The author of Hebrews reminds the receivers of this letter of God’s concern for them. The English word “concern” doesn’t convey the depth of meaning contained in the original language. This word means to take hold of or grasp in order to give help or much needed assistance. One gets the picture of a person sinking in quicksand, ready to go under, but able to hold their hand above the surface. The Deliverer grasps the hand of the one in need and lifts him up. It’s not the angels Jesus is doing this for, it is us, the spiritual descendants of Abraham.
In verse 17, the author points us to the fact that Jesus in His incarnation has completely identified with the human experience. God wanted to demonstrate to mankind that He not only knows what we go through because of His infinite knowledge. He also knows what we go through because He went through it Himself. God not only knows, He feels. This reflects His concern and compassion for us. God understands what it’s like through firsthand experience to be human. God knows what you’re thinking, but also what you’re feeling right now. It’s so vital for us to know that the One we are reaching out to for help understands. He really does! Because He has experienced these things too, He knows exactly how to relieve and refresh those who are hurting and in pain.
The author also reminds us of Jesus’ faithfulness in 2:17. He is trustworthy, dependable, and reliable at all times and in every situation. Whenever we reach out for His help, He is there for us. How comforting and encouraging it is to know that the God of the universe knows us personally and that He is accessible and available through every trial or adversity. We are reminded through the end of verse 17 that Jesus met our greatest need – the need of salvation from sin. He alone can save! If we trust Jesus to take care of the greatest need we will ever encounter, then shouldn’t we trust Him with all lesser needs? Jesus took upon Himself the sin of the world. Every human’s sin from the beginning of time until the end of time as we know it was placed upon the shoulders of Jesus Christ our Lord. If Jesus’ shoulders can carry all that, can we not trust Him to carry our burdens, and to carry us through this season of adversity? Jesus is more than able! Reach out to Him today! Trust Him today! (Hebrews 2:18)