Hebrews 2:8b-10 The gift of trials and perfection
But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him 9 But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.
10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.
Humanity lost his authority to rule and became lower than the angels when he rebelled against God. However, God in His mercy sent His Son in human form into the world to reinstate humanity in glory and sonship. Jesus’ sufferings and obedience won God’s approval that led to humanity’s salvation. Today’s passage teaches us the importance of empathizing and journeying with the broken and wounded. No healer’s ministry is ever done until the journey of suffering and empathy is complete.
But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus.
Even as humanity is en route to full reinstatement in his calling as ruler, Jesus was deliberately made for a little while lower than the angels, mirroring the fallen condition of men. Here, Jesus shed His immortality in exchange for men’s mortalness. As God, He was transcendent, omnipotent, indestructible and beyond the reach of temptation, whose glory is unfathomable. But He chose to partake in the fallen nature of men: lower than the angels, as a necessary step to reinstate humanity in his glory as sons.
He might taste death for everyone … in bringing many sons to glory.
In order to reinstate humanity in his glory as sons of God: in bringing many sons to glory, Jesus must put on men’s fallen nature and be cursed on humanity’s behalf: taste death for everyone. Jesus’ sacrifice of death on behalf of humanity resulted in God’s full reinstatement of His Sonship by raising Him from death; He was crowned with glory and honor. Jesus in His death, suffered on behalf of sinful men, so that in His resurrection humanity may be exonerated and reinstated in his former glory. In short, Jesus’ reinstatement means complete exoneration and glorification for humanity. In order to reinstate humanity and creation in full glory (for whom are all things), Jesus’ incarnation and suffering (through whom are all things) becomes inevitable.
To perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.
Jesus’ suffering not only reinstated humanity in his glory, it justified Jesus indubitably as perfect in love and obedience. “Author” or “arkegos” refers to one who begins something and who is first in a series. In a sense, Jesus is the first to taste salvation and be reinstated as God’s Son in glory and authority. The glory of Jesus post-incarnation carried an element that was before untested but now approved through suffering; which is His perfect love and obedience towards God. Therefore, in the footsteps of Jesus, every son must necessarily tread on the path of suffering in order to perfect in him the virtue of love and obedience towards God.
Empathy is the channel of healing and regeneration. The process of healing necessitates the healer to empathize with the pains and failings of the broken; it lends permission to speak into the heart of the wounded. People usually try to console another by giving solutions or by imprinting positive thoughts into another’s mind. However, without first entering into the world of the hurting and to empathize with their brokenness, healing is virtually impossible. Hence, the healer must begin the healing process by journeying with the wounded person starting at the point where the hurts began. Therefore, we must refrain from giving quick solutions but make empathy and understanding the goal. Jesus, in His incarnation entered our world and identified with our brokenness and sufferings. He became an ordinary man having ordinary intellect, an ordinary body, and an ordinary soul. Even though He was exposed to temptations that are common to men, He experienced sorrows, afflictions and tragedies more than most men would ever face. Jesus’ exposure to real world problems and suffering allows Him to journey with us and heal our wounds. How can we receive comfort and healing from a person who has never been betrayed or hurt? How can we be encouraged by someone who has never been let down in his life? How can we learn faith and perseverance from someone who has never failed? Jesus in His 33 years of trials and sufferings became the Healer and Author of our salvation.
Whenever we go through trials of life, think of the gold that it could produce in us. Gold can only be refined in the crucible of fire. Diamonds are formed when carbon is put through extreme heat and pressure in the center of the earth. Similarly, the human soul can only be perfected by the blistering trials of life. Many people, in the thick of their problems could only think of ways to get out as quickly as possible. Trials as depressing as they may seem, are in fact golden opportunities to increase the glory in our soul. James 1:2-4 says,
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Trials stretch our obedience and trust in God, it produces endurance resulting in perfection of the soul. A perfect soul possesses the attributes and virtues of God that enable him to succeed in all his endeavors. Whenever we feel like giving up, just think of the gold that it could produce in us if we endure to the end.
- Are you currently going through a rough patch in your life? What do you think God is trying to build in your character? Do not try to look for a way out of your problems but focus on building the part of your character that is lacking.
- How do you minister to a friend in need? By providing quick solutions, you are selfishly weaning him off his dependence on you. The best support one can give to his friend in need is a listening ear and a comforting presence.
Dear Lord, as I am currently going through a rough patch in my life, help me understand the work that you are doing in my life. Cause me to be a genuine and enduring support to my friends in need. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.