March 18

Hebrews 5:5-10

“Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him…” vss. 8-9

For pious Jews who became followers of Jesus after his resurrection it was natural to connect him with cherished temple practices, and many began to think of him in high priestly terms. The writer of Hebrews picks up on those themes and shows how it was that Jesus could be thought of as a high priest. In his words this happened by God’s appointment and not because of Jesus’ lineage or desire. In fact we are told that Jesus learned obedience through what he suffered–and in that process became the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, implying that believers should not be surprised by suffering. Of course we’d like the journey of faith to be different from that, maybe like on the moving walkways in a modern airport, a path that demands nothing of us but our presence. But that’s not how it is! And for us, as it was for Jesus, suffering is the great teacher. The good news is that through our suffering we gain wisdom and, by God’s grace, discover the new life that comes through obedience to the law of love. Somehow the pain of rejection, failure, and humiliation teaches us more than any of our successes, and is the road to ultimate perfection.

Thought for the Day: What have I learned in the school of hard knocks?

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