In this reading from the Letter to the Hebrews, intimacy jumped out. “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” But why would we? What are we afraid of? To begin with, we have a high priest who already knows us, “…before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare.” And who better than He is able to sympathize with our faults, for “we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are.” So why do we hesitate? This is a fear of intimacy, of being known, exposed fully. The word of God “is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” and we are fortunate that our high priest “is one who in every respect has been tested as we are.” Jesus was a man, fully human. He is sympathetic to us. So why be afraid?
As C.S. Lewis wrote, “Of His great humility God chose to be incarnate in a man of delicate sensibilities who wept at the grave of Lazarus, and sweated blood in Gethsemane. Otherwise we should have missed the great lesson that it is by his will alone that a man is good or bad, and that feelings are not, in themselves, of any importance… If God had been incarnate in a man of immense natural courage, that would have been for many of us almost the same as His not being incarnate at all.”