Jesus Came to Learn Obedience

Let me say before I begin this post that I believe God never changes, He never makes mistakes, He never says oops, and He certainly does not grow in knowledge, as if anything ever came into His mind that did not originate there in the first place.  God is God.  But let me also make clear that I do believe Jesus, the Son of God, learned obedience throughout His earthly life.  Do these two ideas contradict each other?  Not at all.

“Although He was a Son, He learned obedience through what He suffered.”  (Hebrews 5:8) Crystal clear in this verse we have it.  Jesus, the 100% God and 100% Man Person, learned.  He grew in knowledge, He learned obedience.  Two questions come to me at this point: First is how this happened.  Second is why this happened.

First, how did Jesus learn obedience?  Doesn’t He already know everything there is know?  If He is God is there something He can learn?  Clearly Jesus, as God, knows all things, and cannot learn something because all things came from Him.  But, in Jesus’ human nature, there were things He did not know.  He did not know who touched Him when He felt power leave out of Him (Mark 5:30), He did not know the time of His second coming (Mark 13:32), and He did not know such great faith existed in Israel (Matthew 8:10).  Jesus did know the woman at the well was hopping around from man to man (John 4), He did know Judas had to leave and do his deed (Luke 22:21-23), and He knew all things (John 16:30).  In his divine nature Jesus knew all that God knew, and in His human nature Jesus was limited in His knowledge, learned things, and grew in stature and understanding (Luke 2:52).

Now for the question of why.  Why did Jesus come to earth to learn obedience through suffering.  The question is posed to us from Hebrews 5:8 (above) and the answer is given to us from Hebrews 2:10, “For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.”  This means that with each new trial and temptation (Hebrews 4:15, Jesus was tempted as we are) Jesus learned what it meant to obey the will of the Father.  When this verse says Jesus was made “perfect through suffering” it does not mean that God was ridding His Son of defects or sin through suffering.  He was perfect, sinless, and needed no such “ridding.”  Rather it means that Jesus was gradually fulfilling the perfect righteousness required to save us (Matthew 3:15).

The point is that if the Son of God entered into the world, and went straight to the cross without having lived a life of trial and temptation at all, He would not be a qualified Savior for fallen men/women like us.  He not only died the death we deserved, in His life Jesus lived the life we never could have.  Thus, we have in one Man, both the sin-bearer, and the giver of perfect righteousness.  He came to do both.

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