Jesus’ sympathy for sinners has more to do with identifying with them in their suffering as they resist temptation than it does with coddling them when they have succumbed to temptation. To hold off sin when it looks so appealing is a form of suffering that Jesus knows full well.
What brings me great joy is that Jesus, because “he himself has suffered when tempted… is able to help” us when we are tempted. He responds to the cry of a Christian that pleads for grace to not sin. That is suffering and He gets it.
Our problem so much of the time is that we barely cry out. We cry like a snubbed toddler – enough (we think) to get some attention and then justify our sin when “help” does not come. We need to learn to keep crying until He comes.
Once I heard a thump and scream in my house. It came from the stairwell and it was the voice of a girl who had recently had knee surgery. You can bet I got to that very authentic cry for help in a hurry. Why would we think Jesus would be any different? I guess I am suggesting that the problem lies more in our pathetic, unbelieving cries than it does in the One who is “able to help those who are being tempted.”
Don’t lose heart, Christian. And don’t give up so fast. Your Lord Jesus stands in authentic, unashamed solidarity with you and He will help.
For more, read Hebrews 2:17-18.