When going through life, what is the value of having someone who has been there and done that? How highly do you rate experience as a helpful trait for making it through difficult circumstances? If highly, does that not inform the attitude we should have about both our own experiences and the experiences of others? Hebrews 5:8 tells us that Jesus “learned obedience through what He suffered.” What? In what way could Jesus, the sinless and perfect Son of God, be in need of learning anything? This verse is speaking of Jesus’ experience of suffering and response of obedience, even while dealing with the reality of suffering. It is telling us that Jesus was not a theoretical Savior and teacher, He was the real deal. We can miss much of the power of faith if we reduce most of religious teaching and guidance, to theory and propositional truths that sound good but are not things we actually use when under stress or pressure. Jesus knows, from personal experience, what it means to be tired, to be stressed, and to suffer. So when He speaks to us from the Scriptures about how to live, He has been there and done that. He speaks from experience, which enables Him to empathize with us. But this also gives Him a very high degree of credibility, from the practical standpoint of living what He preaches. People who dismiss Jesus as being just a religious figure, do so without due consideration of the life He lived. When you are having a hard day, Jesus is with you, not as someone unacquainted with suffering or with little experience with hardships. He is with you as someone who knows the territory well. In fact, He is the expert, so I encourage you, when attending the school of hard knocks, pay close attention and learn from the Master. What Jesus says and teaches is superbly and expertly shaped by His own experiences. Learning from the Master will raise the bar on our discipleship.