Friday, May 18, 2007

Jesus Learned Obedience

Does that phrase shock you? It did to me when I read it this morning. Then I began to study the passage from which it came.

"In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him," (Hebrews 5:7-9, ESV)

This passage is somewhat full of confusion. Although, after studying it some, I find some great encouragement.

First, note Jesus' humanity. He didn't just pray. He prayed with emotion - with loud cries and tears. He had passion. He felt pain and agony. Do you see this? Do you imagine Jesus in the Garden? There's pain, passion and pursuit of the Father! This verse also reveals that Jesus is reverent. In all of this, Christ worshipped God and submitted to His will. He praised God for Who He is.

Second, we find that Jesus learned obedience. How can a perfect man learn obedience? Simply put, whenever He was taught something regarding true obedience or greater obedience, he embraced it fully and used it for future scenarios. Think of learning how to read or write or do math problems. A teacher can tell you how to work the problems, and if you learn from her correctly, you will do exactly what she says. In a similar way, Jesus was taught by his earthly parents and God Himself. Whenever Jesus was put in a situation, He learned and obeyed. He also used what he learned so that He could withstand the trials that were coming surrounding His death.

Third, through Jesus' experience with human emotions, temptations and perfect obedience, He was placed as the perfect High Priest. The passage says, "being made perfect". That means that Jesus, through all His life, proved Himself as the Preeminent One to be worshipped and adored.

From all of these facts, I want you to see the beauty of Jesus. He was a man who had pains. He had to learn obedience. But, through all of this, He reverenced God. And, because of that, He can truly "sympathize with our weaknesses" (Heb. 4:15). He knows where you're at today. He knows what you're struggling with. But, He also confidently opens His arms up to you so you also can run and find refuge, hope and strength to obey!

"Dear Lord, You endured suffering by simply becoming a human being. But, in order to experience the fullest extent of obedience, you desired to come to this earth and suffer for the sins of men! Now we can come to Your presence boldly with praise. Let us find rest and comfort in these truths. Amen."

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