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Daily Devotional • May 20

Melissa McKinney
Learning Obedience
A Reading from Hebrews 5:7-14

7 In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8 Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered, 9 and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, 10 having been designated by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

11 About this we have much to say that is hard to explain, since you have become sluggish in hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic elements of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is unskilled in the word of righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those whose faculties have been trained by practice to distinguish good from evil.

Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him.

I’m quite content with the fact that our ascension-themed week is ending with our passage from Hebrews 5:7-14. Sunday we opened up the ideas of the social mores of the household of God based on the truths which hold it together. Monday we discussed the paradoxical nature of the household of God, that humble descent precedes glorious ascent. Tuesday we talked about how being lifted up in pride is direct resistance to the ways of God. Wednesday we reflected on the resurrection power to heal and save by the one who ascended to the right hand of the Father. Thursday we reviewed the implications for humanity as those who believe in Jesus are raised through Jesus’ ascension. Yesterday, we talked of the ascended Lord’s familiarity with the frailty and temptations of humanity. 

We’ve surely covered a lot of ground; however, we end this week on a very practical note: the fact that this ascended Lord “learned obedience through what he suffered.” That phrase is very comforting to me. The process of my sanctification and glorification will involve the messiness of learning. Christ himself had to learn it as well. The household of God is full of these obedience-learners just like me, and like Christ, who, in his perfection, ascended to the right hand of the Father and raised us up with him. And now we have him as our source and his Holy Spirit dwelling in us to empower our obedience.

Prayerfully consider: What new depths of grace are available to you in the knowledge that even Christ “learned obedience?”

Melissa Amber McKinney is a Pittsburgh native, a writer, and an M.Div. student at Trinity School for Ministry. She works as an afterschool nanny and the music leader at Mosaic Anglican Church in Imperial, Pennsylvania. 

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Today we pray for:

Te Pihopatanga o Tairawhiti – The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia
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