New King James Version (NKJV)
8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.
As shown above, scripture says in Hebrews 5:8 that Jesus learned obedience by the things He suffered. The word suffer in old English also means allow, so I went to Strong’s concordance to see the meaning of the word in Greek so that the context would be clear. It’s Strong’s Greek 3958, pascho, and it carries the sense of experience and enduring (with reference to unpleasant or difficult circumstances).
The question arose regarding how did God, who Jesus is, have a lack of knowing, since He is omniscient? The answer is mind-boggling, at least to yours truly. The one thing God had not experienced until then was the kind of hard life and experiences Jesus did go through from being born into a questionable (from a human standpoint) birth scenario and subsequent judging and scorn from those around Him to actually giving control of His human life to God the Father even at the expense of terrible pain and suffering. Jesus also suffered because He could not live a “normal” life with a wife and kids to relate to. He had to be singularly focused in every sense of the word to be about the Father’s business.
What does Jesus’ experience in learning obedience in this way mean for us? It means God understands in a way He did not before just what we go through when we submit all we are and have to God. It means He understands personally what sacrifice of that kind is all about and the personal cost that comes with it.
Every Christian struggles with obedience at some point in his or her Christian walk and makes choices to do either what God wants regardless of the consequences or what is comfortable and safe personally. Jesus understands what it’s like to struggle with obedience from a humanity standpoint and what it can cost personally, and because He, the Father and God the Holy Spirit are one, so does the rest of the Godhead. Jesus literally risked all that He had and was when He was flesh among us. Those of us who follow Him can truly be encouraged and strengthened by His example and sacrifice ourselves on our own personal crosses for His sake and the sake of those God places across our path. That’s today’s encouraging word.
copyright 2013, Pastors George and Sharon Billington, All Rights Reserved