Hebrews 5:1, 2
An angelic priest for men would be out of place. Men need forbearance and sympathy, hence the priests of old were men of like passions with the people. This also is true of our Lord Jesus, who is most certainly and really a human being like the rest of mankind in all things except sin—that stain never defiled his holy nature.
This refers to the typical high priest, but our Lord had no sin of his own; he bore our sin, but in him is no sin.
He was no unauthorised priest, self-appointed and unordained. What he does has the Father’s decree to back it. “It pleased the Father to bruise him,” and “it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell.” What solid ground we have for depending upon Jesus, the elect messenger of God, the ordained surety of the everlasting covenant!
The cup was not removed, but he was strengthened to drink it. If the Lord does not answer his people one way he does another. Jesus understands our feelings in prayer even when we cannot express them except by strong crying and tears. Experience has made him the ready interpreter of anguished hearts.
A perfected Saviour presents all believers with a perfect and everlasting salvation. He was always perfect in character, but his sorrowful life below gave him a complete qualification for the office of Saviour, which nothing else could have obtained. Who would not obey a Master who has undergone all kinds of sorrow that he may be able to sympathise with his servants? Who would not possess a salvation won for us by such condescending love.?
Here the apostle rises to a great height, and then suddenly pauses, remembering how unsuitable men’s minds often are for the reception of mysterious truth.
Of whom namely, Melchisedec
Too often we learn and unlearn. Our progress is slow, and we remain babes when we ought to be full grown men in Christ. We draw upon the church’s strength when we ought to be contributing to it.
Hebrews 5:13, 14
We should desire not only to be saved, and to know the elementary truths, but to be advanced scholars in Christ’s school, so as to handle the deeper doctrines, and teach them to others. Good Master, have patience with thy servants, and teach us still!
It is my sweetest comfort, Lord,
And will for ever be,
To muse upon the gracious truth
Of thy humanity.
Oh joy! there sitteth in our flesh,
Upon a throne of light,
One of a human mother born,
In perfect Godhead bright!