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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Jesus: Captain of Our Salvation

As I was following footnote in my Bible this morning, I found a verse that didn't get:
10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain ["founder," ESV] of their salvation perfect through sufferings. (Hebrews 2, KJV)
It seems like this verse is saying that Jesus was made perfect through suffering. But this couldn't be if Jesus knew no sin (2 Cor. 5:21, Heb. 4:15) from the beginning (Jn. 1:2).

While I was reading Matthew Henry to understand this verse, I was encouraged by the KJV rendering of Greek word "Archegos" as "captain" rather than "founder" in the ESV.

Jesus leads us through the battle against temptation; he is our caption and he's got a winning a battle plan. Even more, it's through the battle against unbelief and sin that we are purified and perfected.

Matthew Henry writes:
[1.] In finding out such a person as should be the captain of our salvation; those that are saved must come to that salvation under the guidance of a captain and leader sufficient for that purpose; and they must be all enlisted under the banner of this captain; they must endure hardship as good soldiers of Christ; they must follow their captain, and those that do so shall be brought safely off, and shall inherit great glory and honour.

[2.] In making this captain of our salvation perfect through sufferings. God the Father made the Lord Jesus Christ the captain of our salvation (that is, he consecrated, he appointed him to that office, he gave him a commission for it), and he made him a perfect captain: he had perfection of wisdom, and courage, and strength, by the Spirit of the Lord, which he had without measure; he was made perfect through sufferings; that is, he perfected the work of our redemption by shedding his blood, and was thereby perfectly qualified to be a Mediator between God and man. He found his way to the crown by the cross, and so must his people too. The excellent Dr. Owen observes that the Lord Jesus Christ, being consecrated and perfected through suffering, has consecrated the way of suffering for all his followers to pass through unto glory; and hereby their sufferings are made necessary and unavoidable, they are hereby made honourable, useful, and profitable.