Was Jesus perfect from birth or was He made perfect through His earthly life?

Hello Seeking Sister,

Hebrews 5:8,9 states, “Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him. (NIV)”

At first this made me think that Jesus wasn’t perfect from birth.  That He became perfect through learned obedience during suffering (e.g. “once made perfect”).  Did this mean that after being perfected He was then the source of our eternal salvation?

After deeper thinking, I realized even a sinless (perfect) Christ couldn’t have been crucified within the first few years of His earthly life – what He did on the cross for us would have been worth so much less.

Jesus came and He lived a very, real human life. He endured what we endure, but did it in a holy, God pleasing manner.   To say He wasn’t perfect from the beginning would be erroneous.  Further reflection makes me realize the author was conveying that Christ being “made perfect” was simply another way of stating that Christ was proving Himself the only sacrifice that would be accepted by God.

propitiationThis was my aha moment!  I’ve recently learned about propitiation.   Propitiation simply means “the removal of wrath by the offering of a gift”.

Christ, God’s only begotten son, learned obedience from what He suffered and became the perfect (and only acceptable) payment for our sin that satisfied God’s holy wrath.

I’ve just finalized my study of The Cross by John Stott and the spiritual growth I’ve been blessed with has been life changing.

Are you familiar with any of Stott’s work?  This is my second study of his and he exceeded my expectations.

In His Grip – always and in all ways!

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