This verse in Hebrews forces us to shake our heads in stark bewilderment. The idea that Jesus Christ needed any kind of “perfecting” flies in the face of all we know about His Deity. But verses like these—and there are many of them—give us perfect assurance of His Humanity, as well, an idea contested nearly as hotly as the former. As with other Biblical truths, any seeming contradiction is only evidence of our less than perfect understanding, or our less than honest bias. But after reading this verse, as well as 1 Peter 5:10, one thing is for certain:
The road to perfection is paved with the cobblestones of suffering.
As you are aware, I’m sure, suffering may have many faces; but the effect is always the same: pain. It may be physical, spiritual, or emotional, but only an unstable individual would find pleasure in it. Still, if ever the adage, “The end justifies the means,” was appropriate, it would be in this case. If you or I ever hope to move from imperfection toward perfection, we will have to acknowledge that it will never happen…short of suffering.
I walked a mile with Pleasure,
She chattered all the way;
But left me none the wiser,
For all she had to say.
I walked a mile with Sorrow,
And not a word said she;
But, oh, the things I learned from her,
When Sorrow walked with me!
- Robert Browning Hamilton