I once waded into the Jordan River. On a trip to Israel, my family and I stopped to see the traditional spot of Jesus’ baptism. It’s a charming place. Sycamores cast their shadows. Birds chirp. The water invites. So I accepted the invitation and waded in to be baptized.

No one wanted to join me so I immersed myself. I declared my belief in Christ and sank so low in the water I could touch the river bottom. When I did, I felt a stick and pulled it out. Well, what do you know–a baptism memento! Some people get certificates or Bibles; I like my stick. It’s about as thick as your wrist, long as your forearm, and smooth as a baby’s behind. I keep it on my office credenza so I can show it to fear-filled people.

When they chronicle their anxieties about the economy or concern about their kids, I hand them the stick. I tell them how God muddied his feet in our world of diapers, death, digestion, and disease. How John told him to stay on the riverbank, but Jesus wouldn’t listen. How he came to earth for this very purpose, to become one of us. “Why, he might have touched this very stick,” I like to say.

As they smile, I ask, “Since he came this far to reach us, can’t we take our fears to him?”

“For our high priest [Jesus] is able to understand our weaknesses. When he lived on earth he was tempted in every way that we are, but he did not sin. Let us, then, feel very sure that we can come before God’s throne where there is grace. There we can receive mercy and grace to help us when we need it” (Hebrews 4:15-16 NCV).

Does this miracle matter? It does if you are bedridden. It does if you battle disease. It does if chronic pain is a part of your life. The One who hears your prayers understands your pain. He never shrugs or scoffs or dismisses physical struggle. He had a human body.

Does this miracle matter? If you ever wonder if God understands you, it does. If you ever wonder if God listens, it does. If you ever wonder if the Uncreated Creator can, in a million years, comprehend the life of a truck driver, housewife, or immigrant, then ponder long and hard the promise of the incarnation. God say: I understand you and I always will.

Are you troubled in spirit? He was, too. (John 12:27)

Are you so anxious that you could die? He was, too. (Matthew 26:38)

Are you overwhelmed with grief? He was, too. (John 11:35)

Have you ever prayed with loud cries and tears? He did, too. (Hebrews 5:7)

Some have pointed to the sinlessness of Jesus as evidence that he cannot fully understand us. After all, if he never sinned, they reason, how could he understand the full force of sin? Simple, he felt it more than we do. We give in! He never did. We surrender. He never did. He stood before the tsunami and never wavered. In that manner, he understands it more than anyone who ever lived.

And then, in his grandest deed, he volunteered to feel the consequence of sin.

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV).

The greatest pain of the cross was the pain of sin. Jesus didn’t deserve to feel the shame, but he felt it. He didn’t deserve the humiliation, but he experienced it. He had never sinned, yet was treated like a sinner. He became sin. All the guilt, remorse, and embarrassment– Jesus understands it.

Does this miracle matter? To the hypocrite, it does. To the person who can’t remember last night’s party it does. To the cheater, slanderer, gossip, or scoundrel who comes to God with a contrite spirit, it matters. It matters because they need to know, “we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:15-16 NIV).

Because Jesus is human, he understands you. Because he is divine he can help you. But he does neither if you don’t go to him. He didn’t remain aloof; why would we? He didn’t keep his distance; why would we keep ours?

Let this be the day you draw near to him. He entered your world so that you could enter his.

© Max Lucado, January, 2017

12 comments on “He Entered Your World

  1. I’ve always been intrigued that Jesus, sinless, would submit Himself to John’s baptism. I am thankful we have such a humble and empathetic role model in Christ.

  2. Max,

    Jesus was a person who was able to see and feel the consequences of sin even though he had not sinned. I realize that His sacrifice on the cross showed us His love for us. There is weakness in all of us. I do understand I can go to Him and share my hurts . What a Blessing that is to know I am loved and understood.
    Thank you for sharing your insight and wisdom.

  3. Our stress, worry, pain, discouragement, etc, etc, etc….We can leave at the foot of the cross. No more shallow tense breathing….Breathe deep and relax in the arms of our savior, Jesus Christ !!! What a gift we have ALL been given when we believe !!!

  4. Thank you Max for all your righteous efforts – you have helped countless people. God bless you & your family & your work! 😉

  5. I lost my eldest son agéd 25 ! 5 days later his wife gave birth to their first child , a little boy !5 months after this I found my husband dead on the bedroom floor he was 50 ! I was 49 ! I am now 70 and live alone ! I am disabled and in chronic pain ! God promised me years ago to be my husband, to restore to me the faith of my youth and make the door of despair a door of hope ! It has taken 21 years, but His promise has come true ! And now He has said that I will bear fruit in my old age ! I am in touch with people all over the world Christian and non Christians ! They call me ‘Grandma’ ! What an amazing God we have ! I am desperate to know Him more closely ! To know His Spirit within !! To love Him more deeply and to pray more diligently ! I seek His face and heart ! Oh how I pray for wisdom and discernment ! For I owe Him all that I am and have ! He has my heart and I want His !! God bless you and keep you in your love and ministry ! Love to you from me in His abiding love ! Hazel xx

  6. Bob Brown: I used to hear my wife praise the writing of Mac so often it irritated me and also made me jealous. I retired recently after practicing psychiatry since 1971, the last eleven of those years was limited to treating Soldiers returning from combat with PTSD. Now I can see from my earliest days of wanting nothing but a Soldier suit and an American flag that God had a plan for me that is more abundant than I could have imagined. My dream was to be a Soldier and to be a doctor. His plan was for me to be a doctor to Soldiers. Now in the solitary I’ve made of “retirement,” He is giving me an opportunity to write, more challenging than anything I’ve done. I have recently written about the good news for Soldiers, PTSD Survival Manual, The Way and the Truth and the Life. I have found nothing more soothing to the troubled mind than Jesus and his wisdom for successful living and dying. We need to make sure our Soldiers know we love them and more than that, that Jesus loves them and often talked about them.

  7. As God’s chosen vessel I was and still am hurting physically, emotionally, I can easily be broken, give up but I was and still am reminded and believe and see in my life and in the life of others and even in this world as it is, that there is a GOD, HE IS ENOUGH, AND GOD NEVER SENDS US WHERE HE HASN’T ALREADY BEEN. THANK YOU MR. LUCADO AND BELIEVE ME I’M STILL HERE TO REMIND OTHERS IN THEIR DARKEST MOMENTS. IT IS ALL WORTH THE PAIN AND SUFFERING WHEN GOD IS SEEN AND GLORIFIED THROUGH IT ALL. AMEN!
    SO BE IT! IT IS SO!

  8. Thank you for explaining things we can understand. Your wisdom is greatly appreciated! Many blessings from God I pray for you and your ministry.

  9. When I read this devotional this morning it brought tears to my eyes and filled my heart with so much love. Thank you Max! I am filled with the spirit of Christ and really touched.

  10. Dear Max having you for a brother has been a wonderful experience. I can see the love you have for Jesus in your face and I hope my face shines like yours for I love Jesus more every day. He suffered so much for us on Calvary. Thank you for having this site for me to read other testimonies. It’s great. I see you sometimes on TBN. I watch TV some for I have been an invalid these last two years and I am now getting over a hip replacement. Boy, what a difference the new hip makes.
    Have a wonderful day.

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