8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. 9 And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, 10 being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 5:8-10 ESV)
Jesus had to learn. Let that sink in for a minute. One of the reasons Jesus came to earth was t prepare him to be our high priest. Hebrews tells us that to be a good high priest one needs to understand the weakness of the people he represents. God knows everything, so Jesus as God knew what weakness was and how it impacts people. What Hebrews tells us is that Jesus wasn’t complete as a human until he had experience what we experience.
Jesus learned obedience through what he suffered. I avoid suffering every chance I get. I don’t think I’m supposed to seek out suffering on purpose. That is one way you could read this verse, but I don’t think that’s what God has in mind. Seeking out suffering when it isn’t God’s intent is not learning obedience and that’s the goal. Suffering in a form of temptation. This is why the story of Jesus in the garden is so important. The temptations in the wilderness at the beginning of his ministry were challenging. I’m sure Jesus experienced temptation every moment of every day as he interacted with the disciples, the crowds, and the opposition. The greatest temptation was to preserve his own life and avoid the cross. I think going to the cross is what this passage in Hebrews looks to.
I have several options when confronted with potential suffering. I can continue moving toward Jesus and work hard to find a way around the suffering rather than go through it. In this case my disobedience isn’t obvious to anyone but me. I can decide that continuing to move toward Jesus isn’t worth it and turn around and head away from him. In this case my disobedience is obvious. The subtlest form of temptation is to go through the suffering, but behave badly while in it. I make the suffering about me and make certain everyone else knows I’m suffering. Pride wins and the benefit that could come from trusting God through the suffering is lost.
Jesus always made the right choice. He chose to obey regardless of the cost and as he learned obedience he became complete. I can have confidence that he understands what I’m going through when I’m tempted.