I recently remembered something that happened to me a long time ago when I was a little girl growing up on the farm. I was deathly afraid of pigs. They were huge dirty grunty beasts and I did not like them.
My Dad knew that it was important that, growing up on a farm, I not be afraid of them, so one day, as cruel as it sounds, he took me out to the pig pen and made me get in the pen all alone with about a dozen pigs and transfer a pile of wood planks from one end of the pig pen to the other. All the while these horrible filthy creatures were following close behind me, grunting and oinking, curious to see what I was doing. I never cried more than I did that day. Terror, fear, disgust, hatred for my Dad, and many other emotions flooded my tears the entire time I carried those rotten planks.
But you know what? I never was afraid of pigs after that…and it may explain my extreme pleasure every time I eat bacon!
As I look back on this time in my life, I understand why my Dad did what he did, but the one thing I wished he would have done would have been to get in the pig pen with me. A little mercy would have gone a long way in that situation. His huge strong presence beside me would have made all the difference in the world. But he made me do it alone.
Thank God Jesus is not like that.
Since all of these sons and daughters have flesh and blood, Jesus took on flesh and blood to be like them. He did this so that by dying he would destroy the one who had power over death (that is, the devil). In this way he would free those who were slaves all their lives because they were afraid of dying…Therefore, he had to become like his brothers and sisters so that he could be merciful. He became like them so that he could serve as a faithful chief priest in God’s presence and make peace with God for their sins. Because Jesus experienced temptation when he suffered, he is able to help others when they are tempted. Hebrews 2:14-18
Jesus, bless my Dad. He did the best he could with what he knew. Thank you that he cared enough about me to find a way for me to not be afraid of pigs. I’m more thankful that you took on flesh and blood and became like us. I am so thankful! In your name, Amen