What does the author of Hebrews mean when he says in Hebrews 2:10 that God the Father made Jesus, the founder of our salvation, “perfect through suffering”? Continue reading . . .
What does the author of Hebrews mean when he says in Hebrews 2:10 that God the Father made Jesus, the founder of our salvation, “perfect through suffering”? And what does he mean in Hebrews 5:8 when he says that “he learned obedience through what he suffered?” Again, what does it mean to say that Jesus was “made perfect” through his suffering (Heb. 5:9a).
In both cases our author is establishing the qualifications of Jesus to serve as our Great High Priest. The fact that Jesus “suffered” in this way proves that he is able to “sympathize with our weaknesses” (Heb. 4:15).
So what do these statements mean? The “perfecting” in view has to do with Christ’s vocation, his calling to be the savior of his people. It was a process by which he was shown to be fully equipped and qualified for his office.
He does not mean that Jesus was sinfully flawed or that he was morally imperfect and had to be purified and cleansed. We know this because of what he says in Hebrews 4:15, 7:26, and 9:14. The sinlessness of Jesus has never been in question. The perfection here has to do with completing one’s preparation to fulfill a task. He is saying that Jesus was fully qualified as our High Priest to make a sufficient atonement for sin and was able to secure for us a righteousness that becomes ours through faith because he faithfully obeyed his Father and offered up a sinless sacrifice for sin. Our Lord demonstrated that he was competent and qualified to be our Savior because he trusted in his Father from beginning to end, even when he suffered horribly at the hands of sinful men.>