February 20, 2012
The Omniscient One Who Learned
“Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience
by the things which He suffered.”
Hebrews 5:7, 8
The verses before us speak of “the days of His flesh,” highlighting experiences of the Lord Jesus which were unique to His Manhood. These verses take us to the Garden scene and the thrice repeated prayer to His Father. It is only in Hebrews we learn that He offered up “strong crying and tears” to His Father. The divinely inspired writer tells us that even though He was Son, yet He learned obedience by what He suffered.
At first thought, it may seem strange to think of the One Who is omniscient “learning” something. But perhaps the context helps us to understand the concept of Christ “learning.” A few verses farther we are told that He has become the author of salvation to them “that obey Him.” The thought of “obey Him” is simply the character of every believer who has trusted Him as Savior. He is fully fit to strengthen and help as a High Priest, every believer as they live a life of obedience.
But how could He possibly understand the actual experience of obedience without having passed through it? He has not learned to obey. He has not even learned what obedience is. But what He has learned, if we may say, by first-hand experience, is the price of obedience. The tremendous cost of obedience was never known by experience to the Lord Jesus when angels did His bidding and obeyed Him around the throne. Now, however, in the “days of His flesh,” He was obeying the will of God His Father and enduring all the consequences of that obedience: even a cross death.
He learned what it meant to obey God in every aspect of life. He obeyed God when it came to His service, His steps, and His sacrifice. He paid the ultimate price of obedience when He gave His life that He might obey God. The One Who came to do God’s will (Heb 10:7), the exalted dignity of Sonship did not exempt Him from the lowly path of obedience, tears, and grief.
1. Aaron’s ability to sympathize and understand the people of God (Israel) was linked with his infirmities as a man (5:2). How is that different from Christ’s ability to understand and sympathize?
2. If Hebrews 5:7 occurred in the Garden of Gethsemane, then the three occasions when the Lord wept were all in the same vicinity. Look at the three and notice the reasons and where they occurred.
3. In verse 5, we read, “Christ glorified not Himself.” While the context here is the assumption of the role as High Priest, look at this expression and consider it as a commentary on His life. Look at ways in which He humbled Himself.