Lord, that I might see!, sculpture in Matyas Church, Budapest, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, Tenn. Original source. To me, this image could represent the need for a high priest who understands this supplicant.

OTHER IMAGES https://images.knowing-jesus.com/Hebrews/4

Also at https://www.google.com/search?q=images+hebrews+4:14-5:10&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwik7JSCz8fjAhUhpFkKHTQSArwQsAR6BAgJEAE&biw=1507&bih=665 However, here there were a lot saying “Jesus is better.” To me this feels uncomfortable in that this quote leaves open the possibility that, since we say Jesus is better, we think we are better too. And then there is the whole question of the relationship of Jesus/Christianity to Judaism…


Jesus’ sym/empathy for us results in our being bold before God. Could our sym/empathy for others encourage their boldness? How, then, do we respond to their bold requests? What is the response when boldness is present even when no sym/empathy has been indicated (Frequently not well!)

 The contrast is usually drawn between a high priest who sympathizes and one who does not. (My pastor husband once got a phone call at the church asking, “Are you the pastor who listens?”) But–what about a priest who sympathizes as opposed to all the people who don’t? Where do we go when humans cannot/do not sympathize—or maybe when they cannot/do not even hear our pain/hurt/need?



Meditation on Servanthood http://sacredise.com/daily-worship/week-23-29-september-2018/*  NOTE these copyright provisions for Sacredise resources:

On this page you will find the latest downloads of the Sacredise Daily Worship guides. Feel free to make copies and distribute these guides in any way you like on the following conditions:

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Prayer of Great Thanksgiving (Eucharistic Prayer)                                                                Here is a link to an original eucharistic prayer by Barb Hedges-Goettl based on the themes and language of the Hebrews passages that make up the summer Narrative Lectionary series on Hebrews. Please give credit if using/adapting. https://1drv.ms/w/s!AuB3z496aTHTgalit3nYcgaqOmOlZg

Prayer of invocation/opening prayer (from Hebrews 4:14, 5:4-6, The Message)                      Original prayer by Barb Hedges-Goettl; please give credit if using/adapting.

O God, you call Jesus your own son and celebrate him.                                                          You make him a priest forever, a priest of the royal order.                                                          Through him, you give us ready access to yourself.                                                                Don’t let us lose track of what you have given us.                                                             Remind us today—and every day of what we have in Jesus,                                                    your Son, our High Priest. In his name we pray, Amen.


Call to worship (from Hebrews 4:14-16, The Message)                                                              Original prayer by Barb Hedges-Goettl; please give credit if using/adapting.

One: We shave a high priest who can understand us.

Many: We have a high priest who is in touch with reality.

We have a high priest who has been through weakness and testing.

We have a high priest who has experienced it all—all but sin.

So we can walk right up to him. We can receive what he is ready to give.

We can take the mercy. We can accept the help.



Rite of Confession

Original resource by Barb Hedges-Goettl; please give credit if using/adapting.

Call to Confession (from Hebrews 4:14-16 J.B. Philips version)

We do not have a superhuman High Priest to whom our weaknesses are unintelligible. No! Instead, he himself shared fully in all our experience of temptation, except that he never sinned. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with fullest confidence…

Prayer of Confession: O God, sometimes we act like we don’t know that Jesus has pioneered the way. We forget what it means to follow. We go our own way instead of humbly following your way. We refuse to live by faith, relying instead on what we see. Forgive us. (Silent confession)

Assurance of Pardon: When we come to God, we receive mercy for our failures and grace to help in the hour of need. Thanks be to God for the Good News: In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.


Prayer: The God who Serves

http://sacredise.com/prayers/season/lent/the-god-who-serves/   **See note above re Sacredise copyright


Though you are God,

with all the influence and status that the name implies,

you refused to pull rank,

and parade your power among us.


Instead, you chose to step down into our experience,

living among us, as one of us,

with all the struggle and suffering

that goes with being human.


More than that, you adopted the role of slave,

washing feet, serving people of no reputation or social standing,

and giving of yourself completely.


As incredible as it sounds,

you are the God who serves,

and we can respond in no other way

than to give ourselves to you in praise.




Prayer: Where are the Leaders?

http://sacredise.com/prayers/type/intercession/where-are-the-leaders/**See note above re Sacredise copyright

There are so many people of influence in our world, Jesus,

Those with loud voices and deep pockets,

those with large lives and wide networks.

But, where are the leaders?


As we struggle to keep our broken humanity

from splintering into countless irreparable fragments;

As we wrestle with our greed and arrogance,

our ignorance and short-sightedness,

our violence and coldness,

our carelessness and narcissism,

Where are the leaders?


Raise up for us, O God, leaders worthy of the name,

men and women who like Christ

are unafraid of challenge,

unashamed of serving,

and unattached to their own personal gain;

men and women who like Christ

call to the best within us,

and then lead the way.


And, in our own small spheres, God,

may we be the leaders we seek.



Prayer: Counting the Cost

http://sacredise.com/prayers/subject/abundant-life/counting-the-cost/**See note above re Sacredise copyright

How do we do what’s right, Jesus,

when it costs us so much to follow you?

when the good and the true and the beautiful

cannot be purchased

in a ‘buy-now-pay-later’ scheme

as a quick-fix solution to our longing for life?

How do we do what’s right when it takes so much time,

and when the life it brings comes

according to the timetable of eternity,

not the stopwatch of our up-to-the-minute world?


How do our leaders do what’s right, Jesus,

for the weak and marginalised,

for people beyond our borders,

when the cost could be to forfeit their opportunity to lead?


How do our corporations do what’s right, Jesus,

for our suffering planet,

for the rights and needs of the poor,

when the cost could be to lose investors,

and sacrifice the lives of their own workers?


How do our protectors do what’s right, Jesus,

for the broken and desperate,

for our allies and enemies,

when the cost could be to face the attacks

of those they seek to defend?


We need to learn how to do what’s right, Jesus,

our world needs us to learn it;

we need to count the cost of your call,

and measure it against the abundant life you promise.

Help us, in our own small way, to be those who do the right thing,

and in so doing, demonstrate the goodness

that following you brings to all.


PRAYER RECALLING CHRIST’S SAVING WORK From Book of Common Worship (1993). Include the words “Reprinted by permission from Book of Common Worship , © 1993, Westminster/John Knox.

By the mystery of your holy incarnation,

by your baptism, fasting, and temptation;

and by your proclamation of the kingdom,

Good Lord, deliver us.

By your bloody sweat and bitter grief;

by your cross and suffering;

and by your precious death and burial,

Good Lord, deliver us.

By your mighty resurrection;

by your glorious ascension;

and by the coming of the Holy Spirit,

Good Lord, deliver us.

In our times of trouble;

in our times of prosperity;

in the hour of death,

and on the day of judgment,

Good Lord, deliver us.

CONFESSION OF FAITH-Parts of Westminster Confession & Larger Catechism that refer to themes of our Hebrews passage: https://1drv.ms/w/s!AuB3z496aTHTgalg6V4RG_IFlW0zmg                                                             To use these in worship, it would be best to re-cast them in more modern language, using shorter sentences and “we believe” language. If I end up using any of them in my worship service, I will post my adaptation at the link above.

SERVICE focusing on JESUS AS HIGH PRIEST (from Calvin Institute on Christian Worship); incl. hymns, prayer of intercession and thanksgiving, and sermon ideas https://worship.calvin.edu/resources/resource-library/jesus-the-great-high-priest-weekday-worship/

LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF SACRIFICE (interestingly, elsewhere entitled “The Meal of Jesus”) http://sacredise.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/A-Liturgy-for-the-Celebration-of-Sacrifice.pdf**See note above re Sacredise copyright

WORSHIP SERVICE from Calvin Institute of Christian Worship entitled “Maturing the Soul” based on Hebrews 5.



TWO-VOICED READING of Hebrews 1:5-10 https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2012/10/readers-theatre-hebrews-5-1-10.html


Hymn Suggestions (from http://sacredise.com/lectionary-resources/proper-24b/)
Hail Thou Once Despised Jesus
O Worship The King
O Jesus I Have Promised
Now and Forever
Above All (Link to YouTube video)
That’s Why We Praise Him (Link to YouTube video)
Lord Reign In Me (Link to YouTube video)
Creation’s King

Peace on Earth: A Conversation (available free through Spotify) by Psallos; lyrics right of our passage! https://open.spotify.com/album/3XtnMc71puzYSq3SgsH6Cs?si=i_7NVsa5Q9a3ed2fyAlhww

One Small Voice (can change the world, but you better be strong) by Carole King (about being bold!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaPYz-6Bji4


For songs below:

PH The Presbyterian Hymnal (Presbyterian Church USA; Westminster/John Knox Press)
PsH The Psalter Hymnal (Christian Reformed Church; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
RL Rejoice in the Lord (Reformed Church in America; W.B. Eerdmans Publishing Company)
RN Renew! (Hope Publishing Company)
SFL Songs for Life (children’s songbook; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
SNC Sing! A New Creation (Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Christian Reformed Church,
Reformed Church in America; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
TH Trinity Hymnal (Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Church in America;
Great Commission Publications)
TWC The Worshiping Church (Hope Publishing Company)
UMH The United Methodist Hymnal (United Methodist Publishing House)
WOV With One Voice (Augsburg Fortress)

For the series on Hebrews

“Since Our Great High Priest Christ Jesus” PsH 230
“Before the Throne of God Above” (available on CCLI website, with license)

Additional songs and hymns that fit well with Jesus the High Priest
“Alleluia, Sing to Jesus” PsH 406
“Amazing Grace” PH 280, PsH 462, RL 456, RN 189, SFL 209, TH 460 TWC 502, UMH 378
“And Can It Be” PsH 267, RL 451, RN 193, TH 455, TWC 473, UMH 363
“By the Sea of Crysta” PsH 620, TH 549
“Hail the Day” PsH 409, RL 331, TH 290, TWC 258, UMH 312
“In Christ Alone” (copyright 2002 Thankyou Music, available through CCLI)
“Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” PH 376, PsH 568, RN 196, RL 464, TH 529, TWC 558, UMH 384
“My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less” TWC 517
“Now Behold the Lamb” SNC 144
“O For a Thousand Tongues” PH 466, PsH 501, RL 362/363, RN 32, SFL 19, TH 164, TWC 130 UMH 57
“Savior Like a Shepherd” PH 387, PsH 591, TH 599, TWC 522, UMH 381
“Since Our Great High Priest Christ Jesus” PsH 230
“What a Friend We Have in Jesus” PH 403, PsH 579, RL 507, SFL 52, TH 629, TWC 622
“What Wondrous Love” PH 85, PsH 379, RN 277, SFL 169, TH 261, TWC 212, UMH 292
“When Peace Like a River” PsH 489, TH 691, TWC 519 UMH 37

From the Presbyterian Hymnal (1990)


Hebrews 4.14–5.10

83 O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High (boldface means whole hymn is pertinent)

144.3+4 Alleluia! Sing to Jesus! (.3+4 means verses 3 and 4 are particularly pertinent)



28.2 Good Christian Friends, Rejoice

63.2 As with Gladness Men of Old

81 Lord, Who Throughout These Forty Days

110 Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands

112.3 Christ the Lord Is Risen Again

141 A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing

154 Lord, Enthroned in Heavenly Splendor

341 Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine!

381 O Come Unto the Lord

395 Have Mercy, Lord, on Me (Take Pity, Lord)

403 What a Friend We Have in Jesus

465.4 Here, O Lord, Your Servants Gather

470.3 O Day of Radiant Gladness

485R To God Be the Glory

566 Glory to God in the Highest (Gloria in Excelsis)

575.6 Glory to God in the Highest (Gloria in Excelsis)



86 When We Are Tempted to Deny Your Son

348.3 Christian Women, Christian Men

360.3+5 Hope of the World

388 O Jesus, I Have Promised

389 O Jesus, I Have Promised

416.1 Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation

417.1 Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation

419 How Clear Is Our Vocation, Lord

442.3+4 The Church’s One Foundation

443.1 O Christ, the Great Foundation

461.4 God is Here!

538.2 Lord, Dismiss Us with Thy Blessing



27.1 Gentle Mary Laid Her Child

49.3 Once in Royal David’s City

62.2 Bring We the Frankincense of Our Love

72.3 When Jesus Came to Jordan

77.1 Forty Days and Forty Nights

80 Jesus Walked This Lonesome Valley

81.2 Lord, Who Throughout These Forty Days

83.2 O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High

97.1 Go to Dark Gethsemane

108.3 Christ is Alive!

298.1 There’s A Wideness in God’s Mercy

308.2 O Sing a Song of Bethlehem

331.3 Thanks to God Whose Word Was Written

338 Kum ba Yah

406.1 Why Has God Forsaken Me?



150.2 Come, Christians, Join to Sing

212.4 Within Your Shelter, Loving God

251.3 Your Faithfulness, O Lord, Is Sure

261 God of Compassion, in Mercy Befriend Us

269.2 O God of Bethel, by Whose Hand

296.3 Walk On, O People of God

298 There’s A Wideness in God’s Mercy

301 Lord Jesus, Think on Me

303 Jesus, Lover of My Soul

333.2 Seek Ye First

354 Guide My Feet

356.3 Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing

363 I Want Jesus to Walk with Me

376 Love Divine, All Loves Excelling

383 My Faith Looks Up to Thee

387 Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us

404 Precious Lord, Take My Hand

416.3 Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation

417.3 Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation

457 I Greet Thee, Who My Sure Redeemer Art

489 Open Now Thy Gates of Beauty



70 Christ, When for Us You Were Baptized

72 When Jesus Came to Jordan



159.3 Why Are Nations Raging *



296 Walk On, O People of God



97.1 Go to Dark Gethsemane

406 Why Has God Forsaken Me?



72.3 When Jesus Came to Jordan

103 Deep Were His Wounds, and Red

107 Celebrate with Joy and Singing

123.3 Jesus Christ Is Risen Today

299.6 Amen, Amen

308.4 O Sing a Song of Bethlehem

355 Hear the Good News of Salvation

359 More Love to Thee, O Christ

366 Jesus, Thy Boundless Love to Me

378 Make Me a Captive, Lord

388 O Jesus, I Have Promised

389 O Jesus, I Have Promised

391 Take My Life

392 Take Thou Our Minds, Dear Lord

393 Take Up Your Cross, the Savior Said

457 I Greet Thee, Who My Sure Redeemer Art

466 O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing

598 This Is the Good News

VIDEO SUGGESTIONS (from http://sacredise.com/lectionary-resources/proper-24b/)
Psalm 104
Dying To Power
Justice, Power and the Kingdom



In Beautiful Moon: A Child’s Prayer, by Tonya Bolden, a little boy saying his bedtime prayers becomes the high priest praying for people all around his city.  Read this book today to connect prayers of intercession with being a priest like Jesus.  Before reading note that the moon is what everyone in the story sees, but urge worshipers to listen more to the little boy’s prayers than to the moon.  Reads aloud in 2 minutes.  Note: Children may need an alternative to “high priest,” such as minister, pastor, bridge, translator, representative, prayer “warrior.” http://worshipingwithchildren.blogspot.com/2015/09/year-b-proper-24-29th-sunday-in.html


One could even briefly tell the story of Cyrano deBergerac and explain needing someone else to speak for you—do they know of anyone/any time when someone needs another person to speak for them? How does Jesus do this for us (with a better ending) and why? https://www.shmoop.com/cyrano-de-bergerac/summary.html





4:14-5:10 NL context. ”Passage includes an odd pair of words: sympathy and boldness…”   https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=2513


4:14-5:10 In the context of Cancer Awareness Day; addresses sympathy, boldness, and mercy & grace. From the African-American Lectionary. http://www.theafricanamericanlectionary.org/PopupLectionaryReading.asp?LRID=47


4:14-5:10 Sermonic outline, suggested links, books, articles, song and video for use of exact pericope in Holy Thursday/footwashing context; from the African-American lectionary.  Possible titles: “Jesus, High Priest for All People”; “A High Priest Who Understands” or “Incarnate, Intermediary and Intercessor.”



4:14-5:10 Commentary on this exact pericope! “Faithful Christian living is not about trying harder; it is about trusting more.” This is from an ATLA article, likely available through alumnae services from your seminary if you attended one: http://web.b.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=10&sid=e2f01fa3-0619-4fcd-a833-b7fd7f935f2b%40sessionmgr102


4:14-5:10 2011 audio sermon from Presbyterian Church in San Antonio, TX. Also sermons on the others in our series. https://www.redeemersa.org/resources/multimedia/details?id=265015


4:14-5:10 1984 audio sermon on our pericope emphasizing obedience and being content to be a servant http://commons.ptsem.edu/id/03050

4:14-5:10 Verse-by-verse commentary. Calls the passage “Jesus, Our Sympathetic High Priest,” with these subtitles (potential themes) for verses/sections. Each section also has questions for consideration.

4:14: Hold fast to your confession                                                                                                4:15 A Sympathetic High Priest                                                                                                    4:16 Approaching the Throne of Grace (Word study on mercy, grace, help, timely help) 5:1-4 Qualifications for a High Priest                                                                                                5:1-3 A Gentle High Priest                                                                                                               5:4-6 A Priest in the Order of Melchizedek                                                                                      5:7 Jesus’ Cries to God Were Heard (?)                                                                                              5:8 Learning Obedience Through Suffering. This can be problematic in that is tends to idealize suffering without giving the sufferer (and others) the right to protest/seek change/etc.                                                                                                                                         5:9-10 Being Made Perfect                                                                                                              5:9-10 Source of Eternal Salvation

Uses reputable albeit older commentaries (footnoted)    http://www.jesuswalk.com/hebrews/4_sympathetic.htm

Hebrews 4:14-5:10 Meditation (with a prayer) on Jesus as High Priest    https://www.patheos.com/blogs/giveusthisday/january-3-hebrews-414-510-2/

 Hebrews 4:14-5:10 is RCL for Good Friday A/B/C; see http://www.textweek.com/epistlesrevelation/hebrews4_5.htm

4:14-5:10 with cross-references footnoted                     https://biblia.com/bible/esv/Heb%204.14%E2%80%935.10

4:14-5:10 Brief but verse-by-verse with word study:   http://www.generationword.com/notes_for_notesbooks_pg/hebrews/4_14.htm

4:14-5:10 Verse-by-verse International Bible Lesson Commentary (Sunday School Context) https://www.ouosu.com/IBLC/2015/01/Commentary%20on%20Hebrews%204_14_5-14%20KJV.pdf

Hebrews 4:12-16 is RCL for Proper 23B/Ordinary 28B/Pentecost 21   http://www.textweek.com/epistlesrevelation/hebrews4.htm

Hebrews 4:14-16 devotionals                                                    https://www.luthersem.edu/godpause/devo_date=4/2/2010 https://www.luthersem.edu/godpause/?devo_date=4/22/2011

Hebrews 5:1-10 In the context of the book of Hebrews (and, from 2015, leading-up-to-the-elections!) Incls. theological issues & two illustrations https://cep.calvinseminary.edu/sermon-starters/lent-5b/?type=lectionary_epistle

Hebrews 5:1-10 sermon from Eugenia Gamble, PC(USA) highlighting suffering through an extended real-life illustration. Addresses question of whether we are to seek out suffering. http://day1.org/825-suffering_for_faith

Hebrews 5:1-10 Sacrificial understanding of Lord’s Supper. From United Methodist perspective. https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/sacrificial-meaning-of-holy-communion

Hebrews 5:1-10 Jesus as High Priest (Working Preacher RCL) https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=1414

Hebrews 5:1-10 Vulnerability of Jesus, religious leaders, & people of faith (Working Preacher RCL) https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=3800

Hebrews 5:1-10 What does greatness mean? Addresses global and local application. http://sacredise.com/lectionary-resources/proper-24b/

Hebrews 5:1-10 The job of high priest & Jesus’ qualifications. Illustration for the incarnation. https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=423

Hebrews 5:1-10 For a relationship to exist between God and God’s people, as well as among groups and between individuals, things must be repaired and restored between us; the only way that can happen is if God does it. (Roman Catholic context/examples.)       https://cep.calvinseminary.edu/sermon-starters/proper-24b/?type=lectionary_epistle

Hebrews 5:5-10 is RCL for Lent 5B and Proper 24B/Ordinary 29B; the textweek entry itself is labeled 5:1-10 http://www.textweek.com/epistlesrevelation/hebrews5.htm

Hebrews 5:5-10 devotionals                                                                                                          Mar 14, 2018  Hebrews 5:5-10. What shape will the new covenant take? Who is this God who is present for us, full of mercy and eager to welcome us back. https://www.luthersem.edu/godpause/?devo_date=3/14/2018

Mar 18, 2015  Hebrews 5:5-10. One of my favorite Sunday school activities is for children to go all around the church and see how many crosses they can find.   https://www.luthersem.edu/godpause/?devo_date=3/18/2015

Dec. 19, 2018…5:5-10 My three-year-old will not be good at Advent this year. He does not like waiting. As anyone with a toddler knows, patience is…                https://www.luthersem.edu/godpause/?devo_date=3/18/2015

 Overview of Hebrews and word-based commentary on Hebrews 5:5-10 from Working Preacher; RCL (Holy Week) context; also addresses larger context of 4:16-5:10.   https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=277

There are many more resources for Hebrews 5:5-10 if you decide to focus there. Try a search on preachingandworship.org for that specific passage.