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Discussion Guide - Jesus: The Source of Eternal Salvation (Hebrews 5:1-10)




Monday: Hebrews 5:1-10

Tuesday: Hebrews 5:1; Exodus 28:1; Hebrews 2:17

Wednesday: Hebrews 5:2-4; Leviticus 16:11; Exodus 28:1; Psalm 105:26

Thursday: Hebrews 5:5-6; Psalm 2:7; Psalm 110

Friday: Hebrews 5:7-10; Luke 22:42-44; Hebrews 2:10-18




Jesus is qualified to be our high priest who helps us.




In the Old Testament, there were two primary qualifications for a high priest. First, he needed to be from among the people he represented (v 1). As one of them, he could represent them. And by sharing the nature and weaknesses of his people (and by having his own sins to atone for) the high priest could deal gently with the people’s sins (vv 2-3). In other words, while taking sin seriously, he could show patience, not indignation, toward sinners.

Second, high priests had to be divinely appointed by God (v 4). It wasn’t an office that one could simply volunteer for or be voted into. This person had God’s authority to be the people’s representative before him.

In 5:5-10, the author shows in reverse order how Jesus meets these qualifications. First, he was appointed by God to be high priest (vv 5-6). Combining Psalm 2:7 and Psalm 110:4, he shows that the Son that God exalted as King (see Hebrews 1:5) has also been appointed as Priest.[1]

Jesus also meets the qualification of sympathizing with those he represents (vv 7-10). He understands the human experience because he’s been through it. He didn’t get the job of high priest just because his Father is the boss. He earned it by perfectly obeying his Father even when obeying meant more pain. Since he knows what it’s like to want to get off the path of obedience (see Luke 22:42-44), he can help us when we’re tempted to do the same. 

Obeying in hardship is what the author means by Jesus “learn[ing] obedience” and “being made perfect” (vv 8, 9). He’s not saying Jesus was previously disobedient or imperfect. He’s saying Jesus gained the experience of a perfectly lived life and learned “what obedience to God involved in practice in the conditions of human life on earth.”[2]




When do you find the path of obedience to be exhausting? How do you tend to respond in those moments?

God appointed representatives for his people who could treat sin seriously and treat the people gently. What does this arrangement teach us about what God is like? What does it teach us about the kind of the relationship he wants to have with his people?  

Where in the Bible do we see Jesus deal seriously with sin? Where do we see him deal gently with sinners?

In what areas of your life do you need to be reminded that Jesus understands what you’re going through? How can he relate?




Hebrews 5:9 – “And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him”


[1] In the Old Testament, only Levites could be priests. So how can Jesus – who was not a Levite – be our priest? Melchizedek is the author’s answer to that question as chapter 7 will show.  

[2] F.F. Bruce, Hebrews, p 131


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