The Path to Maturity
Father, help me to understand a difficult passage, and to please and obey You as I learn from it.
Read Hebrews 5:1-10
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
Jesus is kind, gentle, of a sympathetic and understanding nature, affectionate and loving. He is the mercy of God toward us. Reflect on these great truths.
Human priests were appointed by God to carry out certain responsibilities. They represented the people to God. Jesus likewise was appointed by God to be our priest–but with a difference–he had no sins of his own for which to atone. Nonetheless, he is able to “deal gently” with us (2), because he experienced temptation, just as we do. He was completely human.
Jesus learned the purpose of his life on earth from the Scriptures. We read in the gospels how he took time away from the crowds to pray. Those times are elaborated on here, as we are told that his prayers were offered “with fervent cries and tears” (7). He wrestled with the Scriptures and, in particular, how they indicated his mission.
The phrase “he learned obedience from what he suffered” (8) is difficult for two reasons. One is that in Greek the words for “learned” and “suffered” are different by only one letter, and the pun on “learning/suffering” was common in Greek literature. More significantly, both words have meanings slightly different from the English translation. In the New Testament the word “learn” had acquired a special meaning of “learn from the Scriptures,” and in Hebrews the word “suffer” always refers to Jesus’ death. So the phrase means something like “his obedience to the Scriptures took him to the cross.” There is no suggestion that he had not previously known this, which English translations may imply. The phrase “once made perfect” (9) doesn’t mean that he was imperfect before, but that by his death he completely identified with the pain and grief that the Father experienced with the sinful and sin-marred world he had created. He went to the cross with a full understanding of what he was doing. He went freely. He was no victim.
Pray to learn the daily process of relinquishing your will to God’s will as you mature daily in Christ.
Lord God, I trust in You in all things. Thank You for Jesus, such a loving, understanding Savior.
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