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Jesus learned obedience “from what He suffered.” As the divine Son of God, Jesus did not have to suffer, but as the Son of Man, suffering was required to learn obedience.

God’s goal for us is one of obedience to what God wants us to do (aka God’s will). What does God want us to do today? Love Him and love our neighbor like we love ourselves.

Hebrews 5:8–10 says,

Son though he was, [Jesus] learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.

  • The Greek word used in Hebrews 5:8 for “suffered” usually refers to enduring unpleasant experiences like disease or persecution.
  • But it often also implies enduring a challenging process that transforms the sufferer. That is the sense in which the word is used in Hebrews 5:8.
  • Jesus chose to endure an unpleasant, challenging process because it was the will of His Father for His brief time on earth.
  • After that process Jesus had been “made perfect.” It is crucial to note that perfect here means “complete,” as in finishing a full course of training or education—or, in Jesus’ case, He finished an altogether righteous human life and had a complete understanding of human frailty and suffering.

It was the Messiah’s total human obedience, coming through extreme suffering, that qualifies Him to be our eternal High Priest, “now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death” (Hebrews 2:9).

  • Matthew 19:17 — 17 And He said to him, “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.
  • Matthew 7:21 — 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Master, Master,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.
  • Matthew 12:50 — 50 “For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.
  • John 15:10 — 10 “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
  • Ephesians 6:6 — 6 not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of the Messiah, doing the will of God from the heart.