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Jesus Learned Obedience

cross on parchment

Last Christmas, I was listening to the radio, and I heard a Christmas song I love: “Silent Night”. One of the lines from the song caught my attention:

“Jesus, Lord at thy birth…”

These words made me pause. I wondered how many people hear a lyric like that and assume it means Jesus was automatically the Savior of the world at his birth. Jesus was not born the Savior; he was born the Messiah—the one who was promised to come. His obedience made him the Savior.

Hebrews 5:8-9: “Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him…”

Salvation didn’t come with Jesus’ birth. It was not automatic. Jesus learned obedience and when he submitted to the Father and died on the cross, he became the source of salvation for all. We hear Jesus wrestling with this in Gethsemane: “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26.39).

That’s what was so amazing about this God-Man: Jesus could have sinned, but didn’t. Jesus was not born with a sin nature as we are, but he was still tempted to sin (Luke 4:1-13). However, he refused to surrender to temptation. Instead, he fully surrendered to the will of his Father. Jesus was no robot. He was the God-man who lived in total obedience to the Father’s will for his life. By doing so, he achieved salvation for all who would follow him.

He chose to come. He chose not to sin. He chose to die. He could have turned the other way. He didn’t. And for that, we worship him.

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