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Hebrews 5:6-10 by Robert Dean
Series:Hebrews (2005)
Duration:58 mins 50 secs

Hebrews Lesson 45  March 2, 2006 

 

NKJ Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

 

Hebrews 5

 

We are getting into the core doctrine of the book of Hebrews which has to do with superiority of Christ's priestly ministry. We have seen that in the first 4 verses the writer is establishing the fact that every high priest is appointed by someone else or in this case should be because that is the general procedure. God is the one who appoints high priests.  Men do not appoint themselves.  This is a direct reflection as to some things that were going on in Judea at this time because the high priesthood had been under the control of one family since the early part of that particular century.  Long before Christ became incarnate, Herod the Great had been basically bribed and wooed by the family of Annas and Caiaphas who of course you are familiar with because they were the high priests during the time of the our Lord's ministry.  They managed to gain control of the high priesthood as a matter of personal power and prestige.  So the writer of Hebrews is addressing this group of former priests who are now believers in the Lord Jesus Christ and wrestling with their own spiritual life in the light of their past heritage as priests.  There is this comparison made between the high priesthood of their current experience and the biblical foundation for the high priesthood. 

 

The point of the first four verses is that Aaron did not appoint himself.  He was appointed by God.  We saw this in Exodus 28:1.  It was verified and further established and confirmed by God in Numbers 16:11 where we see the rebellion of Korah, Dathan and Abiram.  They were duly punished and lost their lives due to their violation of the authority of the high priesthood and their rebellion against Aaron.  Even in the next chapter in Numbers 17:1f we see that the very next day the Jews continued to complain against Aaron's leadership.  So God set up this test where each of those contending men would put their walking sticks into the tent of meeting.  He regenerated Aaron's walking stick, his rod.  People lose the meaning of that.  We always talk about Aaron's rod that budded.  We use that word so much.  People don't know what it was.  It was a staff.  It was his walking stick.  It was a dead piece of wood that he has been using for a long time.  They put it in the tent of meeting and God regenerated it so that it brought forth green shoots and leaves.  It became alive again.  That was how he indicated again that He had appointed Aaron.  He confirmed Aaron in his leadership. 

 

So the principle is laid down that no man takes this honor to himself. 

 

NKJ Hebrews 5:4 And no man takes this honor to himself, but he who is called by God, just as Aaron was.

 

Point of comparison, Christ's appointment to His high priestly ministry fits this same principle. We studied this last time.  Jesus Christ did not come to glorify Himself.  In fact He made this point several times in the time of His incarnation. 

 

 

NKJ John 8:54 Jesus answered, "If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God.

 

So He did not come for the purpose of self glorification. 

 

Furthermore Jesus said.

 

NKJ John 7:18 "He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him.

 

"The One" is Himself.  He is not seeking His own glory but the glory of the Father.

 

Again and again He emphasizes the fact that He is not seeking to glorify Himself.

 

NKJ John 8:42 Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.

 

Jesus Christ is not the initiator in His role even as the eternal Second Person of the Trinity.  He is under the authority of God the Father.  That is the essence of humility which we studied last time when we looked at the passage in Philippians 2:5-11 that focuses on the incarnation and the hypostatic union.

 

Again Jesus said.

 

NKJ John 9:4 "I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.

 

The reasons I am going through these verses is for us to get the impact of how many times Jesus made statements related to His own authority orientation and that He was not seeking His own glory but that of the Father. 

 

NKJ John 10:25 Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father's name, they bear witness of Me.

He does His works in His Father's name as the representative of the Father not for His own benefit.

 

NKJ John 10:38 "but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him."

 

Again and again and again He is demonstrating that the purpose for the incarnation is for Him to glorify the Father.  He didn't go through the incarnation and become flesh and dwell among us for the purpose of glorifying Himself.  As we come to understand what took place during the incarnation, it's obvious there wasn't any self glorification involved.  It meant excruciating suffering for the Lord Jesus Christ when you think in terms of the cross.  He would go to the cross.

 

NKJ 2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

 

 The Father imputed to Him all the sins of mankind. At that point He became judicially guilty.  They were imputed to Him. 

 

"He carried in His own body our sins on the cross," Peter said. 

 

He was separated judicially from the Father.  We struggle with trying to understand just how that would take place because here you have the eternal Second Person the Trinity who is more closely united with the other members of the trinity than anything that we can comprehend in our own experience.  Yet during those three hours on the cross, because He is receiving the imputation of our sins He is judicially separated from the Father.  This brings excruciating pain.  All of the other pain that He went through leading up to that and I don't know how many of you saw the film that came out last year on the "Passion of Christ". I didn't see it but I heard enough descriptions of it.  All of the extended beatings that He went through that were excruciating and would have killed a lesser man, He goes through all of that - the whippings, the beatings, and all of the torture - and yet like the lamb before the shearers is dumb so He opened not His word.  

 

NKJ Acts 8:32 The place in the Scripture which he read was this: "He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; And as a lamb before its shearer is silent, So He opened not His mouth.

 

Why is it that He didn't say anything?  Because, a point is being illustrated.  As painful and as excruciating as all of that physical suffering was, it was nothing compared to when that first sin hit our righteous Savior.  When that first sin hit Him, He screams out in agony.  That is to demonstrate how horrible, how horrendous this whole thing was of bearing our sin.  Not only is He made sin for us, but throughout His ministry He goes through consistent rejection by the very people that He had come to save.  He is rejected by them. He has a history with them where He has led them through the wilderness.  He loved them.  He called them.  He chose them.  He redeemed them from slavery in Egypt.  He led them through the wilderness.  He took them into the Promised Land.  He conquered their enemies.  He provided leaders.  He spoke through the prophets.  All of this occurred throughout the Old Testament.  When this God who has done all of this for Israel incarnates Himself and comes to them, they reject Him.  Again and again and again He goes through personal rejection.  We know what that is like within our own experience.  Yet He goes through it on a daily basis with the people that He has done so much for.  He goes through unspeakable agony in all of the suffering on the cross, His spiritual death, His judgment for the sins of the world and all of this on our behalf.  So He as a High Priest bears the penalty for our sin.  This is not glorification to go through all of this humiliation.  But by going through that, He is then glorified by the Father.  This is where the Philippians 2 passage ends up.  Last time we looked at that. 

 

Philippians 2:5-11 is a mandate to be humble.  That is the issue in the first four verses that we saw.  The issue that Paul is emphasizing is unity. In order to demonstrate this he says that there has to be true and genuine humility.  The only example of that is the Lord Jesus Christ who is fully God.

 

NKJ Philippians 2:6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,

 

So He became a man in the incarnation. 

 

NKJ Philippians 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

 

That is the essence of genuine humility or meekness.  It is not being a doormat.  It is not letting people take advantage of you.  Genuine humility is strength.  Moses was the most humble man in the world in the Old Testament.  Numbers states that.  Remember that Moses was the most humble man in the world. Yet Moses wasn't this person that could be rolled over by people even though he was dealing with probably 2 to 3 million spiritually rebellious people in the wilderness.  But he is humble because he is obedient to God.  That was the whole point in that particular episode to reinforce the fact that as the Jews are rebelling against Moses' authority; God is asserting the fact that Moses is authority oriented.  That is where real strength lies is in being properly oriented to divine authority and thus to every other sphere of authority. 

 

Therefore God has also exalted Him.  Jesus did not enter the position of High Priest in order to exalt Himself or glorify Himself.  He did it to glorify the Father.  As He focused on the mission to pay the penalty for the sins of the world, then because He is completely oriented to the authority of God the Father and completes the mission; it is God who exalted Him and God who glorified Him.  That is the point for us in terms of application.  It is not about self glorification in our lives (getting the credit), it is about giving the credit to God (driving forward in our Christian life under the authority of God) and then it is God who exalts us in the proper time.  We don't exalt ourselves.  The result of that is in the future Jesus Christ will be honored as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

 

NKJ Philippians 2:10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,

 

NKJ Philippians 2:11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

So we went to Philippians 2 last time to show that Jesus Christ did not become incarnate to glorify Himself.  This is the purpose for the hypostatic union.  That is the background for understanding the passage in Hebrews 5 as well as Philippians 2.  To understand where the writer is going, we have to understand the hypostatic union.

 

So here we have a definition of hypostatic union.

 

The hypostatic union describes the union of two natures, divine and human, in the one person of Jesus Christ.  These natures are inseparably united, without loss or mixture of separate identity, without loss or transfer of properties or attributes, the union being personal and eternal.  Jesus is undiminished deity and true humanity in one person forever. 

 

The Greek word is hupostasis which refers to the substantial nature, the essence, the actual being, or reality of a thing.  So you have the substance or the nature of something.  So Jesus Christ in His deity has a divine nature.  Then when He is incarnate He adds to that His human nature.  He doesn't give up any deity.  We saw that last time in Philippians 2.  It is not talking about the fact that He gives up anything; but He takes on, adds to His deity the form of a bond servant and comes in the likeness of a man.  There is a joining of human nature to the eternal divine nature. 

 

So as a definition we say that the hypostatic union describes the union of two natures, divine and human, in the one person of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

 

Now that is important to understand the difference between nature and a person.  The nature has to do with His deity and His humanity whereas person has to do with the entirety of His personality.  You don't have two persons.  So it is somewhat confusing and wrong to articulate it by saying that Jesus did X is out of His deity or that Jesus did Y out of His humanity because it is as if He is a split personality.  He is one person.  Everything that He did came from the one person of the Lord Jesus Christ.  There are some things that He did that demonstrated that He is fully God.  There are some things that He did that demonstrated that He had undiminished deity as part of His person.  One nature was undiminished deity.  For example He changed the water into wine.  That was an indication that He is the sovereign creator and He is able to manipulate and to change the elements of creation.  He forgave the paralytic of his sins indicating that He is God and He heals him.  These are to demonstrate that He is God who He claims to be. 

 

Some people have the idea that Jesus Christ did everything in the power of the Holy Spirit.  That is not quite right.  He did not do everything in the power of the Holy Spirit.  He had to do some things in His own divine power to demonstrate that He was who He claimed to be and that is the divine Messiah and that He was fully God.  Where you have to draw the distinction is that Jesus never relied upon His deity to solve the problems He faced in His humanity.  Let me say that again.  He never used His divine power and resources to solve the problems in His humanity.  If He was hungry, He wasn't turning the stones into bread.  If He was thirsty, He wasn't turning the rocks into water.  He didn't turn the water into wine to satisfy a personal problem from outside pressure of adversity or anything in His life.  He did it to demonstrate who He was.  So when He uses His deity to perform various miracles, it was to demonstrate who He was not to solve a problem or a test or an area of adversity in His own life.  He is doing it to demonstrate that He is God and He has power over creation. For example when He spoke to the storm when the disciples are pressing the panic button and they are running all over the ship and thinking about how they will die.  Jesus is sleeping down in the bottom of the boat. 

 

They woke Him up.  Jesus asked them, "Why are you afraid?" 

 

He commands the storm to be still and instantly it is still.  The water is smooth and everything is fine.  That is from His deity.  He is not doing it to solve a personal problem in His own life.  That is where you draw the distinction.  When it comes to His personal growth, when it comes to His dealing with a temptation, testing or adversity in His life then He relies on the Word of God and the Spirit of God to the to problem solve just as we do setting that precedent.  That is the background for where we are going in this passage. That is what qualified Him to be our High Priest because the priestly nature of His ministry is related to His being a human being. 

 

So we see in Philippians 2 that humanity is added to deity.  He has two natures, divine and human, united in one person.  So everything that He does comes from the one person of Jesus Christ.  That was the Nestorian heresy of the 4th century AD to think of these two natures and two persons.  You don't have a split personality here – two natures, one person. 

 

We go on to say in the definition that these natures are inseparably united.  That means you can't separate them.  They are united.  But they are united in such a way that there is no loss or mixture of separate identity.  In other words they are not flowing from one to the other.  His humanity doesn't flow over into the divine side.  The deity doesn't flow into the human nature.  They are brought together.  They don't mix.  They are united inseparably.

 

These natures are inseparably united, without loss or mixture of separate identity.  It is clear where the deity is and where the humanity is. 

 

Without loss or transfer of properties or attributes.  He doesn't lose any attributes of His deity.  He is still omnipresent even though He is localized in one physical human body.  Now that stretches our ability to comprehend that. He is still omnipotent and holding together the subatomic mass throughout the universe when He is a little baby 6 minutes old.  In His deity He still functions, but He is localized in His humanity. 

 

The union being personal and eternal.  It is a personal union.  It is a person, not a force.  It is a person, the one person of Jesus Christ.  And it is eternal. It is never going to stop.  From now throughout the rest of eternity Jesus Christ is going to be pure humanity.  His deity is united with His humanity.  But you see deity didn't change. 

 

NKJ Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

 

This is because the deity never changes because there is no loss or mixture of attributes.  We glibly run through this definition and you have heard it I don't know how many times.  Yet we don't realize that it took about 150 years for this definition to be hammered out between the Council of Nicea in 325 and the Council of Chalcedon in 451 - about 126 years.  There were some real battles over this.  But it distills into one precise technical definition everything that the Scripture says about the person of the Lord Jesus Christ after the incarnation.  The implication for this is profound when it comes to understanding His priesthood which is His current ministry and His role or operation as the incarnate Jesus Christ on the earth in setting the precedent for the spiritual life today.  We see this in the book of Hebrews back in Hebrews 2:10.  This is the first time the writer introduced this theme. 

 

NKJ Hebrews 2:10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

 

That refers to God the Father because this is the one who is going to perfect the author of our salvation. 

 

That is the plan of salvation viewed in its final result in bringing us to glorification.  Remember that you have three stages of salvation.

  1. Stage one is justification salvation where we are saved from the penalty of sin.  What is the penalty of sin?  The Lake of Fire?  No!  Spiritual death.  Spiritual death was the penalty for sin.  That is what God announced in Genesis 2.

 

NKJ Genesis 2:17 "but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."

 

What happened? They ate and they died right then.  It was spiritual death and separation from God.  They died spiritually.  They lost that human spirit.  Every subsequent generation after that is born is without the human spirit.  They have a human soul and a human body; but that immaterial element that allows the soul to communicate with God, relate to God and to understand the things of God is missing.  They are born without the human spirit so they begin to die physically from the moment they are born because they are separated from the source of life which is God.  Now Jesus Christ comes, He dies on the cross for our sins, we trust in Him and what happens at that instant?  We are born again.  We are regenerate.  We receive what?  Spiritual life.  That is the penalty reversed.  That is justification salvation.

  1. We are saved from the penalty of sin which is spiritual death.  We receive spiritual life.  But now that new life has to grow.  We are a new born baby as it were.  We are spiritual babies and we have to grow.  We grow by walking by the Spirit and by studying the Word of God.  The Holy Spirit takes the Word of God that we learn and it produces growth in our life.  That is the process of working out our salvation. Philippians 2.  It is phase 2. 
  2. The ultimate goal that all of this is going to is phase 3 glorification when we realize the full results of our salvation, our soteria.  That is the Greek noun for salvation which we always think of in terms of phase 1; but in most of the New Testament it is talking about the end product, that toward which we are going and the final package that is ours in glorification.  That is a key to properly understanding and interpreting the Scripture. 

 

NKJ Hebrews 2:10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

 

In order to do that God the Father had perfect or mature or bring to maturity or completion the author or pioneer or pathfinder or trendsetter or pacesetter.  All of those ideas are present there.  He is the one who sets the precedent for our salvation through suffering.  You see salvation is the goal.  He is matured.  He is the author or pioneer of our salvation.  The ultimate goal was through suffering so He had to go through suffering as well. 

 

That is then connected in Hebrews 2:17.

 

NKJ Hebrews 2:17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

 

He can't be a High Priest if He is not truly human.  So he had to be truly human to be the sacrifice.  He is not only the priest, but He is the sacrifice.  His sacrifice satisfies the righteousness and the justice of God.

 

Next time this concept is brought in. 

 

NKJ Hebrews 2:18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.

 

There the testing relates to His suffering.  It is not limited to the suffering on the cross.  It is related to all of the testing that He went through from the incarnation all the way to the point of the cross that prepared Him for the cross. 

 

Then the writer leaves that idea and he comes back to it at the beginning of this next section where He talks about Christ as our High Priest in Hebrews 4:14.

 

NKJ Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

 

Here he connects those two ideas - the deity of Christ on the one hand and His priesthood on the other hand.  That is an important connection to make.  That on the one hand Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  That's His deity.  On the other hand we have an emphasis on His priesthood.  That's His humanity.  They are jointed together in hypostatic union. 

 

There are 5 things that we emphasize in understanding the hypostatic union. 

  1. First of all, Jesus Christ was undiminished deity.  Undiminished means He is never less than fully God.  He has all the attributes of deity.  They are never lessened.  They may not be evident, but they are always fully there.
  2. The second thing that we mean by the hypostatic union is that He is fully human – what it is to make us human. We are almost in a sense subhuman.  Why is that?  Because we have a sin nature.  We aren't what God originally created in the human race.  We have been affected by evil.  It is part of our nature. 

 

NKJ Jeremiah 17:9 " The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?

 

We have a fallen nature.  So in some sense we are less than what God intended us to be. Jesus Christ as the Second Adam is everything that God intended man to be.  So He is more of a real human being than we are at least when we are unsaved at the point of our birth. So He had full humanity, true humanity and unfallen humanity.

  1. Third His undiminished deity and His full humanity were united in one person forever so they are never separated.  A million years from now we are still going to see the deity of the Second Person of the Trinity localized in His humanity but He will still be omnipresent.  He is still going to be omnipresent as the Second Person of the Trinity, but He is also going to be united with the resurrection body of His humanity.
  2. The product of this union therefore is the unique person of history.  We refer to Him as the theanthropic person from the Greek word theos meaning God and anthropos meaning man joined together in a compound word – the theanthropic person - fully God, fully man, the God Man.  This is the great mystery that Paul speaks about in Colossians 2:2-3.

 

NKJ Colossians 2:2 that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ,

 

NKJ Colossians 2:3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

 

The mystery of God is a hither to unrevealed truth and it's not the easiest thing to understand.  The mystery of truth is related to both the Father and Christ. 

 

Then you skip down to verse 9.

 

NKJ Colossians 2:9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;

 

That is in Jesus Christ.

  1. The issue isn't that Jesus Christ was a man and somehow became God.  That is a pagan notion.  That is the idea that the church somehow deified Him.  It is what comes across in the liberal critical analysis of the gospel and what is embodied in the Da Vinci Code.  Jesus was just a man.  It was the church that tried to make Him something else.  He is always eternally God.  It was humanity that was added to His deity.

 

Back to Hebrews 5.

 

NKJ Hebrews 5:5 So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him: "You are My Son, Today I have begotten You."

 

He is exalted by the Father.  The Father appoints Him to High Priest.  This is the point of the next two quotations. 

 

"He" is God the Father. "Him" is God the Son.

 

Now when did He say this?  This declaration is made according to Acts 13:33 at the time of the resurrection. 

 

NKJ Acts 13:33 "God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.'

 

Literal translation:  Today I declare you My begotten one. 

 

That is important to understand because if you read it the way it is normally translated, it is as if at this time – that is the resurrection – where He is begotten.  No, it is at this time that a declaration is made that He is the begotten one.  He is eternally begotten.  Jesus Christ was always the Son of God.  In eternity past He is always the Son of God.  If He is not the Son of God, then think about it.  What would you call the First Person of the Trinity a billion years ago if there is no Son? 

 

If there is no Son, there is no Father.  The Father is eternally the Father.  The Son is eternally the Son.  He is eternally the Son of God.  It applies to Him throughout all of eternity.  He doesn't become the Son at the incarnation.  He doesn't become the Son at the resurrection.  He doesn't become the Son at the ascension.  He is always the Son, but the declaration of His sonship occurs at the resurrection.  That is what Acts 13:33 is all about.  It is that declaration of His sonship as the Son of God because He has qualified in His humanity.  This is what we studied in a lengthy study back in Hebrews 1:2-3 that Jesus Christ has the authority over the angels because of His position as the Second Person of the Trinity. 

 

But that is not what the writer of Hebrews is arguing in the first chapter.  He is saying that He became flesh. He dwelt among us.  He goes through tests.  He goes through suffering.  He passes the test.  He qualifies and He is then declared the Son of God and put in position over the angels.  He qualifies not only by virtue of His eternal deity but He qualifies in His humanity because He passed all the tests. He goes to the cross and dies for our sins and God the Father then promotes Him in reference to His humanity over the angels so that He has authority over the angels from both His innate deity and His qualification as man.  This places Him over the angels.  It is this joining of eternal sonship with His human priesthood that is the basis for His present ministry as High Priest.  So this connects these two ideas.

 

NKJ Psalm 2:7 "I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.

 

This is declaring His eternal Sonship and then linking that with the declaration of His priesthood in Hebrews 5:6 which connects not to the Aaronic priesthood which was a limited priesthood related to Jewish descent, related to genetics that was related to the temporary covenant that temporary law code, the Mosaic Law Code.  It is a limited priesthood.  It is just for Israel.  But Hebrews 5:6 ties Jesus' priesthood to the greater priesthood to a Melchizedekean priesthood which is a gentile priesthood.  It is a priesthood that includes all humanity.  It is a royal priesthood.  It is a priesthood that is superior to the priesthood of Aaron and the Levitical priesthood. 

 

I want you to note that it says you are a what forever?  You are a priest forever.  This isn't going to stop at some point. Priesthood relates to His humanity.  You are a priest forever.  So a billion years from now into the future Jesus Christ is still going to be a Melchizedekean priest.  It is part of His role in His humanity.  We will be serving under Him as kings and priests according to the book of Revelation.

 

So this starts pulling all of these different ideas together and then the writer goes on in verse 7 to talk about what happens during the period of the incarnation and how that qualifies and prepares Him to serve as our priest.  Remember that part of the role of the priest back in 5:2 is to have compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray.  He represents us.

 

NKJ Hebrews 5:7 who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear,

 

That is during the time of the incarnation before the resurrection. 

 

We have to do some corrected translation there. 

 

NKJ Hebrews 5:8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.

 

Let's clean up the translation a little bit in verse 7. 

 

He offers up prayers and supplications.  This was something that characterized Jesus Christ's life in His humanity. He was consistently going to God in prayer over and over again.  You can go through a number of passages in the Scripture to demonstrate this. For example Mark 1:35, 6:46, Luke 5:6, and 6:12.  These are some of the passages that talk about Jesus going away to prayer.  Again and again you find that Jesus leaves the disciples.  He wants to get away from the hustle and bustle of the crowds, the pressure of ministry, and the questions from the disciples so that He can be alone so that He doesn't have to deal with all of that.  He wants to turn off the cell phones and get off the internet and everything else so that He can be alone with God and away from all of the distractions.  Prayer is a priority in His ministry. 

 

Now if prayer is a priority in perfect spiritual life of the Lord Jesus Christ, how much more significant prayer should be in our life because we need that dependence on God the Father even more.  So prayer expressed Christ's dependence on God.  The Scripture makes it a point of showing how He is continuously going to the Lord in prayer. For example, at His baptism when John the Baptist baptizes Jesus to initiate Him into His public ministry we are told in Luke 3:21.

 

NKJ Luke 3:21 When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened.

 

That is when the dove comes down and you hear the voice of God the Father.  The Holy Spirit in the form of a dove descends upon Him.  But what is Jesus doing? You never hear anybody emphasizing that.  He is in prayer at that particular time. 

 

The same kind of thing happens again on the Mt. of Transfiguration.  This is the one time when the humanity of Christ is sort of folded back and the glory of His deity is exposed.  He is transfigured.  He is up on the mountain with James and John and Peter.  And in Luke 9:29 what is He doing again?  He is in prayer. 

 

NKJ Luke 9:29 As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening.

 

Again the Father speaks from heaven and we see the Holy Spirit descend like a dove.  So He is in prayer at His baptism.  He is in prayer at His transfiguration.  He is consistently in prayer. 

 

When His hour was at hand He goes to the garden to pray.  This is important passage – what happens in the garden of Gethsemane.

 

Hold your place in Hebrews and turn to Luke 22:39.

 

NKJ Luke 22:39 Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him.

 

He goes up the Mt. of Olives.  Remember the chronology for that night.  They had the Passover meal in the upper room.  Then they leave the upper room and along the way we have the discourse on the vine in John 15 and then the discourse about the coming of the Holy Spirit John 16.  Then His high priestly prayer in John 17 which fits into the fold of what is taking place in verses 39-46.  So they come out and go to the Mt. of Olives as He was accustomed.  Notice that.  Don't read passed it too quickly.  This shows that it was a standard operating procedure for Him to go to this area to get away from the crowds and to get away from the pressure and to spend time in prayer.

 

NKJ Luke 22:40 When He came to the place, He said to them, "Pray that you may not enter into temptation."

 

Why?  That they may not yield to fear.  He knows that the Roman soldiers are coming to arrest Him.  There will be tremendous pressure.

 

Yield to testing is the idiom.

 

NKJ Luke 22:41 And He was withdrawn from them about a stone's throw, and He knelt down and prayed,

 

So he goes off about 30-40 feet and He knelt down and prayed.

 

NKJ Luke 22:42 saying, "Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done."

 

This is where we see the picture of what is going on in Hebrews 5:7.  He is praying to God to remove this pressure.  He knows what is going to happen.  He understands the pressure, the trauma, the pain, and the misery that He is going to go through.  Not physically.  He is anticipating that separation from the Father.  He is praying out of His humanity. 

 

"If there is any other way to do this, remove this from Me."  Nevertheless- this is where He passes the test.  The test is - are you gong to bail out? 

 

He prays to the Father, "If there is anyway out, let Me out." 

 

He is focused on the will of the Father. 

 

NKJ Luke 22:43 Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him.

 

So while He is in the garden He is being strengthened by an angel.

 

NKJ Luke 22:44 And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

 

This is talking about the physical agony that He is going through in anticipation of the spiritual agony He will go through on the cross. 

 

He is under such pressure. He is feeling the pressure physically that the blood in His corpuscles is actually being forced out through his cells so that he is sweating blood.  You and I have never felt pressure like that. There is documentation of this happening with people in some circumstances.  This is facing the outside pressure of adversity.  This is when you are about to get stressed out.  You are really under the pressure. He is anticipating this so much that He is feeling this physically in every pore of His body. 

 

NKJ Luke 22:45 When He rose up from prayer, and had come to His disciples, He found them sleeping from sorrow.

 

It is so emotional.  They are emotionally wrung out.  They are sound to sleep.  They are wasted. 

 

NKJ Luke 22:46 Then He said to them, "Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation."

 

So He spends this time in prayer knowing that the only way He is going to make it through the events of the next 12 hours is going to be His relationship with God, His prayer lifeline.

 

Let's turn over a few pages to the Gospel of John.  I just want to look at the first 4 or 5 verses of His prayer in John 17.  John 17 is what we normally refer to as the real Lord's Prayer.  Not that prayer over in Matthew that everybody recites as the Lord's Prayer.  That was a model prayer for the disciples.  This is the real Lord's Prayer - His high priestly prayer.  He is representing the church in this prayer.  This comes prior to the events that we just read about over on the Mt. of Olives. 

 

NKJ John 17:1 Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: "Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You,

 

What is His concern? It is the glorification of God.  That is what I have been pointing out.  It is why we went back to Philippians 2 and went through all of the various passages in John earlier.  His focus is on glorifying God. 

 

When He says "glorify your Son" here it is a prayer that the Son would be strengthened in His hour of testing.

 

NKJ John 17:2 "as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him.

 

NKJ John 17:3 "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

 

NKJ John 17:4 "I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.

 

That is His mission, not self glorification.

 

He was appointed by God in this priestly role.

 

NKJ John 17:5 "And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

 

Jesus expresses His dependence upon God continuously in prayer.

 

Now back to Hebrews 5:7.

 

NKJ Hebrews 5:7 who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear,

 

Literally this is strong cries - screams.  This indicates the intensity of His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane prior to going to the cross.

 

He is not only sweating drops of blood, He is also weeping.  He is under incredible pressure and emotion as well.  His soul runs the whole gamut.  We can't even imagine what He is going through during this particular time.  In the midst of all this pressure He doesn't yield.  He doesn't give up.  He doesn't go off course.  He stays the course in obedience to God and to fulfill God's plan for His life. 

 

It is a bad translation in the King James – the idea of heard for His godly fear.  The word there that is translated "Godly fear" actually has the meaning of His concern, His respect for God's honor.  That is the idea that is there.  It is not because of His personal piety or spiritual strength.  It is respect or honor for God.  It is one word in the Greek.  He is heard because of His concern for God's honor and glory.  He is focused on God's plan for His life not His plan for His life.  It is not about self glorification.

 

NKJ Hebrews 5:8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.

 

Learning is the aorist active indicative of manthano.  In His humanity He is learning.  Deity doesn't learn.  Deity is omniscient.  It never grows.  It never acquires knowledge.  It never learns anything new. 

 

We have the concessive clause "that although He was a Son" that indicates that He is omniscient yet in His humanity He learns obedience by the things that He suffers. 

 

Pascho means at its root to undergo an experience.  It has the idea of a negative experience which is to go through physical suffering.  So He goes through adversity and He learns obedience.  That is the crucible in which spiritual growth takes place. 

 

NKJ Hebrews 5:9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,

 

Poor translation of the participle there.  The word translated perfected is our familiar word teleioo meaning to be made complete, to be made mature, or to be made perfect. Here it has the idea of being made mature.  It is a temporal adverbial participle.  When He had been matured.  When He was matured.  When He had been brought to completion.  It indicates the timing.  When He was matured. When He had finished the process in His humanity of reaching spiritual maturity He became something -the author, the aitios.  This is a word that is only used here in the New Testament.  It means the cause, the source, or the reason for something.  You may be familiar with the word etiology which is the study of the reason of things, the author, or the source.  That is how we are going to translate it. 

Literal translation:  When He had reached maturity He became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him. 

 

He became the source of soteria.  That word soteria translated salvation here isn't talking about phase 1 justification.  It is talking about the end product.  He is the source of what we get as the end result.  That has to do with our rewards and our inheritance and everything that we are going to have in terms of our position of ruling and reigning with the Lord Jesus Christ in the Millennial Kingdom.  So He goes through that whole process of maturity, comes to the end, and fulfills the task as an example to us of going to maturity so that we are qualified to rule and reign with Him as the end result of our salvation.  That is why it says that He is the source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.  If you have the wrong idea of salvation here then phase one justification then what you are going to read in this verse is that you will be saved if you obey Him.  It will come across as works that you have to maintain this life of consistent obedience or you are not going to get saved.  Well that's true you are not going to get saved phase 3 full reward glorification. 

 

But we are not talking about phase 1 justification going to heaven when you die here.  That's not the idea.  It is talking about the end result.  Salvation doesn't have to do with obedience, that's works. 

 

NKJ Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,

 

NKJ Ephesians 2:9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

 

It is not about works.  It is about trusting in Jesus Christ. 

 

In John 3:14-15 we have greatest illustrations of saving faith in the New Testament.  Very few people ever go to this as an example. 

 

NKJ John 3:14 "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,

 

It refers to the event in Numbers 21 when the Israelites are going through the wilderness.  Once again there is a whole series there from chapter 15 on of complaining and rebelling and complaining and rebelling. They complain about God's provision so He sends the grass fire that threatens them.  Then they complain about the food and He sends the quail.  They over eat the quail.  They have a plague.  And then they complain again about Moses. They don't follow the leadership of Joshua and Caleb into the land.  I mean it is just one event after another.  In every chapter is says that they complained and they complained.  So God again sends discipline with the fiery serpents. There is this infestation of these vipers in the area.  They are getting bitten and dying very rapidly.  So Moses goes to God to intercede for the people. 

 

God says that the solution is simple.  "I want you to make a brass image of a serpent.  You are going to put it up on a pole (which is a picture of Christ on the cross).  Anybody who looks at it will be healed instantly." 

 

That is a picture of salvation.  It is not committing your life to Christ. It is not inviting Jesus into your heart.  It is simply looking in trust to the cross to save you.  It is very simple.  It doesn't involve any of these other things that people want to pull into it.  It doesn't involve works.  They didn't have to travel anywhere.  They didn't have to change anything.  They just had to put their focus on the serpent for a second and they will instantly heal. 

 

The solution is available to everybody.  It is an unlimited salvation offer.  It goes for everybody.  It is sufficient for everybody.  Anybody can be saved.  It is not just for those who look.  It is available to everyone.  It is unlimited salvation solution.  So Jesus goes to that.  We are not sure where Jesus stops and John starts.  That is another issue. 

 

NKJ John 3:15 "that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

 

That's it.  Belief is analogous to looking to that serpent.  It is a simple act of trust.  That is all that is needed for salvation.  It is not by works.  When it says that He is the author of eternal salvation to all that obey Him, it is not about obedience to get saved.  It is about that Christian walk of obedience in the spiritual life in order to grow to maturity to be prepared to rule and reign with Jesus Christ in the future when we get the final soteria salvation package.

 

So in verse 10 the writer concludes.

 

NKJ Hebrews 5:10 called by God as High Priest "according to the order of Melchizedek,"

 

He restates the quote from Psalm 110:4 that he stated in verse 6.  It is His priestly ministry that provides the precedent for our spiritual life and provides the perfect solution to our sin at the cross and then establishes the path to the fulfillment of that salvation package in the future Millennial Kingdom. 

 

We will come back to wrap this up and go into the next section in a couple of weeks.