Useful Bible Studies > Hebrews Commentary > chapter 5

The Son who became the servant

Hebrews 5:8

There is a difference between a son and a servant. Both must learn to obey, but in a different manner and for different reasons.

A son has to obey so that he can learn. But a servant has to learn so that he will obey. It is the purpose of a servantís life and work that he should obey his master. But the purpose of the sonís life and work is to become the master.

Jesus is Godís Son. The author of Hebrews tells us that fact often. But during his whole life on earth, Jesus behaved more like a servant than a son. He did not try to become important. He learnt to be humble and to obey (Luke 2:51). He chose to describe himself as a servant (Mark 10:45).

So Christ obeyed. We see that same word in Romans 5:19. There, Paul contrasts Adam and Christ. Adam did not obey God. Because of his wrong act, death has power over everyone. But Christ obeyed God completely. Because of his right act, people can receive life that never ends.

In the Bible, there is often a link between Christís death and the idea of a servant. For example, see Isaiah 53:11 and Philippians 2:5-8. His duty to obey as a servant mattered more to Christ than his own life did. He gave his whole life to obey God. And he accepted death to obey God. He did not use his authority as Godís Son to save himself. People told him to do that (Matthew 27:40). But he refused.

So even in Christís death, he was still obeying God the Father completely.

Next part: The meaning of Ďperfectí (Hebrews 5:9-10)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.