NASB - 8 Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.
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God trained Jesus to be perfectly sympathetic as a man. He did it by progressively putting burdens upon the Lord Jesus Christ. In this sense Jesus ‘learned’ obedience (Heb 5:8). It was not that he was ever disobedient, but his obedience to the Father grew higher and higher as the Father put greater and greater demands upon him. It is this obedience and sympathy that qualifies Jesus to be our Saviour. Jesus had to learn to be a 'Wounded Healer', which is a term drawn from a story in the Talmud, the Jewish rabbinical writings - full of wisdom. This story was expounded again by Henri Nouwen. Basically, the story relates how some rabbis found Elijah, and asked him to reveal to them where the Messiah was, being aware from the Scriptures that Elijah was to be the forerunner of Messiah. Elijah directed them to ouside the city gates where they would find the lepers. He told them to observe all of the lepers binding up their own wounds, but to watch for the one leper who would bind up his wounds, and then look for other lepers whom he could assist with the binding up of their wounds. This, said Elijah was Messiah, the 'Wounded Healer'. Jesus Christ was so in touch with His own suffering that He could be sympathetic to the suffering of others - He was wounded throughout His life, but was taught obedience to the Father through His pain in order to learn to be sympathetic to the sufferings of others, and in this way be able to minister to and bring healing to them. Thus, He demonstrated the love of the Father. So it should be with all followers, disciples of Jesus (Phil 3:10). Those who have suffered and are currently in touch with their own brokenness as a result of their pain, are able to be used by God to minister to others who have also suffered. People who have never suffered are generally not very sympathetic to sufferers. Those who are not in touch with their own brokenness tend to be harsh and unsympathetic to the pain and brokenness of others. As a result some tend still to be proud and arrogant, and thus tend to use others as objects of ministry and cause further pain and suffering. God put Jesus through many troubles and trials and testings. It was not enough that Jesus should know about sufferings; God wanted him to personally experience it. There is a big difference between knowing about (let us say) Victoria or Niagara falls and having actually been there to see and hear them. You may have seen a photograph, but even that is not enough! But to have actually been there is different! To see the water spreading wide and long, and the mist rising up into the sky is a unique experience. Knowing something in theory and going through the experience are two different things. God wanted Jesus to experience the trials and temptations that come to his people. It was as if Jesus were taking a course, doing classes every day, so as to be trained for the work he was about to do. He was being trained as a sympathetic Saviour.
It can never be thought that the Lord Jesus was, or could be, disobedient! He said, "I do always the things that please the Father". There is also the temptation to go beyond the Scriptures when considering the humanity of the Lord - great is the mystery of godliness - God was manifest in flesh. We will never be able to reconcile all the aspects of the One who was Divine becoming human. However, the Scripture does say He learned obedience and it seems, in the context, that the meaning is that he learned obedience experimentally. It was, for example a new experience for Him to say, "Not My will but Thine be done".
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