How Jesus learned obedience through suffering.

I encourage you to look at today’s YouTube video. Rudy explains how Jesus is a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek in a clear and concise way.

My article today will focus on Hebrews 5.7-9.

In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.

Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered, and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.

When did Jesus cry?

Jesus’ prayer life revealed his “reverent submission” to the Father. I often quote Frank Lauback who found 48 references in the Gospel of John that showed Jesus’ total submission to the Father’s will.

In one of the 48 instances Jesus said, “And the one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what is pleasing to him” (John 8.29).

(1) The most obvious reference to “loud cries and tears” with Jesus was his prayer on the cross.

And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27.46)

This is the fulfillment of the prayer in Psalm 22. Some scholars believe and I agree that Jesus used the prayer to encompass the meaning of the entire Psalm.

(2) Jesus’ prayer for Jerusalem does not mention tears, but it expresses his lament over their condition.

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it!

“How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!” (Matthew 23.37).

(3) Jesus’ experience in the Garden of Gethsemane is another instance of anguished prayer.

Jesus told his disciples about his grief. He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me” (Matthew 26.38).

He revealed his reverent submission to the Father in the prayer he prayed three times.

And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me, yet not what I want but what you want” (Matthew 26.39).


Try using each of the three examples from Jesus’ prayers to meditate on the greatness of our Lord and Savior.

The Methodist missionary, E. Stanley Jones, spent an entire night in the Garden of Gethsemane in contemplation of Jesus’ prayer there.

While we can’t go to Gethsemane for a night of prayer, we can take an extended time and meditate on that event.

If we spend time around these events, the Holy Spirit will develop in us “reverent submission” the Father.

Obedience Through Suffering

In what way did Jesus learn “obedience through what he suffered”? In what way did that contribute to his being “made perfect”?

Whether we like it or not, the fact is that untested obedience is only potential obedience.

We know that what is potential is actual, when it passes the test of adversity.

We know Jesus suffered on the cross, but his pain didn’t start there.

— Imagine the pain of leaving heaven to walk the hot, dusty lanes of Galilee.

— Imagine the frustration of putting up with dull and unbelieving humans.

— See Jesus at the tomb of his friend Lazarus or the day he learned of John the Baptist’s death.

— Consider the many times when Jesus was tempted by the devil or assaulted by demons.

Jesus passed the test with 100% perfection. Because of this the author of Hebrews was able to write.

“Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered, and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him” (Hebrews 5.8-9).


During your prayer time, think through all of the ways Jesus was tested or suffered. As you rehearse these events, tell Jesus how grateful you are for his example and ministry.

The goal of studying the Bible is to become more like Jesus. Let’s join with the Holy Spirit to live like Jesus in “reverent submission” to the Father.

YouTube Video

Rudy Ross and I talk about Hebrews today on YouTube. You can see the video on the Bob Spradling channel.

I am indebted to Gareth Lee Cockerill’s commentary on Hebrews for the information contained in this blog.

Please email your prayer request to The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.

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