(following on from yesterday…)
So far, then, we have Jesus yelling out to his Father for help to obey a command that was humanly impossible for him to obey. And the Father heard and responded because of Jesus’ deep respect for his will.
Through that process Jesus learnt obedience – it became second nature to him, that when faced with an impossible situation he cried out to his Father for help and he was able to obey. And his obedience was crucial, because it “saved him from death,” Hebrews 5:7 – the death that any and all disobedience to God results in. With his Father’s help he was able to obey the impossible, every time, which personally saved him from death.
But was Jesus’ perfect obedience only for his own sake, to save him personally from the death of disobedience? No, because, verse 9, “once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.” Ah, so now we get to the reason why he needed to be perfect in obedience to his Father’s will: because it gave him the power to save others.
So, is that why the Father puts us through the same process? He gives us the impossible task of obeying all the commands of his Son, impossible commands like: “As I have loved you, so must you love one another” (John 13:34), and “bless those cursing you, do good to those hating you, and pray for those accusing you falsely” (Matthew 5:44). And out of deep respect for Jesus and his will we want to obey his commands, perfectly.
In which case Jesus hears our cries to him when there’s someone in our lives, or in the government, who are simply too awful for us to want to bless, do good to, and pray for. And if, amazingly, he turns our loathing and disgust into proper respect, we’ve learnt the same thing Jesus learnt as a human being, that obedience to the impossible is possible. But it’s the reason why impossible obedience is made possible – because in Jesus’ case it gave him the power to save others.
So, does that apply to us too? We’re faced with a command that’s humanly impossible for us to obey, but in deep respect for Jesus we cry out for his help to obey it. To which he responds, “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it,” John 14:14.
That’s a promise. Jesus promises to help us obey. So having been made perfect in the obedience we were asking him for, does that now give us the power to save others as well?…
(More on this on Monday…)
One thought on “Being made perfect, and the reason why ”
The question begs, what is “perfection”? Loving your enemies is only a very small part of the whole.
There is that whole worldly “cesspool” of fleshly sins that need to be “put off”—“adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like.” (Galatians 5:19-21)
The above mentioned are the obvious ones. Then there are the not so obvious ones, those things of the spiritual realm of Babylon, that also need to be shaken off. Things such as “traditions, rituals, ceremonies, slavish devotions, deceptive doctrines, and anything else that “clogs” the spiritual pathway to God.
When I look at that long list, my heart sinks. There’s no way I can do this on my own. But thankfully “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Php 4:13). It is God who gives us the strength to overcome. It is God who does the work of bringing us to “perfection.”…..
A really good book on the deceptions of the “church system” that I highly recommend is “The Two Babylons” by Alexander Hislop. It can be found as a downloadable PDF file below –
Click to access The-Two-Babylons.pdf