Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him 10 and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.

Jesus is greater than Aaron. The salvation He offers is ”eternal”. At best, the Old Testament sacrifices were a temporary measure, and in their imperfection had to be repeated. But Jesus has now offered the full, final, perfect sacrifice of Himself – the fully obedient Son of God.

However, on the face of it, this is a ‘problem’ text: Jesus learning obedience? Surely the writer can’t mean that Jesus was disinclined to obey and so had to be schooled in the subject in order to become ”perfect”? No! I don’t believe this is being said at all. But there is perhaps something about Jesus’ human experience needing to be matured and completed before He was ready to die and make ”eternal salvation” possible. (We also note that it may be hardest of all to keep on obeying when we are undergoing periods of suffering. Jesus suffered more than anyone ever will, but He still obeyed.)

 ”Though he was God’s Son, he learned trusting-obedience by what he suffered, just as we do. Then, having arrived at the full stature of his maturity and having been announced by God as high priest in the order of Melchizedek, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who believingly obey him.” (The Message).

‘Jesus learned how difficult it is to obey God fully. He experienced the suffering that comes upon those who obey God. These Hebrew Christians, to whom this letter was written, had already begun to experience some suffering because of their obedience to Christ. But now, as a result, they were about to fall away; they were about to deny Christ. Therefore, let them remember Jesus, who Himself endured suffering in obedience until the end.’ (Tom Hale: ‘Applied New Testament Commentary’, p.857).

‘He needed to learn what obedience to God involved in practical terms, in the conditions of human life on earth, so that he could sympathize with those similarly tested and teach us by his own example how far God ought to be submitted to and obeyed (cf. 12:1-11; 13:13).’ (David Peterson: ‘New Bible Commentary’, p.1333).

The Jesus who obeyed calls His own people to ”obey”, but herein there may lie another problem in the text. We will try to address this tomorrow.