Naked, but Unafraid
12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
There is a TV show called Naked and Afraid in which contestants are dropped off in the wilderness and have to fend for themselves for survival. For many, this may parallel their life’s experience. This, though, isn’t what God intended. We weren’t designed to be alone. We weren’t designed for the wilderness. We weren’t designed to fend for ourselves. We are designed for fellowship and community, not just with others, but with God Himself. Fellowship and community with others looks different depending on our life’s situation, but fellowship with God is a one on one personal relationship where we interact with the Creator of the Universe through prayer, study, and worship. That’s God’s design for our lives.
Hebrews 4 is a powerful chapter often quoted and taught. Verse 12 speaks to the power of God’s Word. Verses 14 – 16 speak to the access we have to God the Father through Jesus His Son. But verse 13, often overlooked, speaks to the depth of the relationship for which we are designed.
The Word of God is Jesus Himself (John 1:1). By studying God’s Word, we learn the character of God, we understand His promises, and we see what He can do in our lives. Through prayer and study we develop a relationship with Jesus Himself. These verses speak to the depth of the relationship that we can have with Jesus. These verses show that Jesus gives us full access to Himself. The depth of our relationship depends on the degree of access we give Jesus to our lives.
The end of this passage speaks to the access that we have in Jesus. Hebrews 4:14-16 tells us that we have a high priest who was once on Earth and is now in Heaven (verse 14). This high priest, Jesus, lived life here on Earth as a man, experiencing all Earthly temptations, but never gave into those temptations (verse 15). And this high priest has given us full access to come boldly to Him. When we come to Him, He will give us mercy, grace, and the help that we need. We have a full open door to Jesus Himself, who is seated at the right hand of God in Heaven interceding on our behalf (Romans 8:34). Jesus not only died to pay for our sins, opening all access to Heaven for us who didn’t deserve it, but He continues that open access to allow us to live in relationship with Him. Jesus will hold nothing back from you. He is open and waiting.
Now let’s look at the beginning of this passage. Hebrews 4:12 speaks to the power of the Word, the Bible, Jesus Himself, in our lives. The Word of God is quick, meaning that it’s alive and dynamic. It is powerful and sharp. The Word divides, or makes a distinction, between our soul and the Holy Spirit. It lets us see the parts of us that are yielded to the Spirit and the parts that are not. Imagine how a sharp butcher knife has no problem cutting through parts of a chicken. God’s Word has no limit in its ability to discern the parts of our lives that are yielded from those that are not. Our thoughts and our intentions are not hidden from the Lord. He sees and knows.
These four verses (12, 13-15) reveal the open access that Christ gives us to Himself, and the open access that God, in His omniscient power, has to our thoughts, intentions, soul and heart. Nothing is withheld by God and nothing is not seen by God. But God is also a gentleman, and He doesn’t force a relationship. No, relationships go both ways. Let’s look at verse 13 in this passage, which holds the key to a deep and honest relationship with Christ – vulnerability.
Hebrews 4:13 says, “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.” There is no creature that is hidden from God’s sight. All creatures are naked and open to Him. The phrase, “with whom we have to do” includes the Hebrew word logos which refers to speaking – to a conversation. All creatures are naked and open to the One with which we speak.
We are called to relationship with God. Relationships require participation in both directions. The most powerful relationships also require and find their strength in vulnerability from both sides. Jesus shares His full access to the Father with us. That is vulnerability. He shares the power and authority found in His Word with us. Jesus shares a listening heart, compassion, patience, and His constant presence with us. What do we share with Him?
Jesus’ vulnerability was on full display when He hung on the cross for our sins. Jesus was literally “naked and open” on the cross. He gives us all of Himself, full access, when we accept Him as Saviour. What are we giving back? Think of the most significant relationships here on Earth. Husband/wife. These relationships are intimate and vulnerable. If they are not, the relationship fails. As vulnerability increases over time, the depth of the relationship increases. These relationships include significant conversation. Are you talking to God? Are you praying out loud? Praying out loud isn’t a requirement for prayer, but it sure makes it more like a conversation. When we talk and get to know each other, we’re able to be more vulnerable.
Do you want a deep, intimate, relationship with Jesus? If so, you’re going to have to lay it all out to Him. Just because He knows all things, doesn’t mean He doesn’t want to hear them from us. Laying our deepest hurts and desires and disappointments and dreams and sins and successes at the feet of Jesus demonstrates that we are putting those things under submission to Him with the full faith that He can take care of us. If you never lay your heart “naked and opened” before Jesus, you’re never going to have the close personal relationship you want. Life with Jesus isn’t like that TV show I mentioned earlier. With Jesus, we can be unafraid, even when we lay it all out in the open. We can be vulnerable with Him because He is trustworthy. When we open up the deepest parts of our lives to Him, He fills the deepest parts with His love. You can be fully vulnerable with Jesus. He’s safe. He has you. Remember you are loved. Jesus loves you.