How did Jesus learn obedience?

Last updated on December 4, 2023

Three wooden crosses

When kids grow up, they need to learn obedience. When a child does not learn to respect his parents and teachers, he becomes unruly and unpleasant. In Hebrews 5:8 we read: “Although He was a son, He learned obedience through what He suffered.” Did Jesus have to learn obedience? Somehow this is a strange thought. Was He not always perfect and sinless?

Jesus was struggling with God’s plan

Yet the book of Hebrews teaches us that even though He was a son, He learned obedience through what He suffered. So He had to learn to say yes to God’s plans with His life. There is one place in the Bible where we see Jesus struggling with the Father’s plan for Him. It is the moment just before He would be arrested, when He was all by himself in the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus was dreading the ‘cup’ He had to drink. He knew that terrible suffering was waiting for Him.

Jesus entrusted Himself to His father

Jesus knelt down and “offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears to Him Who was able to save Him from death” (Hebrews 5:7). It was not just any prayer, but a passionate cry to God for help! However, even in this state of distress, Jesus added: “Nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42). Our text in Hebrews says that Jesus was heard because of His reverence. (Hebrews 5:7).

Salvation in Jesus’ obedience

Did this mean that Jesus did not have to drink the cup of suffering? No – but God sent an angel to give Him the strength to endure all that would come. (Luke 22:43) It is because of Jesus’ obedience that there is now salvation to be found for all who obey Jesus!

Learn to be like Jesus

Jesus was fully human, just like us. He had to learn obedience. He prayed to God passionately and with great reverence, just as we are supposed to do. Jesus did not always receive what He asked for, but He did receive the strength to say yes to God’s plans for His life. Learn from Jesus, and learn to be obedient to Him! There is eternal salvation for you.

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