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In The Day of His Flesh - Hebrew 5:7-8 Interpretation

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Learning is a process that takes time over a longer period of time, and this obviously also applies to the Son of man. Golgotha is the final climax for Jesus, the most painful part of his learning. Job also suffered. He suffered even before his story told us. This becomes clear in the words of Satan when he says: "Skin for skin." The expression "skin for skin" indicates that Job had been willing to give his last shirt. How else is it to understand that Satan says "skin for skin"? In Job's life there must have been situations where he was willing to give everything, including his clothes, even at the risk of freezing because he was naked. The adversary of Job had also seen this.
Satan's appearances before God never promise good. After the audience it really gets down to business. And so Job suffered much: from God's side, through Satan, from his wife, and also from his friends. Satan speculated: "Skin for skin, yes, all that man has, he gives for his life." But when God stretches out his hand and touches his bones and flesh, Job will surely openly renounce God. And indeed Job had many personal difficulties in his suffering, with himself, with his wife, with his friends and also with God. But in the end, with the help of Elihu, he emerges as a renewed Job, who from that time on has a deeper relationship with God. Jesus also gave everything, even his life. Unlike Job, not for himself, but everything for us.

Learning obedience in the days of the flesh

Who in the days of his flesh,
when he had offered up prayers
and supplications with strong
crying and tears unto him that
was able to save him from death,
and was heard in that he feard;
Though he were Son, yet learned
he obedience by the things which
he suffered.

Before we deal with the term from Hebrews 5:7 and 8, we would like to start with a verse from Jeremiah. The reader should be attuned to what God is doing and how he is doing it, especially today. "Behold, I appoint thee this day over the nations and over kingdoms to destroy and to destroy and to destroy and to break off, to build and to plant."

When God speaks of building, he speaks of his house. When God speaks of planting, then it is, among other things, a new protective wall in the sense of a hedge carrying thorns. But before God builds and plants, he must exterminate, tear down, destroy and break down the old. And what is to be exterminated, torn down, destroyed and broken off? We think these are the wrong ideas and teachings that explain the building of the house to us and the selfsunned hedges of thorns that were built to hide behind it. God eradicates all this and tears it down and destroys it. Even what the old brothers put on paper is torn apart. The fire is already lit for wood, hay and straw.

This script, too, is quite suitable for overturning old teachings, just as the crew of the Acts of the Apostles did of necessity. More details can be found in the script / book: The Torah of the Messiah.
Now to our topic: In the days of his flesh ... obedience learned. The decisive question here is: What days does Paul allude to?

If the word day, Greek: Hemera - ημερα - is in the plural, then it cannot possibly be just the one, the day in the Garden of Gethsemane. The days of his flesh must have been more, even more than a week. The days of his flesh describe a period of time, and which one is to be examined now.

The word "suffered" is in Greek pascho and is used 41 times in the New Testament, nine times in the Gospels for Jesus' suffering. It describes a sensation, a pressure or the effect caused by things that invade man.  Let us look at a text from Luke. Why this gospel? As a physician Luke describes the Lord as man and he understood a lot about man. We can also express and say this as follows: A physician paints the Son of God before our eyes in the days of his flesh. The verse that we now want to examine more closely can be found in Luke 9, verse 22:

1. and (Jesus) said: The Son of Man must
2. suffer a lot
3. and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes,
4. and be killed
5. and awakened.

Here we use Greek grammar to indicate the times when the Lord suffered. The verse is quoted from the King James and is printed in bold.

The Son of Man
  1. must - Greek δεῖ -dei-; the word is in the present, i.e. present. The Lord expresses that he already suffers during the time of speaking. What he suffers is not told to us at this point.
  2. a lot- Greek. πολύς -polus-, stands here in the plural and means in the singular "in every respect" and in the plural: often, mostly, mostly.
  3. suffer - πάσχω -pascho-; the word stands in the aorist, a past form; it describes an experienced sensation and/or effect or pressure. Jesus' suffering was constantly repeated. Because the Lord with the word "must" also points to the present, he suffered not only in the past, but also at the time of his speaking. The word "suffering" does not stand here, as one would expect, in the passive form, but in the active form.
  4. and rejected - Greek Ἀποδοκιμάζω -apodokimazo- stands in the aorist, a past form, i.e., the anointed one was already rejected before the time of speaking and works up to the present. The expression "rejected" is in the passive form, because it is rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes,
  5. and be killed - Greek. getötet -apokteino- for "kill", stands here in the aorist, past tense and passive. Now the question arises: Why does the writer use the past form? I try to give an answer and hope to be understandable. Let us listen to what Jesus once said: You have heard that it is said: You shall not commit adultery. But I tell you that everyone who looks at a woman to desire her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. The Lord is speaking here about the seventh commandment. We can now take the sixth commandment by analogy and say: "You have heard that it is said: You shall not kill. But I say to you that anyone who looks darkly at a man to kill him has already committed the murder. Even if the deeds have not yet been committed, they have long been guilty before God, for in the heart of the murderer the killing has already been completed and in the heart of the adulterer adultery has already been committed.
  6. and after three days
  7. rise again. Greek: egeiro; the word stands in the aorist and in the passive. Luk 9,22 Why in the passive form? Because the evangelist Luke describes the Lord as the son of man. Raising of the dead is not possible for a human being, only God can do that.

That is why it sounds different with John, because in his gospel Jesus is revealed as the Son of God (and at the same time the Father). As God, he has always possessed life itself. Joh.10,18: Nobody takes (present, active) it from me, but I leave (present, active) it from myself. I have (present active) power to leave it (aorist, active), and have (present active) power to take it again (aorist, active). I received this commandment from my father (aorist, active).

The aorist can also be used to emphasize that something that happens in the future will definitely happen. Note to the word "receive" from Joh.10,18: If the verb lambano is in active, it must mean "take" and not "receive". Lambano is translated with the word "receive" only if the word is in the passive, in this verse the word ελαβον is in the active and must therefore be translated with "take". Jesus had already taken the commandment from the Father at the time of speaking, therefore in the Aorist. Let us look at the word lambano -λαμβανω- when it is used in the passive. Matthew 7:8: For everyone who asks receives (lambanei - λαμβανει).

If we want to express the suffering in a few words, we can say: Jesus had already suffered at the time of speaking. With every spoken word he felt the pressure increase, the tension increase with every announcement of suffering. Isn't this a deeply human experience? We, too, know pressure and tension from special events. Tensions before and during job interviews, before examinations, before publication of assessment marks or examination results, and much more. The closer such appointments come, the greater the pressure we feel. How great will the pressure of suffering be for our Lord? It is said that Jesus went to Jerusalem with a petrified face. There was no other way to endure it than to go into the cave of the lion and endure the martyrdom on the cross.

In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered with strong crying and tears. Where do we find moments when the Lord cried and wept? Let's look at the scene in the Garden of Gethsemane. The Lord takes three disciples especially and instructs them to watch with Him. Then he goes a little further alone. How far? The report says: a little, a stone's throw away. Jesus has moved a little away from the three? We are sure that Jesus remained within earshot. Now we also know that it was already night. No chirping of birds, no noisy crowd, there was silence in the garden at night. Jesus had now gone a little further, knelt down and prayed.

The disciples were different, they became tired. And why do they become sleepy? Well, the day was exhausting, the night came and night rest came, and so the atmosphere was transferred to the disciples. But Jesus prayed. Let us now imagine that Jesus had cried out into the silence of the night. His yelling and crying would never have left those around him unimpressed, rather the opposite. The disciples would have been alarmed by Jesus' crying, awakened and startled. Immediately they would run to their Lord. But none of this is reported to us. Every time Jesus rose from his prayer and returned to his disciples, he found them asleep.

Jesus did not scream and cry in Gethsemane?

Where do we find Jesus yelling and crying? Paul says in Hebrews 5:11: "We have much to say about him, and what is difficult to interpret in words, because you have become lazy in hearing." What does Paul reproach the readers for? He would have much to say, but because the recipients have become lazy, he needed many words for his explanations. In spite of many words, the recipients of the letter would still not have really understood him at the end of his explanations. There we see what inertia does. We can only get out of this sloth if we study his word, which Jesus describes to us in countless ways.

And where do we now find in Scripture the strong crying and tears that Jesus offered? There is only one passage: Psalm 142:2: "With my voice I cry unto Yahweh, with my voice I beseech Yahweh." Where was the prayer spoken? Verse 1 tells us the place, David, the scribe of the psalm, was in a cave. The Hebrew word used here for Cave is M'arah - מערה - and describes the place as a dark space. Everything around him was - עור: dark. The word root reveals another detail to us. The word Ur in Hebrew means to "be naked". Does the reader understand the following conclusions? Jesus was in the realm of the dead when he offered his strong cry and tears.

Each one of us would be outraged to hear or read that a righteous man is in prison. But it is true that Jesus sat in the prison of the realm of the dead, verse 8: "Bring out my soul from the prison, that I may praise your name!"

Now one could object and say, "It is said in the days of his flesh and not in the days of his death."

Let us take a closer look at what happened on Golgotha and the subsequent burial of Jesus. In the Gospel of Mark we are told details that we find in the Book of Samuel. Mark quotes the captain: "Truly this man was the Son of God." Then the evangelist enumerates further persons who saw the whole event: "Not a few women, among them Mary Magdalene, a certain Mary, Salome and many others." We find the parallel in 1 Samuel 22, verse 2: And every afflicted person gathered unto him, and every one that had a creditor, and every one that was bitter of heart, and he became their chief, and there were with him about four hundred men.  One thing is certain, the people who came to David were able to get rid of their tribulations, their debts, and their bitter minds at the cave of Adullam. Adullam points directly to the beginning of a new epoch, for Adullam means: justice of the people.

Where do we find the justice of the people in the New Testament? In the name of Laodicea, because her name means: People' s justice.

Jesus was placed in the rock tomb of Arimathia. Pilate later gave the high priest and the Pharisees a guard to seal the tomb. After three days the incredible happens: Jesus rises from the dead. The tomb is open, the cloths that covered the naked body and the sweat cloth remain in the tomb. Jesus was heard and raised by God. Then the last verse from Psalm 142 is fulfilled: "Lead out of prison my soul, that I may praise your name! The righteous will surround me when you have done me well." God did him good and raised him from the dead, and so on the evening of his resurrection day Jesus suddenly stands in the midst of his disciples.

Verse 11 begins with the words: of whom  ... Who is "whom"? In the following part of the sentence it becomes clearer, it literally means: much Logos. If we now translate meaningfully, then Paul wants to express: We have many logos of this Jesus. And of this Logos John says: And the Logos became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory. Paul introduces the high priest, describes the "better".

John also describes the high priest. Chapters 1-12 form the forecourt. Chapters 13 to 16 depict the sanctuary. In chapter 17 we see Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, not alone, but with the eleven disciples.
Now briefly our approach to answer the last question in a well-founded way.

How everything began, Luke 2:51: And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and he was subject to them. And his mother kept all these words in her heart.

What had happened before? Joseph and Mary were on their way home. After a day's journey far from Jerusalem, they sought Jesus their son, but they could not find him. Now they became nervous and continued to search excitedly. Since they could not find him among their travel companions either, they returned to Jerusalem as quickly as possible and full of anxiety. When they finally arrived there, they continued to search for him. Every father and mother can put themselves in the position of their parents. You cannot rest until you have found your child.

And so Joseph and Mary will not have had quiet nights. Their forced second stay in Jerusalem will have been filled with much searching and asking. Night and day, her head was racked with the anxious question: Where is our Jesus, is he still alive? After a total of four long days and nights they find him sitting cheerfully in the temple. Their astonishment, literally: "beaten with astonishment", expresses the tension that builds up in the parents and suddenly discharges at the sight of their son, especially at the mother. All her feelings of pain and agony around the lost son are now pouring over him with emotion-laden force: "Child, why have you done us so?" The mother's reproach sounds almost as if Jesus had deliberately wanted to annoy the parents. You know them, the adolescents, with their lunacy heads. They have not yet grown up and already they want to follow their own ideas and conceptions freely and independently in order to realize their own plans.

Do you also know such feelings, those that arise when your father or mother accuse you of only wanting to annoy them with your behaviour? How many parents have been angry about the motives of their children's actions and done them wrong? Here the 12-year-old Jesus suffers the injustice and has to put up with the accusation. To be honest, weren't the parents who left Jerusalem without the boy? Had they not had to ask one or the other before leaving: Have you seen Jesus? Perhaps an uncle, brother-in-law, or comrade of the son could have given information about his whereabouts. Perhaps someone would have answered: I saw Jesus walking toward the Temple Mount. Without much worry the parents would then have gone to the temple again and experienced their son among the scholars, could have heard how their 12-year-old offspring converses with the scribes and elders and that at the highest level. Then they would have experienced three more wonderful days with him and got to know their precocious son properly and would certainly never have spoken to him as a child again.

But as we know, everything was completely different. The parents and their question are now in the room. How does Jesus react? Gently and tenderly and with a question typical for this age: What is it that you have been looking for me? In simpler English his question is something like this: "What, you were looking for me?" he asks in astonishment. The boy obviously knew nothing about her departure. And because Jesus, it is to be assumed, was already living with friends during the feast, the son did not notice that he was already alone and without his parents in Jerusalem.

The father and mother react with incomprehension to the answer formulated as a counter-question, and so Jesus adds a second question: "Did you not know that I must be in what my Father is?" Did you not know? The 12-year-old is amazed. Could Joseph and Mary have known it? Yes, they even should have known. The angel said to Mary: "This one will be great and will be called Son of the Most High." Luke 1:32. Jesus, the Son of the Most High, wanted to be in his Father's house. Also Joseph had been informed early, but an angel also came to him and said: "Joseph, what is begotten in Mary is of the Holy Spirit. And you shall call his name Jesus, for he will deliver his people from their sins." How do father and mother react to the second question? In the next verse we learn: "And they did not understand the word that he spoke to them", and so a certain speechlessness comes to the parents. After this scene, we are told, they leave, but this time all three of them; and so the family returns to Nazareth.

At the end of this episode it is said about Jesus: "And he was subject to them", the parents. When Jesus, already at the age of 12, longed to be in the "house of his Father", we get an idea of how intimate and deep his relationship with the Father in heaven was. Nevertheless, he is willing to submit to the earthly parents and follows them without murmuring. To subordinate oneself to the Father and Mother means at the same time to honor the heavenly Father. God Himself has commanded obedience to the parents. And so we find that Jesus suffered and learned obedience in the early days of his flesh.

The story ends with a hope for the mother: "but Mary preserved all these words and pondered them in her heart." Although Mary had not understood any of this, she began to bring things together somehow. The word "contemplated" can also be translated as: to connect, to connect, to lead an inner dialogue. We may assume that at some point Mary understood this episode for herself.  And if we do not understand anything or only a little, we can learn from Mary. Let us do it as she did. We should look at all his words in our hearts and consider bringing them together in the right way in order to understand his word. In this way we get to know our Lord better and get a clearer picture of Him.

The phrase "In the days of his flesh" must be understood for the entire lifetime of Jesus. If it were different, the phrase should also be different: And in the last days of his flesh. Jesus had the work before his eyes all his life. This becomes clear when we read that he informed his disciples three times before Golgotha about the special sufferings that would end with death. It is inconceivable that Jesus was not in prayer with his Father about this during this time. And the closer the day came, the more the Lord will have been in prayer about his final end in Gethsemane.

The word "must" is in the present tense and indicates that the Lord also suffered during his speech. The word also indicates that it was imperative to suffer, it was a must.

The word "many" indicates that Jesus suffered most of his time. This is what Isaiah says: He was despised - contempt is considered the most complete rejection of a person. It works comprehensively on the spirit. Soul and body. Mental as well as physical pain is the result. He was familiar with suffering - to be familiar with something means to have a daily contact with the thing. Already during his youth Jesus learned about suffering.

For true, he bore our sufferings and loaded our pains upon himself. Where and when did Jesus bear the suffering and the pain? That was not on Golgotha, but where? We can find it in the Gospel of Matthew. Many possessed and sick people were brought to Jesus. Matthew comments on the scene and writes: that what was said by the prophet Isaiah would be fulfilled: "He himself took (in the sense of loading upon himself) our weaknesses and carried our diseases.

Jesus did not suffer little, but in the days of his flesh he suffered extraordinarily much. He also suffered excessively because they brought sick and possessed people to him again and again. And he willingly took upon himself many other sufferings. At the end of his work, as the scribe of the Epistle to the Hebrews states, Jesus was completed because of his fine character. And so we gladly listen to the one who showed us obedience. Obeying is a lifelong exercise for both children and adults.

What the Lord suffered was not done to him; Jesus himself was the active doer. Look again at the word "suffering.

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