Before 1700, common folk had wooden spoons. Well off people had silver. The saying, “He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth,” views a high-born person as knowing nothing about the struggles of life.
As the Son of God, Jesus has a silver spoon, his divine powers. But He was born under the law and usually left his silver spoon in a drawer.
Paul says, “God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law.” (Galatians 4:4-5) The church teaches that his life under the law was part of Christ’s suffering and humiliation.
Scoffers say, “Man is born under the law. Jesus was a man. It’s no big deal that he should be under the law like the rest of us. How can you say this was suffering and humiliation?
Believers also have difficulty understanding Jesus’ life under the law. We know Jesus is both God and man. We are prone to thinking it was easy for him to obey from his divine powers.
Jesus always had divine powers. We see them break forth at times, as when He fed thousands, raised Lazarus from the dead, cleansed lepers, and cast out demons.
Usually, however, Jesus voluntarily laid aside his divine powers and did not use them. While He could walk on water, he usually used a boat. While He could turn water into wine and multiply loaves and fishes, He usually used food and drink that were furnished naturally.
As Mediator, Jesus came “to redeem those who were under the law.” To mediate, Jesus needed to be under the law in the same way as those He would redeem were under it: as humans. So, in matters of temptation and obeying the law, Jesus “humbled Himself and became obedient.” (Philippians 2:8) While still having full divine powers, He voluntarily did not use them. He fought temptation under the law only by human power.
Jesus fought from weakness, in his humanity. He had to watch. He had to pray. He had to defeat the Devil and the world every moment. We face temptation for a little while, and then give in. Jesus suffered all the way, and He suffered using only humble power.
Beyond that, He suffered what we never do. He was tempted right at the point of his humility. He was tempted to quit using only his human powers. He was tempted to pick up and use his divine powers to save his holiness, to show his divine glory. He had an easy way out. He could have quit his office as Mediator. He could have abandoned us in our sin. He stuck with the hard way, all the way. He humbled himself for us, and kept humbling himself, to the bitter end that gives us a new beginning and destines us for a crown of glory. This is our hard-fought salvation.
So, let us not scoff or be confused, but believe and adore him, and receive the redemption He earned for us through his innocent, humiliated, suffering life.