My friend the judge -- it's all in who you know
Sam was in a pickle.
Newly married, he and his wife were days away from a mission trip when they realized they didn’t have a vital document necessary to allow them to enter the country. He called my husband and me in a panic, unsure what to do.
Thinking furiously, I blurted out the first thing that came to mind: “I have a friend who is a judge. Maybe he can help.” I’d known Clyde for years, worked with his wife, and prayed for his kids. “I’m sure he’ll do whatever he can.”
A quick phone call confirmed that Clyde was, indeed, willing to help.
Unfortunately, willingness wasn’t enough.
“I’m a family court judge,” he said when I explained Sam’s dilemma. “His request is out of my jurisdiction. I have no power.”
Disappointed, I phoned Sam with the bad news. He thanked me for trying, impressed I was willing to go to bat for him. “I’ve never known anyone who had a judge’s phone number in her contacts,” he said. “I’da been scared to death to call him.”
Sam's mission organization intervened, he received the documents he needed, and he and his wife left for the mission trip as scheduled. As I breathed a sigh of relief, I thought back on my attempt to help him.
I wasn’t afraid boldly to phone my friend the judge because I had a relationship with him. I was confident he'd hear my request and do everything within his power to help. Unfortunately, Judge Clyde didn’t have the power or the authority to intercede on Sam’s behalf.
I remembered this experience when I read Hebrews 6:16:
“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
I called an important man to ask him to advocate on Sam’s behalf because I had a relationship with him. How much more should I feel the freedom to approach God, my Great High Priest, on the basis of my relationship with him?
“We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses,” Romans 6:15 says, “but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are . . .”
My friend Clyde sympathized with Sam’s predicament. My friend Jesus sympathizes with mine—my woes, my heartbreaks, my fears, my struggles, and my weaknesses. He, too, was tested and tempted, but because he was sinless, he earned the right not only to sympathize, but to advocate for me.
Judge Clyde didn’t have the authority to act on Sam’s behalf. His jurisdiction was limited and his power was narrow. Jesus Christ, however, has full jurisdiction and all power necessary to help me.
“Was my arm too short to ransom you?” God asked Isaiah. “Do I lack the strength to rescue you? By a mere rebuke I dry up the sea, I turn rivers into a desert” (Isa. 50:2).
On the basis of my relationship with my Great High Priest, Jesus Christ, I can “approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that (I) may receive mercy and find help in time of need” (Heb. 5:16).
What about you? Are you struggling with something today? You may feel hindered, helpless, and hopeless, and you may very well be.
But God is not.
I encourage you to call upon him today. I believe you’ll find mercy, grace, and help in your time of need.
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