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Judge or Priest?

Judge or Priest?

12 December 2019

Judge Or Priest
Jim Stephens

Reading: Hebrews 5-8

1 Every high priest is a man chosen to represent other people in their dealings with God. He presents their gifts to God and offers sacrifices for their sins. 2 And he is able to deal gently with ignorant and wayward people because he himself is subject to the same weaknesses. (Hebrews 5:1-2 NLT)

Priests represent God to man and represent man to God. Priests are able to be gentle and understanding with the imperfect people they represent to our perfect God, because they know what it’s like to be human and live with human weaknesses.

God is the perfect judge, because he is also our loving Father. Jesus is the perfect forever-priest because he understands God’s holiness and he understands our human weaknesses. It’s the perfect situation!

15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. 16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. (Hebrews 4:15-16 NLT)

I have a built-in tendency toward the judge role. I am so inclined to make my Christianity about thinking the right thoughts, saying the right words, and doing the right things, that it easily becomes a “self-effort” matter, and leaves the love of Jesus and the mercy of God out of the equation. Then when I direct the same kind of critical judgment toward others, guess what? They don’t measure up any better than I do!

I’m learning to reject the judge role and embrace the priest role. Judges judge, you know, but priests intercede! And I absolutely must learn to walk right up to my forever-priest Jesus and get what he is so ready to give! Receive the mercy! Accept the grace that helps! Yes!

Prayer:

Father, Please forgive me again for so often acting like a judge rather than a priest in my attitude toward myself and my relationships with others. You’re my (our) judge and Jesus is my (our) priest. (It sure makes it better that my Judge is also my loving Father!) I walk right up to you today and receive the mercy and accept the help. Help me remember that I’m no one else’s judge! Only you are the compassionate judge, and only Jesus is the self-sacrificing priest. Amen.

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