“He is able to deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is subject to weakness; and because of this he must offer sacrifice for his own sins as well as for those of the people.” vss. 2-3
During the days of Temple worship in Jerusalem, the high priest was in charge of the whole sacrificial system. He was the one who organized the days on which sacrifices could be made, made sure there were always priests available, and provided plenty of animal sacrifices for purchase by the penitent. According to the writer of Hebrews the best of the high priests were gentle in dealing with the sinners who brought their offerings because they were fully aware of their own weaknesses. They too needed the forgiveness of sins. While such a system seems primitive and obscure in our time, we are aware of pastors in our congregations who possess those same gentle spirits. The best of them know their people intimately and treat even the wayward with respect and dignity. They seldom pass judgment in their sermons and are always ready to lift up the broken and comfort the weary. Often they’ll share stories of their own struggles with faith and temptation–they make no effort to cover up the fact that they too are sinners. While that might be disturbing to some–they want their pastors to be perfect–most people are pleased that their pastor has flaws. Somehow it makes them more believable!
Thought for the Day: What flaws does my pastor have?