If you didn’t pick up on it before, you will see now that the author is referring to Jesus as our brother.
17 Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.
First we must understand why this is worded the way it is. The prophecies foretold that the Messiah would be of the bloodline of King David. In Matthew, we see the lineage as it shows the record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham. The Greek word used in verse 17 adelphos signifies a blood relation. Also, let us not forget to whom this letter is written to: the Hebrews. Now we must understand why this is significant.
If you have ever read through the first 5 books of the bible, you will see how much importance is put upon lineage, ritual, significance of position, and the honor of it all. The high priest, in Jewish tradition, is the mediator between God and the people. This position was first and foremost dictated by bloodline. Furthermore, in order to be eligible to be a king, you also had to be of a certain bloodline. By Christ’s sacrifice, we have all been adopted into the bloodline by His blood. His lineage isn’t just important for the fulfillment of prophecies, but also because it actually meant something at the time in regards to his position in society.
The part that I think seems to be more important to us Gentiles is what we read in verse 18. It is kind of hard to help someone through a struggle if you’ve never experienced it yourself. Not only does it help you relate to those you are supporting, but it also gives hope to those going through the struggle that it can be overcome. I love the last few chapters of the Gospel according to John because it is where Jesus explains to His followers that when He leaves this earth, He will send the Holy Spirit to empower us just as He was empowered. He overcame temptation, battled sickness and death, loved unconditionally, and stayed forever focused on God the Father and His Kingdom. This not only gives us hope but also tells us that we have no excuse not to!
There is no reason for us to continue living in the bondage of sinfulness. There is no reason for us to be sad and gloomy. There is no reason for us to wonder what is to come or if we are here for a reason. He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted. The enemy is constantly working against us but because of Christ, we no longer have to answer the calling of satan, we get to answer the calling of God with joy.