Hebrews Chapter 5 Continued
Hebrews 5:7 “Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;”
“He”: The subsequent context makes it clear that this refers back to Christ, the main subject (in verse 5). In Gethsemane, Jesus agonized and wept, but committed Himself to do the Father’s will in accepting the cup of suffering which would bring His death (Matt. 26:38-46; Luke 22:44-45).
Anticipating bearing the burden of judgment for sin, Jesus felt its fullest pain and grief (Isaiah 52:14; 53:3-5, 10). Though He bore the penalty in silence and did not seek to deliver Himself from it (Isa. 53:7), He did cry out from the agony of the fury of God’s wrath poured on His perfectly holy and obedient person (Matt. 27:46; 2 Cor. 5:21). Jesus asked to be saved from remaining in death, i.e., to be resurrected (Psalm 16:9-10).
This is speaking of Jesus, who took on the form of flesh for His stay here on the earth. It was necessary that He be in the flesh of man, that He could be our substitute on the cross. The flesh of Jesus was from His mother Mary, and was normal flesh as you and I have. The Spirit within the flesh was the Spirit of God.
The Holy Spirit had hovered over Mary (who was a virgin), and she conceived of the Holy Spirit of God. This Scripture above is speaking of the time when Jesus went to the garden of Gethsemane with Peter, James, and John and prayed to His Father to let the cup pass from Him.
Gethsemane means an oil press. The garden is full of olive trees. This press is used to make olive oil. Olive oil is symbolic of the Holy Spirit. I believe that Jesus’ Spirit was strong and ready to face this horrible death of the cross, but His body (flesh), was weak, and He came to the garden to pray to strengthen His body for this suffering.
Let us read a few Scriptures pertaining to this and see if that might be the case.
Matthew 26:39-42 “And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou [wilt].” “And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?” “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed [is] willing, but the flesh [is] weak.” “He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.”
We see from this, that the flesh of Jesus was not looking forward to this death. Here are two more Scriptures where Jesus accepts God’s will in this.
John 12:27-28 “Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.” “Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, [saying], I have both glorified [it], and will glorify [it] again.”
Hebrews 5:8 “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;”
“Learned obedience”: Christ did not need to suffer in order to conquer or correct any disobedience In His deity (as the Son of God), He understood obedience completely. As the incarnate Lord, He humbled Himself to learn (Luke 2:52). He learned obedience for the same reasons He bore temptation: to confirm His humanity and experience its sufferings to the fullest.
Christ’s obedience was also necessary so that He could fulfill all righteousness (Matt. 3:15). And thus prove to be the perfect sacrifice to take the place of sinners (1 Pet. 3:18). He was the perfectly righteous One, who righteousness would be imputed to sinners (Rom 3:24-26).
We are told that it is better to obey than to sacrifice in (1 Samuel 15:22):
“And Samuel said, Hath the LORD [as great] delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey [is] better than sacrifice, [and] to hearken than the fat of rams.”
Jesus told Paul that He would show him what great things he must suffer. We also must face suffering if it comes, and be victorious over it, if we are to reign with Jesus Christ. He is our Leader, and if He suffered, we may have to also.
2 Timothy 2:12 “If we suffer, we shall also reign with [him]: if we deny [him], he also will deny us:”
We are taught that tribulation comes to bring patience.
Romans 5:3 “And not only [so], but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;”
Hebrews 5:9 “And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;”
“Perfect … author of eternal salvation”: Because of the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ and His perfect sacrifice for sin, He became the cause of salvation.
“Obey him”: True salvation evidences itself in obedience to Christ, from the initial obedience to the gospel command to repent and believe (Acts 5:32; Rom. 1:5; 2 Thess. 1:8; 1 Pet. 1:2, 22; 4:17), to a life pattern of obedience to the Word (Rom. 6:16).
We know that Jesus is the only one who ever lived on this earth completely free from sin. He took our sin on His own body that we might take on His righteousness. He is our Salvation.
Acts 4:12 “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
Just the name Jesus means Savior. He is the only way to heaven. (Romans 10:9 tells us), if we believe in our heart and confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus, we shall be saved. One more Scripture that says it all is (1 John):
1 John 5:20 “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, [even] in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.”
Hebrews 5:10 “Called of God a high priest after the order of Melchizedec.”
Referring to (Psalm 110:4 a second time; verse 6), the writer mentions again the call of God to the priesthood (verse 4).
Melchizedec here and Melchisedec in the Old Testament is the same name. They are spelled differently because they were originally written in different languages. This Melchisedec has been a controversy for thousands of years. In the next few chapters here we will go into detail about this.
He appeared only one recorded time. His appearance was to the father of the believers [Abraham]. If we are the spiritual children of Abraham through faith, then we must believe the same thing he does.
He believed that Melchizedek was divinely appointed High Priest, because he paid tithes to him. He was not of the Levitical tribe, because the Scriptures say he had no father or mother. He was a High Priest forever. Melchizedek fed the same elements to Abraham that Jesus fed the disciples [bread and wine].
The most interesting thing of all to me is that he appeared to Abraham about 2000 years after the birth of Adam. Jesus Christ appeared as the Babe in a manger about 2000 years after this happening and He (Jesus), will appear again about 2000 years after this babe’s birth as King of kings and Lord of lords.
Verses 11-14: The third warning passage of Hebrews (5:11-6:20), does not involve insecurity of salvation as many suppose, but immaturity (see 6:4-6). The author wishes to continue discussing Melchizedek but must wait until (chapter 7), because his readers are “dull of hearing”.
This adjective (Greek nothroi), which is use elsewhere in the New Testament only at (Hebrews 6:12), is there translated “slothful.” The warning of this passage is that what is now described as lazy hearing can result in an entire life of sluggishness (6:12).
Hebrews 5:11 “Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.”
“Of whom”: An alternate translation would be “of which” (meaning the relationship of Christ’s High-priesthood to that of Melchizedek). Logically and stylistically (verse 11), appears to introduce the entire section from (5:11 – 6:12). The same Greek verb “become” forms brackets around the section: “become dull” (verse 11), and “be sluggish” (6:12).
“Dull”: The Hebrew’s spiritual lethargy and slow response to gospel teaching prevented additional teaching at this time. This is a reminder that failure to appropriate the truth of the gospel produces stagnation in spiritual advancement and the inability to understand or assimilate additional teaching (John 16:12).
Such a situation exists also among the Gentiles who have received revelatory truth (natural or general revelation), from God in the creation (Rom. 1:18-20).
Rejection of that revelation results in a process of hardening (Rom. 1:21-32). The Hebrews had not only received the same general revelation, they had also received special revelation consisting of the Old Testament Scriptures (Rom 9:4), the Messiah Himself (Rom (9:5), and the teaching of the apostles (2:3-4).
Until the Hebrews obeyed the revelation they had received and obtained eternal salvation (verse 8), additional teaching about the Messiah’s Melchizedekan priesthood would be of no profit to them.
Jesus had said before, Seeing they will not see and hearing they will not hear. This seems so strange, but God does not want to win them to Him through their great intelligence, He wants them to believe in their heart. Even the disciples did not understand the meaning of the parables that Jesus spoke in, until Jesus explained them.
Remember this letter is written to the Hebrews. To understand the things of God, the Holy Spirit must reveal the meaning. Unless they could see it with their eyes, they would not believe. If you can see something, it takes no faith to believe. Faith is the opposite of fact.
Matthew 13:15 “For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and [their] ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with [their] eyes and hear with [their] ears, and should understand with [their] heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.”
Verses 12-13 “Milk”. Knowledge without obedience does not advance a person. In fact, by rejecting saving faith, the Hebrews were regressing in their understanding concerning the Messiah. They had long enough been exposed to the gospel to be teaching it to others, but were babies, too infantile and unskilled to comprehend, let alone teach, the truth of God.
Hebrews 5:12 “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which [be] the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.”
“Teachers”: Every believer is to be a teacher (Col. 3:16; 1 Pet. 3:15; Deut. 6:7; 2 Tim. 3:15). If these Hebrews had really obeyed the gospel of Christ, they would have been passing that message on to others. The Jews were instructed in the law and prided themselves because they taught the law, but they had not really understood or appropriated its truths to themselves.
“Oracles”: These are contained in the Old Testament Scripture, which had laid the foundation for the gospel and had been committed into the care of the Hebrews (Rom 3:1-2). The ABC’s of the law tutored the Hebrews in order to lead them to faith in the Messiah (Gal. 3:23-24). They had also heard the New Testament gospel (2:2-4; 1 Pet. 4:11).
The Hebrews had the Old Testament to guide them, but they did not truly understand what they were saying, and they turned down the Lord of glory. I will give a few verses of Scripture in Paul’s words on this.
1 Corinthians 3:1-3 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, [even] as unto babes in Christ.” “I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able [to bear it], neither yet now are ye able.” “For ye are yet carnal: for whereas [there is] among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?”
Hebrews 5:13 “For every one that useth milk [is] unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.”
“Word of righteousness”: This is the message about the righteousness of Christ which we have by faith (Rom. 3:21-22; 1 Cor. 1:30; 2 Cor. 5:21; Phil. 3:9; Titus 3:5). The phrase is equivalent to the gospel of salvation by faith rather than works.
The secrets of life are in the Bible. That is the reason I am encouraging people to study the Bible. Notice these promptings from the Word.
1 Corinthians 14:20 “Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.”
2 Timothy 3:16 “All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”
Ephesians 4:14-15 “That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;” “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ:”
The only way that we will not be deceived is by reading our Bible every day, pray the Holy Spirit reveal it to you, and try every spirit by that Word of God.
Hebrews 5:14 “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, [even] those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
“Full age”: The same Greek root is also translated “maturity” (in 6:1), and is elsewhere translated “perfect” (7:11; 19:28; 9:9; 10:1, 14; 11:40; 12:23). It is used in Hebrews, including this text, as a synonym for salvation. In that sense, it refers to the completion which comes when one becomes a believer in Christ, rather than referring to a Christian who has become mature.
Jesus invited unbelieving Jews to the salvation perfection which came only through following Him in faith (Matt. 19:21). Paul wrote that those who had come to Christ by faith were thereby mature and able to receive the wisdom of God (1 Cor. 2:6).
Paul also declared that the apostles warned and taught everyone “that we may present every man complete in Christ Jesus” (Col. 1:28).
“Exercised”: The deeper, more “solid” truths about the priesthood of the Lord Jesus could only be given to those who knew Him as Savior. Athletic training and competition form the metaphor implied by this particular word (1 Tim. 4:7-8).
The person who has come to Christ for spiritual completion is then trained by the Word to discern truth from error and holy behavior from unholy (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
The more you read and study the Word, the stronger you will become. This is the hour of great deception. We must not be deceived.
Matthew 24:24 “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”
The only way to not be deceived is to stay in the Word of God.
1 John 4:1-3 “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” “Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:” “And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that [spirit] of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”
So many are trying to say that Jesus was no more than a man when He walked on the earth. Do not believe that. He was God with us (Immanuel). He was God the Word, who took on the flesh of man to save us from an eternity in hell. He paid our debt to God when He shed His blood that we might live.
Hebrews Chapter 5 Continued Questions
- Who is chapter 5:7 speaking of?
- Why was it necessary for Him to be in the flesh of man?
- Who did Mary conceive by?
- Who went up the mount of Gethsemane with Jesus?
- What is a Gethsemane?
- What is olive oil symbolic of?
- What request did Jesus make of the Father in prayer?
- The ______ is willing, but the _____ is weak.
- For what cause had they come to this hour?
- What did the Father answer back from heaven, when Jesus said Father glorify thy name?
- Jesus learned obedience through what?
- What is more important to God than sacrifices?
- In second Timothy chapter 2 verse 12, we find if we suffer, we shall do what?
- Tribulation comes to bring what?
- Jesus being perfect, He became the author of what to all who obey Him?
- Who is the only one who lived above sin?
- Jesus was a High Priest after the order of whom?
- Who is The King of Peace?
- How many years after Adam’s birth did Melchizedek appear?
- What did He feed Abraham?
- What did Abraham do, that recognized Melchizedek as The Divine High Priest?
- Who has to reveal the meaning of Scriptures to us?
- Faith is the opposite of what?
- They still need to feed on milk and not what?
- In first Corinthians, Paul says he is speaking not to spiritual people, but to whom?
- In Hebrews 5:13, they are called what?
- All Scripture is given for what?
- What are we to try every spirit with?
- Every spirit that denies that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is what?