work to find two young girls from the neighborhood on the steps of his building.
1. Both girls were crying very loudly, and were shedding big tears.
2. Thinking they might be hurt, the man put down his briefcase and quickly went over to them, asking, “Are you all right?”.
3. Still sobbing, one girl held up her doll and said, “My babydoll’s arm came off.”
4. The man took the doll and its dismembered arm, and after a little effort had the doll back together again.
5. “Thank you,” came a whisper from the girl.
6. Then turning to the other little girl, the man asked, “And what’s the matter with you, young lady?”
7. The second little girl wiped her cheeks and said to the man, “Oh, nothing is the matter with me, I was just helping her cry!”
B. How’s that for a good friend?
1. Sometimes we need a good friend who will just help us cry.
2. Other times we need a good friend who can help us in many other ways.
3. And the promise that I want to share this us today has to do with the fact that we have a friend in Jesus.
4. God’s promise to us is that you and I have a Savior who understands us and will help us.
5. I wrestled with how to word this promise.
6. Today’s promise is based on a passage from Hebrews 4 where Jesus is called our High Priest, but I fear that High Priest is a too unfamiliar and clinical term.
7. So I toyed with several different descriptors for this promise:
a. “You have a God who understands you and can help you…”
b. “You have a Mediator…You have a Friend…
8. But finally, I decided to go with: “You have a Savior who understands you and can help you.”
a. This goes down as one of the longest sermon titles in the history of sermon titles!
9. Additionally, I want you to know that today’s sermon, along with the next few sermons, will contain promises that assist us in winning the spiritual battle over our enemy, the devil.
C. Max Lucado effectively opens his chapter on this promise with an illustration from college women’s softball. (I trust that Vanessa Fletcher, our resident woman’s softball star and coach will especially like this illustration)
1. On a splendid April afternoon in 2008, two college women’s softball teams – one from Oregon, one from Washington – squared off in a very important game.
2. The winner would advance to the division playoffs and the loser would hang up their gloves and cleats and go home.
3. The Western Oregon Wolves were a sturdy team that fielded several strong batters, but Sara Tucholsky was not one of them.
a. She had a hitting percentage of 153 and was playing in the game only because the first-string right fielder had made a big error earlier in the game.
4. Sara had never hit a home run, but on that day, with two runners on base, she connected with a curveball and sent it sailing over the left-field fence.
a. In her excitement, Sara missed first base, but before she got too far, her coach shouted for her to return and touch it.
b. When she turned and started back to first base, something popped in her knee, and down she went.
c. She dragged herself back to first base, pulled her knee to her chest in pain, and asked the first-base coach what to do.
5. Sara knew that if she tried to stand, she would collapse.
a. She knew she had to get around the bases and to home plate for the run to count and for them to go ahead in the game.
b. She knew that if any of Sara’s teammates assisted her, she would be out.
6. And so the game was on hold as Sara stayed at first-base and the umpires huddled to talk.
D. This story easily illustrates how we have spiritually tripped and fallen, and how we are helpless to get from where we are to where we want to be
1. Max Lucado, the gifted writer and sermonizer, who can spot an illustration from the cheap seats, says: “You and I have a lot in common with Sara Tucholsky. We, too, have stumbled. Not in baseball, but in life. In morality, honesty, integrity. We have done our best, only to trip and fall. Our finest efforts have left us flat on our backs. Like Sara, we are weakened, not with torn ligaments, but with broken hearts, weary spirits, and fading vision. The distance between where we are and where we want to be is impassable. What do we do? Where do we turn?”