Day 22: Learned Obedience
“Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from what He suffered”
Originally we were going to look at Hebrews 2:10 and 5:8 together, since they dovetailed well into each other, but these themes just proved too rich to partake of in one sitting. So, please keep in mind the points from yesterday: the suffering was fitting for the need; and His perfecting was actually an issue of making Him complete in His role as High Priest and Savior.
Just as Jesus was already morally perfect, He was intellectually learned and full of wisdom and discernment. But He did come to earth as an infant, and had to learn to crawl and speak. He had to learn a trade from Joseph. Scripture tells us that He grew in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and man (Lk. 2:52), so learning was a very natural part of the process of His being human.
There are some things we can learn only through experience. Try to explain color to a person who has never seen, or the sound of a bird song to a person who has never heard. They have no frame of reference. They might understand light theory, or study soundwave technology, yet they can’t know color or sound without experiencing it.
Likewise, we cannot know what it is like for them never to have these senses.
Jesus came from a perfect realm where there was no suffering or pain. As God He fully understood it, but to be a complete High Priest He had to experience it as a human, so He could identify and sympathize with us fully. The agony at Gethsemane was a case in point. Jesus knew all along that He came to suffer and die, but in Gethsemane He experienced the foretaste of the horror of bearing our sin, and it caused Him to sweat blood. He had to experience misery in order to know what He was agreeing to bear, and prove He was willing to obey in the face of it. Therefore, now “there is no suffering that you and I can ever know that He has not known before us” (Lloyd-Jones).
Murray says of Jesus, “In suffering, His will was perfected, His character fashioned, His dependence on God and delight in His will was confirmed and made manifest…The deepest suffering taught Him the highest lesson of obedience: when He yielded His will and His life, His obedience was complete and He Himself was perfected forevermore.”
• While we are pondering the wonder of the perfection of a perfect God/Man, what boggles the mind further is the fact that He was willing to go through this process. Spend some time considering this, and worship Him.
• What has God taught you in your own times of suffering? How are you growing in understanding the purposes of suffering?
Lord, I praise You for Your willingness to suffer to a depth no other human has.
May I learn from You what I need to know during my own times of suffering,
and follow You willingly when You lead me in that path.
by Sheri Cook, Director of Special Ministries
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