When You Feel Unworthy (Hebrews 4:14-16)
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is reported to have played a practical joke on twelve of his friends. He sent them each a telegram that said,”Flee at once…all is discovered" Within twenty-four hours, all twelve had left the country.
Top executives often report that one of their fears is being found out.
Why approach God when you feel unworthy?
Background: 12-14 – Complete exposure to God
Why we shouldn’t run: Jesus is our high priest (14). What this means:
1. Jesus knows what it’s like (15)
- Weakness here: a propensity to sin
- His temptations were greater than what we would experience.
- He remembers what it’s like to be weak, to get sick, to be tempted.He remains fully and gloriously human.
- Sympathize: connotes “being compassionate to the point of helping”
2. Jesus helps us when we needs it (16)
- “Let us constantly approach…” – in old system, only high priest could do this once a year
4:16 – means timely help
- When we come to the Father, we are not shouting across a great gulf.
THEREFORE hold firmly (14) and approach the throne of grace with confidence (16).
He takes our side. He is at home, able to represent us fully and appropriately.
Come near to God even when you feel unworthy, because Jesus takes your side with God.
In an early scene from the movie Luther, the frustrated monk struggles with his fear of a God who knows his sinfulness.
An older priest passing by Luther’s room hears him and enters.
“I live in terror of judgment,” declares Luther.
“And you think self-hatred will save you?” the older priest replies. “God isn’t angry with you. You are angry with God.”
“I wish there were no God.”
“Martin, what is it you seek?”
“A merciful God! A God whom I can love. A God who loves me.”
“Then look to Christ. Bind yourself to Christ, and you will know God’s love. Say to him, ‘I’m yours. Save me. I am yours. Save me.’”
“I am yours. Save me,” Luther says, clutching a cross the priest took from his own neck and placed in his hand. “I am yours. Save me.”
Luther later wrote:
Did we in our own strength confide,
our striving would be losing,
were not the right man on our side,
the man of God’s own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is he;
Lord Sabbaoth, his name,
from age to age the same,
and he must win the battle.