Jesus “Made Perfect”?- Hebrews 2:10

In our previous post, we examined the biblical concept of “perfection”. We saw that when the bible refers to anyone as “perfect”, it refers not to ontological but rather to teleological perfection. Something which is teleologically perfect is not something which is without flaw or defect (that’s ontological perfection), but is something which does what it is created or intended to do. When the bible refers to believers as being “made perfect”, it simply means we have been enabled to do what we are created and intended to do, to be the image and likeness of God, to love as God loves. This distinction between the two types of perfection also clears up another “issue” we find in the book of Hebrews. Hebrews 2:10 reads as follows: “In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering”. We will examine this verse more closely in order to see exactly what it is telling us and how it applies to the life of every believer. When we look back at verse 9, we find that Jesus was sent by God to “taste death for everyone”. In this we find the purpose of Jesus “mission” on planet earth, He came to die for us. It is, then, through this tasting of death that He was able to bring “many sons to glory”. What does he mean here by bringing many sons to “glory”? He gives us the answer in the subsequent phrase, “for whom and through whom everything exists”. What we find here, then, is that everything that exists does so for God’s glory, including human beings. We also find that everything that exists brings glory to God when it does what He created and intended for it to do, or, in other words, when it is teleologically perfect. In coming and dying for us, Jesus brought “many sons to glory”, or enabled them to be teleologically perfect, to be able to do what God created and intended them to do. Through the death of Jesus, human beings are enabled to be the image and likeness of God, to be all that God created us to be and do all that God intends for us to do. It is those who become “sons” (or children) of God through faith in Jesus Christ who can now live out their created purpose, who are enabled to be what they are created to be and do what they are intended to do. Having told us all of this, the writer then concludes this verse by telling us that Jesus (the one referred to here as the “author of our salvation”) was “made perfect through suffering”. The Greek word “made perfect” here is the aorist infinitive of teleioo, so what the writer is telling us here is that Jesus was made teleologically perfect, that Jesus did what He was intended to do, through the “suffering” of dying on a cross for our sins. It is not telling us that Jesus was made ontologically perfect, for, being fully God, He already was that. This verse refers to teleological perfection, and it tells us that Jesus came to earth with a purpose, and that purpose was to “suffer” for us, to die on a cross for our sins. It was through this dying that He fulfilled His purpose, that He did what He was intended to do. The purpose of the coming of the Son of God was the cross, and in Christ we also are made sons of God. The path set forth by the Father for the Son of God led to a cross, it was through the cross that he accomplished His purpose. It then follows that the path set forth for those He has made sons of God would lead to a cross also. Jesus clearly tells us that any who would be His disciple must “take up their cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). Just as Jesus fulfilled His purpose by “dying”, by offering His body a living sacrifice to God, His disciples will also only fulfill their purpose by “dying” also, by “offering their bodies as living sacrifices” (Romans 12:1) to God, thereby living out their “teleological” perfection, just as their Lord and Savior did.

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