Hebrews 2:17 says that Jesus became like us in every way, “so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest.” Here we find 2 essential qualities of our perfect High Priest: He is “merciful” and “faithful.” BOTH of these qualities are vital.
He must be merciful in order to care for us, and to minister to us. But it is essential that He is not only merciful, but also faithful – both faithful to do His intercessory work consistently, without which we would not be saved, and of utmost importance, faithful to God and to the standards of His holiness and His word, again, without which we could not be saved.
As servants of God, we too are called to be “priests”, each one of us (I Peter 2:9). Unfortunately many of God’s servants are not good intercessors, or “priests”, because they do not carefully keep the balance of these two essential qualities. They are either merciful – wanting to love and help people, but not faithful to uphold the standards of God’s word; or they are faithful to uphold God’s standards, but are not merciful — they become harsh and Pharasaic towards people instead. If we would be good “priests”, and effectively minister to those around us, then we must be diligent to be like our Great High Priest, and be both “merciful and faithful.”