We have read about the mental anguish Christ went through while on this earth (Hebrews 5:7). What comes next in this context is very interesting. This is what we will address in this study: “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec” (Hebrews 5:8-10).
Jesus is the only begotten Son of God (John 1:1-14, John 3:16-18, and I John 4:7-9). Being the only begotten Son of God meant some things for Jesus. As this epistle addresses, He was given authority as the Son of God (Hebrews 1:1-13 and Hebrews 3:1-6). He knew His Father intimately. He is the only person that lived in the flesh on this earth that has seen God the Father (John 1:18 and I John 4:12). He is the only way for us to know the Father (John 14:6). Jesus did not have to learn to be willing to be obedient. A willingness to obey was part of His character (John 5:30 and John 6:38). Yet, Jesus had things to learn. Obedience was not a trait He had just because He was the only begotten of the Father. Suffering and dying were part of the process that taught Him obedience.
Think about this: “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second” (Hebrews 10:1-9).
Ah, is your brain working on this? Many people are initially willing to obey God (Luke 9:57-62). What happens though when action is required? What happens when suffering through things becomes part of that process of obedience? In the “Parable of the Sower”, we read this: “And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended” (Mark 4:17). Now think about what we studied in Hebrews 5:7. Jesus’ major test of obedience was when obeying the Father came down to suffering through something He did not want to do. Sure, He had previously been tested. In fact, Satan directly tested Him (Matthew 4:1-11). Suffering through the painful death Jesus knew was coming was much more than what Satan did to Him. So, the all-knowing Savior we serve learned obedience through the experience of obedience in a time of severe adversity.
Once Jesus was made perfect, complete; He then became the source of Salvation through His sufferings (Luke 13:32 and Hebrews 2:9-10). We know that is a simplified statement. The resurrection is the cornerstone of our faith (I Corinthians 15:1-21). Salvation is not fully realized until the end (I Peter 1:1-9). Howbeit, the context here is focusing on the suffering and death of Christ. He suffered and died so the lost can be saved (Romans 4:24-25, Romans 5:6-11, and I Peter 3:18). Therefore, Christ is the source of salvation for the lost (Acts 15:11, I Thessalonians 5:9, II Timothy 3:15, and Hebrews 9:28).
There is then a key component that the writer of this book sets forth. Christ is the source of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him. Paul penned these words to the saints in Rome: “But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you” (Romans 6:17). Obedience to the will of God is a repeated truth throughout the entirety of the Scriptures (Genesis 18:19, Exodus 19:5, Joshua 24:15-24, Nehemiah 1:5, Psalms 119:1-2, Psalms 119:97-105, Proverbs 19:16, Isaiah 1:10-20, Matthew 7:13-27, Matthew 12:46-50, Luke 6:43-46, Luke 11:28, John 8:28-32, John 14:15-23, James 2:10-12, II John 1:6-9, and Revelation 22:14). The other side of that is that there will be eternal punishment for those whom disobey the words of Christ (Matthew 25:31-46, Mark 16:15-16, Romans 2:3-11, II Thessalonians 1:7-9, and Hebrews 10:26-39).
If there were any Jews, who had received this letter, that thought Salvation was a given; this message makes it clear that obedience is a necessity for salvation. There could not and cannot be any confusion when we think of our compassionate high priest being our Savior. He is not a pushover. The righteous are barely saved (I Peter 4:17-19). So, that point needed to be made clear. After that clarification, the point of the priesthood of Christ is then brought back into the thought.
Our great high priest was called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec. This was already taught in the context (Hebrews 4:14-5:6). It will be raised throughout our studies going forward. It does certify that Jesus is the hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entered into Heaven for us (Hebrews 6:19-20). What the Jewish Christian needed to be taught and reminded of is that this priesthood predated and will eternally outlast the priesthood that existed through Aaron’s descendants (Hebrews 7:1-28). For us, we realize our source of Salvation is unchanging going forward. Our hope is sure!
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