Today I began a three-week session of teaching ESL classes to 38, 7th-9th graders from Korea.  The student’s ability to speak English varied widely.  About half a dozen of the students could communicate effectively.  At the end of one class period a couple of the girls who had sat in the back of the class told me it was very hard to speak English.  I agreed with them, because I knew just how they felt.

About 15 years ago I took one year of a Spanish class.  At the end of the year I could understand a basic conversation in Spanish, but I just couldn’t seem to spit out any Spanish words, let alone turn them into comprehensible sentences. 

Jesus lives in heaven now, but because He came to earth to live and die for us, He understands exactly how we feel when life gets us down.   This is what Hebrews 4:15 tells us, “This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for He faced all of the same testings we do, yet He did not sin.” 

Jesus understands how we feel when we are tempted.  While He lived on this earth He experienced the same ups and downs, sadness and joy, and temptation to sin that we do today.  But, He did not sin.  Jesus knows just how we feel when Satan tempts us because Satan tempted Him as well.  In fact, Jesus was tempted way more extremely than we will ever know.  Jesus also knows what, with God’s help, victory over Satan feels like.  He desperately wants us to experience that too. 

If you have ever watched much of ESPN then you’ve probably seen people react to victory.  The batter hits a home run and the entire team greets him at the plate with high-fives.  The wide-reciever catches the pass in the end zone for a touchdown and the crowds stand and cheer.  That’s the image I get when, in the midst of temptation, I choose to do what I know is right.  Angels are high-fiving it while Jesus and Gabriel stand and cheer…try thinking about that the next time you face temptation.  Jesus has already provided victory if we choose it (see texts below).  All that’s left is coming home to high-fives.    

 Because He himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted.  Hebrews 2:18

 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.   1 Corinthians 15:57