For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory…
I. THE GREAT SWEEP OF THE DIVINE ACTION IN THE GIFT OF CHRIST AS IT IS SET FORTH HERE. It is "bringing many sons unto glory," wherein there lies, of course, a metaphor of a great filial procession, being led on through all changes of this lower life, steadily upwards into the possession of what is here called "glory." The same metaphor colours the other expression of our text, "the Captain of our salvation." This great procession of sons up into glory, which is the object and aim of God's work, is all under the leadership of Him who is she Captain, the foremost, the Originator, and, in a profound sense, the Cause of their salvation. So, then, we have before us the thought that God brings, and yet Chris, leads, and God's bringing is effected through Christ's leadership. Look at the extent of the Divine act. "Many" is used not in contrast to "all," as if there was proclaimed here a restricted application of Christ's work in the Divine idea; but "many" is in opposition to "few," or, perhaps in opposition to the One. There is One Leader, and there is an indefinite number of followers. Then, note, the relationship which the members of that great company possess. The many are being brought as "sons"; under the leadership of the one Son. Then note further, the end of the march. This great company stretching numberless away beyond the range of vision, and, all exalted into the dignity of sons, is steadfastly pressing onwards to the aim of fulfilling that Divine ideal of humanity, long since spoken in the psalm which, in its exuberant promises, sounds like irony than hope. "Thou crownest Him with glory and honour." They are not only steadily marching onwards to the realisation of that Divine ideal, but also to the participation of the glory of the Captain who is the brightness of the Father's glory," as well as "the express image of His person." So again, the underlying thought is the identity, as in fate here, so in destiny hereafter, of the army with its Leader. He is the Son, and the Divine purpose is to make the " many" partakers of His Sonship. He is the realisation of the Divine ideal. We see not yet all things put under man, but we see Jesus, and so we know that the ancient hope is not the baseless fabric of a vision, nor a dream which will pass when we awake to the realities, but is to be fulfilled in every one, down to the humblest private in that great army, all of whom shall partake in their measure and degree, in the glory of the Lord. This, then, being the purpose — the leading up out of the world into the glory, of a great company of sons who are conformed to the image of the Son — we attain the point from which we may judge of the adaptation of the means to the end. The Cross is surplusage if Christ be a prophet only; it is surplusage and an incongruity if Christ be simply the foremost of the pure natures that have walked the earth, and shown the beauty of goodness. But if Christ have come to make men sons of God, by participation of His Sonship, and to blanch and irradiate their blackness by the reflection and impartation of His own flashing glory, then it " became Him, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings."
II. THE PARADOX OF THE METHOD ADOPTED TO CARRYOUT THIS DIVINE PURPOSE. The leader must have no exemption from the hardships of the company. If He is to be a leader, He and we must go by the same road. He must tramp along all the weary path that we have to tread. He must experience all the conflicts and difficulties that we have to experience. He cannot lift us up into a share of His glory unless He stoops to the companionship of our grief. Again, we learn the necessity of His suffering in order to His sympathy. Before Be suffers, He has the pity of a God; after He suffers, He has learnt the compassion of a man. Then we learn, further, the necessity of the Captain's suffering in order to emancipate us from the dominion of the evil that He bears. No Christ is enough for me a sinner except a Christ whose Cross takes away the burden and the penalty of my transgression. And thus "it became Him to make the Captain of salvation perfect through suffering," else the design of making men His sons and sharers of His glory could never come to pass.
III. THE HARMONY BETWEEN THE LOFTIEST CONCEPTION OF THE DIVINE CHARACTER AND NATURE AND THESE SUFFERINGS OF JESUS, The writer dwells upon two aspects of God's relation to the universe. "It became Him for whom are all things, and by or through whom are all things." That is to say, the sufferings and death of the Christ, in whom is God manifest in the flesh, are worthy of that lofty nature to the praise and glory of which all things contribute. The Cross is the highest manifestation of the Divine nature. Another aspect, closely connected with this, lies in that other clause. Christ's sufferings and death are congruous with that Almighty power by which the universe has sprung into being and is sustained. His creative agency is not the highest exhibition of His power. Creation is effected by a word. The bare utterance of the Divine will is all that is needed to make the heavens and the earth, and to "preserve the stars from wrong." The work needs the humiliation, the suffering, the death, resurrection, ascension, and session at the right hand of God, of the Captain of our salvation and the Prince of our life. So, though by Him are all things, if we would know the full sweep and omnipotence of His power, He points us away from creation, and its ineffectual fires that pale before this brighter Light in which His whole self is embodied, and says, "There, that is the arm of the Lord made bare in the sight of all the nations." Omnipotence has made the world, the Cross has redeemed it.
(A. Maclaren, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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 of their salvation perfect through sufferings.