Hebrews: Made Perfect Through Suffering (2:10-13)

In the previous verses the pastor has expressed how God crowned Jesus with glory and honor because he suffered death for everyone. He continues here with the suffering of Christ, expressing how he was made perfect though his suffering.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Bringing Sons and Daughters to Glory

In bringing many sons and daughters to glory,

Hebrews 2:10a NIV

In the previous verse Jesus is said to have tasted death for everyone. But the scope changes here to those that God is bringing to glory. Christ tasted death for everyone in the world. But not everyone is brought to glory. Christ’s atoning work on the cross was for everyone. But it is only applied to those who come to him in faith.

This passage is reminiscent of John 17:22. Jesus had given his disciples of his glory so that they might be one as he and the Father are one. This bringing to glory, or sharing in Christ’s glory, has a unifying effect. And that really goes along with what is to come in the following verses concerning our family relationships.

God as Creator

it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists,

Hebrews 2:10b NIV

Throughout this early part of Hebrews the focus is on God the Father as the prime mover. It is his Son that he exalts. And here, it is God who brings people to glory. The pastor also affirms that God is the creator. That everything that exists is by his act and for his purpose.

And that includes me. I was created by God. Not to do whatever I wanted. But for God’s purposes. He made me for himself. And not just me, but all other people. as well. And even this huckleberry bush that is in front of me as I write this. Even it was created for his purpose.

Perfected Through Suffering

should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered.

Hebrews 2:10c NIV

God is still the actor here. And the Son is the one being acted on. Jesus is here identified as the pioneer of our salvation. The salvation of those being brought to glory.

The word translated here as pioneer is archēgos, which means  author, originator, founder. Jesus is the author or originator of our salvation. He is the one through whom our salvation comes.

And God made him perfect through what he suffered. This is a challenging expression since we understand Jesus to be eternally perfect. But the word translated here as perfect is not what we would normally think of as being flawless. It is teleioō, to perfect, complete, finish; to reach a goal, be fulfilled, completed, made perfect.

In order for Jesus to be the author of our salvation, he had to suffer death on the cross. And having done so, he was perfected, or completed, as our savior. Without having gone to the cross he would not have been able to be our savior.

This also says something about the immutability of God. God never changes in his person and character. But there was a necessary change in the Son to first become incarnate, and then to be perfected as a savior of humanity.

A Holy Family

 Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family.

Hebrews 2:11 NIV

Who is it that makes people holy? You could make an argument here for both the Father and the Son. It is the Father who is the creator and prime mover in all that goes on. But it is the Son, who by his death on the cross, as the author of our salvation, makes that holiness possible. And, because of that, I believe that this passage is referring to Jesus as the one who makes others holy.

Jesus is holy. It is an eternal part of his nature. But we humans are not holy by nature. In fact, we are far from being holy. And there is nothing we can do to make ourselves holy. But, the one who is holy, is able to make holy those who were not.

So, who is being made holy? The ones being made holy are the same as those who are being brought to glory in verse 10. The ones who have believed in the Lord Jesus and who are walking with him. We are made holy, or set apart, when we come to faith. But we continue to be made holy as we walk faithfully with him. This is the process of sanctification.

And we are one family. Both Jesus and the redeemed. We have been adopted into the family of God. Being of the same family implies a special relationship with Christ. We are not outsiders looking in through the windows at the riches of God. We are on the inside, enjoying the blessings of being children of God.

Brothers and Sisters of Jesus

So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. He says,
“I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters;
in the assembly I will sing your praises.”
And again,
“I will put my trust in him.”
And again he says,
“Here am I, and the children God has given me.”

Hebrews 2:12-13 NIV

The author of Hebrews now quotes from a couple of Old Testament passages to demonstrate the family relationship he is arguing for. The first of these is from Psalm 22:22, a psalm that appears to foretell the crucifixion of Jesus and his suffering. This would be a especially appropriate passage for this discussing of the suffering of Jesus.

The second, and third, quote in this passage comes from Isaiah 8:17-18. These words from Isaiah appear to be autobiographical. But the pastor here sees them as referring to Jesus as well.

Jesus is not ashamed to claim us as his family. I think this is more than just not being embarrassed because of us. Instead, I believe that it indicates that he acts as our advocate before the Father, claiming us as his adopted brothers and sisters. It also means that he will take care of us, providing us with what we need to grow in our walk with, and service to, him.

Hebrews Study Post List

The views expressed here are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person, group, or organization. While I believe they reflect the teachings of the Bible, I am a fallible human and subject to misunderstanding. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions about this post in the comments section below. I am always interested in your feedback.

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