Saturday, June 29, 2019 -
Hebrews 5:8 says that Christ “learned obedience from the things which he suffered.” In this context, the meaning of the Greek word for obedience refers to “obedience to God’s will in a special sense, of willing subjections to that which, in the sphere of the divine, is right” (From The Complete Word Study New Testament). This same word for obedience was used in Romans 5:19, “For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.” Christ indeed agonized over His suffering, as evident in His words to the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death” (Matthew 26:38), and His prayer, as He fell on His face, “My Father if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me, yet not as I will, but as Thou wilt” (Matthew 6:39).
Jesus predicted suffering similar to what He was going to go through for His disciples, too, in Matthew 10:16-23 and 34-39, even to the point of death (vs. 21, 22, and 39). He says we will be hated on account of His name, even by family members (Matt. 10:21-22; 34-37). Yet in spite of all this, we must not abandon our love for Him because our family may hate us (Matt. 10:37), but “it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved” (Matt. 10:22). To the end means even unto death. But Jesus tells us in Revelation 2:10, “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”
And so I must learn through my current afflictions for the sake of Christ to be obedient, as Christ was obedient, and not to fear, even unto death. I am to persevere to the end. Furthermore, imprisonment may mean just the beginning of my suffering. I must endure to the end, even if it means martyrdom. This should be expected of all believers, and as Christ learned obedience through His suffering, so should we! Even till the end.