Every high priest is a man chosen to represent other people in their dealings with God. He presents their gifts to God and offers sacrifices for their sins. 2 And he is able to deal gently with ignorant and wayward people because he himself is subject to the same weaknesses. 3 That is why he must offer sacrifices for his own sins as well as theirs.
4 And no one can become a high priest simply because he wants such an honor. He must be called by God for this work, just as Aaron was. 5 That is why Christ did not honor himself by assuming he could become High Priest. No, he was chosen by God, who said to him,
“You are my Son.
Today I have become your Father.[a]”
6 And in another passage God said to him,
“You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.”[b]
7 While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God. 8 Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. 9 In this way, God qualified him as a perfect High Priest, and he became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey him. 10 And God designated him to be a High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.
A Call to Spiritual Growth
11 There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. 12 You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word.[c] You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. 13 For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. 14 Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.
Vs. 7-9 are not saying that Jesus learned to be obedient, meaning He moved from disobedience to obedience. But rather that He experienced or “learned” human obedience by actually doing it on planet earth. Though Jesus was the Son of God, when He was born as a man, of flesh, He laid down His own will and accepted the will of the Father.
We may ask, how can Jesus sympathize, how can He understand our pain and the pressure of temptation if he has never sinned? To answer that , let us look at a very unique scenerio that took place just before Christ’s crucifixion. The Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus, being God, knew what was coming. But Jesus also being fully human knew what was coming. Here we see Jesus, with prayer and supplication, loud cries and tears, so stressed He was sweating blood (which we know know is an actual medical phenomena), pleading to the Father.
And here is where we see an unexpected and unique experience. Jesus, while agonizing over what was to come, actually went to His disciples to hold Him up in prayer as His distress became deeper and deeper. Falling first to his knees and then to his face, crying out before the Father, He prayed three separate times and each prayer is a question of the necessity of this experience.
Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me. He was pleading with the Father to make clear to him whether this was a necessary activity, so unexpected and deep was his suffering, so suddenly had it come upon him, baffling him, confusing him, bewildering him.
However, despite all His suffering and fear, He said this incredible words to God; ”
Father, if it be possible let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless
not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42).
Even though Christ was sinless, Jesus
learned obedience through what he suffered. He learned what it means to obey God when every cell in his body wanted to disobey. Yet, knowing this to be the will of God, he obeyed, trusting God to see him through. He learned what it feels like to hang on when failure makes us want to throw the whole thing over, when we are so defeated, so utterly despairing that we want to forget the whole thing. He knows what this is like, He went the whole way, He took the full brunt of it. He did this for us, so that we could have confidence that He did, indeed, understand our suffering and temptation. That is the God we serve!
How did he win? He refused to question the Father’s wisdom. He refused to blame God. He took no refuge in unbelief even though this agony came unexpectedly upon him. Instead, Jesus cast himself upon the Father’s loving, tender care and looked to him to sustain him. When he did, he was brought safely through. So we read,
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. No matter how deep, how serious that need may be, He can fully meet it, though we may be at wit’s end.
Jesus, we know you suffered to understand us, to understand and exemplify obedience to the Father. We know that we can have confidence when we come to your throne of grace. Lord help us to approach it boldly. Thank you for another day, help us to be a light to those around us today. In Jesus name, amen.