Friday, November 5, 2010
"Although He was Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered..." Hebrews 5:8
This week we studied the temptations of Christ found in Luke 4. I have been carrying this passage around with me all week, trying to imagine the scene - a weakened, hungry Jesus finding the strength in His relationship with His Father to battle Satan head on.
Then I've been trying to use the tools that Jesus used in facing the temptations in my own life - what does that look like? Do I know enough scripture to battle temptation? At the moment of trial, am I aware of the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life? Do I rely on the love of the Father? Does my love for the Father drive obedience, or do I struggle getting off the throne of my life?
We also discussed this week that no matter how difficult our trials and temptations have been, none of us had ever come face to face with Satan before. That's kind of important to remember - it's a perspective thing. We looked at I Corinthians 10:13 which tells us that our temptations are not unique to us, and that because of God's faithfulness, we can endure, knowing that He always provides a way of escape.
But the eye opening verses for me were Hebrews 2:16-18, where it tells us that though God does not give help to the angels, He does help man. That's why Jesus had to be made like us in all things - His humanity made Him the merciful and faithful high priest for us. And then there's verse 18 - "For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted."
Jesus suffered through the temptations. If they weren't real to Him, there wouldn't have been suffering. But because He was made like us in all things, the temptations were real to Him. He suffered through them and then (per the verse at the top) we learn that through His suffering He learned obedience.
Read that again.
In battling temptation, we have the love of the Father, the leading of the Holy Spirit, the arsenal of scripture at our disposal, the ability to talk to the Father whenever we want, as well as a sympathetic High Priest who intercedes for us.
But let's go one step further, using Jesus still as our example. Are we learning obedience through suffering? Is is possible that temptation and trials are in our life to learn obedience? When we disobey when we suffer, what are we learning? Can we look back at past temptations and see a progression in our education, or are we still making first grade mistakes though we should be in high school?
Does this make sense?
The verse above (Hebrews 5:8) is a powerful statement that has HUGE ramifications on how we view Christ. The fact that Jesus LEARNED anything is mind blowing, let alone the fact that it was through His sufferings that He was being educated.
So, I guess I only have one question left: what have you learned lately?