Discussion Guide - The Great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-4:16)
Monday: Hebrews 4:1-13; Psalm 139:1-16
Tuesday: Hebrews 4:14; John 1:14; Exodus 25:8-9
Wednesday: Hebrews 4:15; Luke 4:1-13; John 11:32-45
Thursday: Hebrews 4:16; Hebrews 13:8; 1 Corinthians 10:13
Friday: Hebrews 4:14-16; Exodus 40:34-38; Hebrews 10:34-36
Jesus is our great high priest; therefore, we can draw near to God.
In Hebrews 4:12-13, the author said that we are completely laid bare before our Father in heaven and known for exactly who we are – sinners in rebellion against a perfect, holy God for which the penalty is death and eternal separation. What possible hope can there be for any of us?
Enter Jesus, and the effectiveness of his high-priestly work. In addition to being “a great high priest”, he is called “the Son of God” (v 14), a title “not used until this point in the discussion, and…intentionally introduced here to combine the humanity and divinity of Jesus as the perfect qualifications for a high priest who was to be superior to all others.”
No other high priest was called great, passed through the heavens, or could be called “the Son of God”. In his humanity, Jesus was tempted in every way we are, so he can “sympathize” with us (literally - “to suffer along with”). Yet in all this he was without sin.
So then, the invitation is extended. The beautiful and scandalous narrative of the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ is that we have the ability to come boldly before the throne of God. “Boldly” does not mean “arrogantly”. It means incessantly, without reserve, persistently, and freely. The Enemy would love for us to believe we need fancy words, special qualities, or a certain “level of goodness” before we can come before our Father.
As believers in Christ, since Jesus is both our tabernacle where we meet God and our high priest, we have the great privilege of daily drawing near to God through him. Let us rejoice and walk in that, daily!
In what circumstances do you find it most difficult to “hold fast to your confession” (v 14)? What Scripture do you meditate on in moments like these?
Jesus’ ability to “sympathize with our weakness” is presented to us as a comfort in Hebrews. How does this comfort you specifically? That is, how do Jesus’ experiences recorded in the gospels enable him to relate to your own experiences?
Do you ever feel like you need to reach a certain “level of goodness” before you can come to God in prayer? How does Hebrews 4:16 address that feeling?
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
 Donald Guthrie, Hebrews, IVP New Testament Commentary, p 124
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