ALTHOUGH HE WAS A SON, HE LEARNED OBEDIENCE
FROM THE THINGS HE SUFFERED [Heb.5:8]
In all their affliction He was afflicted [Isa.63:9]. Truly
Christ Jesus our Lord was a man of sorrows, and
acquainted with grief [Isa.53:3].
From birth there was no room for Him except the welcome
afforded by sheep and oxen [Lk.2:7]. Chief priests and scribes may
know ancient prophesies about the Christâ€™s place of birth, but they
have no interest in meeting this King themselves [Mt.2:4-6]. Only a
bloodthirsty jealous tyrant wished to find Him that he might
â€œworshipâ€? Him â€“ with a drawn sword [Mt.2:8, 13-16].
He fled by night as a fugitive to a foreign land [Mt.2:13, 14]
only to return to a lowly despised region of no reputation [Mt.2:23].
Long years of routine physical labor occupied the majority of His life
[Mk.6:3]. He toiled, unrecognized and without acclaim, supporting
His younger ones who refused to believe Him to be anything other
than another member of the family [Jn.7:5].
Though hailed by the Highest in heaven [Mt.3:17], His own
nation received Him not [Jn.1:11]. He was despised and rejected of
men…and we did not esteem Him [Isa.53:3].
Assailed by loathsome evil, the devil tempted Him to the
uttermost [Mt.4:1-11]. And men, following in the steps of their father,
the devil, vilified and hated Him with mocking disdain.
Do we not rightly say that you are a Samaritan? [Jn.8:48].
The crowd answered, â€œYou have a demon!â€? [Jn.7:20]. Spitefully with
venomous malice they spat out the accusation, We were not born of
fornication [Jn.8:41]. He deceives the people! [Jn.7:12]. Even His
own people were saying, He has lost His mind! [Mk.3:21].
Dear reader, what are you passing through that He has not
tasted? What assaults your soul that He was not faced with? This is
Jesus, the One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet
without sin [Heb.4:15].
Christ is He who, since He Himself was tempted in that
which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are
He can come to your aid in the blackness of your despair for
He has sweat drops of blood in the agony of Gethsemane [Lk.22:44].
He can comfort the wounds of the heart sent from wicked tongues like
thrusts of a sword, for men wagged their heads in mocking derision
against Him, the Beloved of the Father [Ps.22:6-8].
Grief sent from stubborn insulting loved ones can be borne
in the bosom of Him who knew the same [Jn.7:5]. Shattering
departure of those dearest to us taken in the icy grip of deathâ€™s finality
is soothed by Him who wept over Lazarus whom He loved [Jn.11:35].
A ravaged heart torn asunder by willful abandonment of those
closest to you receives its balm from the pierced hands of Him who
cried, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? [Mt.27:46].
Have weary long years of seemingly pointless daily routine
bowed the soul, snuffing out hopeâ€™s glow of eventual spiritual usefulness? Come to Nazareth and behold your Lord in silent
submission those eighteen years at the carpenterâ€™s bench [Mk.6:3].
Forgotten and ignored, no sympathy is found to console your
anguished soul save that of Him who looked for the same and found
none [Ps.69:20, 21].
Poverty grinds away with its relentless scarcity, sapping the
soul into anxious pursuits. Come and repose with the Son of Man
who had nowhere to lay His head [Lk.9:58]. The grief of the pure in
heart who chafe at the unashamed display of godless men surrounding
them also deeply assaulted the soul of the Holy One of God
Laid aside, bed-ridden, and prostrate in weariness? Come;
find rest and strength from Him who was wearied often [Lk.8:23,
In all points He was tempted as are we, but without sin. Only
He who has overcome can assist those who must also do the same
[Rev.3:21]. Yes, there are things to overcome; grievous pains to be
borne, bitter to natural sensibilities, shameful to self-esteem.
They come from Christ. He has designed them that thereby
we might overcome, that we will learn obedience through suffering,
and that we might know fellowship with the Man of Sorrows. Paul
prayed that he might know the fellowship of His sufferings, being
conformed to His death, in order that he might attain to that
resurrection out from the dead [Phil.3:10, 11]. To him, suffering was
fellowship with Christ. Is it to you?
Suffering, death, and resurrection; this is the necessary
sequence. Christ became obedient unto death, even that of the
cruelest and most despised, that of a cross [Phil.2:8]. How did He
learn such obedience? In the school of suffering of which He is the
Master of all would-be followers.
The lessons must be learned thoroughly and remembered well
if the disciple would become like His Master [Lk.6:40]. This is His
school. Few endure until promoted on high.
Consider well Him who has endured so great contradiction
of sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary, fainting
in your souls [Heb.12:3].
While being reviled, He did not revile in return; while
suffering He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him
who judges righteously [I Pet.2:23].
Come unto Me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and
I will give you rest [Mt.11:28].