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The Obedience of Christ

Hebrews 5:8 (ESV) … “Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.”

Christ is the one connecting link between Heaven and earth. Jesus alone bridges the chasm between God and His people.

Therefore, when we read “although he was a son, he learned obedience,” that brings out forcibly, the reality of his humanity which the Son assumed. Jesus became a true Man.

If we bow to the inspired statement that “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52), why then balk—as many have—at He “learned obedience?” True, blessedly true, these words do not signify that there was in Him a will which resisted the law of God, and which needed severe discipline to bring it into subjection. As Calvin well says, “Not that He was driven to this by force, or that He had need of being thus exercised, as the case is with oxen or horses when their ferocity is to be tamed; for He was abundantly willing to render to His Father the obedience which He owed.” No, He declared, “I delight to do Thy will, O God” (Ps. 40:8). And again, “My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me” (John 4:34).

But what is “obedience?” It is subjection to the will of another: it is an owning of the authority of another; it is performing the pleasure of another. This was an entirely new experience for the Son. Before His incarnation, He had Himself occupied the place of authority, of supreme authority. His seat had been the throne of the universe. From it He had issued commands and had enforced obedience. But now He had taken the place of a servant. He had assumed a creature nature. He had become man. And in this new place and role He conducted Himself with befitting submission to Another. He had been “made under the law,” and its precepts must be honored by Him. But more: the place He had taken was an official one. He had come here as the Surety of His people. He had come to discharge their liabilities. He had come to work out a perfect righteousness for them; and therefore, as their Representative, He must obey God’s law. As the One who was here to maintain the claims of God, He must “magnify the law and make it honorable,” by yielding to it a voluntary, perfect, joyous compliance.

Again; the “obedience” of Christ formed an essential part of His priestly oblation.[1]

[1] Pink, A. W. (1954). An exposition of Hebrews (p. 241). Swengel, PA: Bible Truth Depot.


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