The Obedience of the Son


“And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:” (Philippians 5:8-9)

“Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;” (Hebrews 5:8-9)

1.      In these two verses Jesus is seen as having humbled Himself.  He emptied Himself of His divinity, and then He humbled Himself in His humanity.  By the time Jesus came to earth He had emptied Himself of all of His glory power, status, and form of His divinity that no one then living, other than by revelation, knew Him nor acknowledged Him as the Son of God.


2.      As Son He willingly submitted to the Father’s authority and declared,

”Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.”  (John 14:28)

This is why God said of His Son

”And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”  (Matthew 3:17)

Jesus never did anything of His own, He was totally dependent on His Father.


3.       For us to be obedient it should be simple, because all we need is but a little humility.  For Christ to be obedient, however, is was not such simple a matter.  He had to empty Himself of His glory.  Jesus was the emptiest man in the world, this is why His Father was always filling Him.


4.       Jesus had to empty Himself and become obedient to the Father.   He did this before the world was made.

”And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”  (Revelation 13:8)

Before the world was made Jesus was obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross, to the Father.


5.       When Jesus came to the world He forsook or took off His authority and put on obedience.  He willingly took the place of a slave, accepting the human limitations and restrictions of human life.  Hence, obedience was initiated by the Son of God.


6.       Since Jesus was obedient unto death, suffering a most painful and shameful death on the cross, God highly exalted Him.  Jesus was exalted and given a name above all names because He humbled Himself and BECAME obedient, not because He was God’s Son.


7.       God always exalts whoever humbles himself, this is a divine spiritual principle.  Humility and exaltation walk hand-in-hand.

”Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”  (James 4:10)

The words  “shall lift you up” is translated in the Greek as “exaltation.”


8.       To be filled with Christ is to be filed with obedience.  Since authority and obedience have been instituted by God it is natural for those who know God, obey.  But those who know not God know neither authority and obedience.


9.       Christ is the principle of obedience.  Hence a person who is filled with Christ must be one who is also filled with obedience.  If one is filled with obedience they can then give it away.  A man can not give what he does not have.  If we have never received salvation then we can never “truly” be obedient.


10.      The writer of Hebrews stated Christ “learned obedience by the things  He suffered.”  Suffering called forth obedience from the Lord.  Please note that Jesus did not bring obedience to the earth.  He learned it and He did so through suffering.


11.     When we meet suffering we then learn obedience.  Such obedience is real.  However, our usefulness is not determined by whether or not we have suffered, but by how much obedience we have learned through the suffering.  Its like, it does not matter what we do for God, but how we do it.  Do we do it for the right reason, with the right intention and motive, and in the right heart condition.


12.     The obedient one alone is useful to God.  As long as our heart is not softened, suffering will not leave us.  Because of this many today suffer in vain.  Our way lies in many sufferings; the easy-goers and pleasure-lovers are useless before God.


13.      Our salvation makes us obedient as well as joyous.  If we seek only joy, our spiritual possession will not be rich; but those who are obedient will experience the abundance of salvation.  Let us not change the nature of salvation.  Let us obey,  “being made perfect, (mature) he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

Eternal life is for only those who are obedient to God.


14.       God saves us that we may obey His will, not go to Heaven.  If we have met God’s authority we shall “discover” obedience to be easy and God’s will to be simple, because Jesus Himself was always obedient and has given this life, through His death, of obedience to us.