Updated: May 5, 2020
This post is part of a series. Read the previous post here: https://tinyurl.com/t52z3z3
READ HEBREWS CHAPTER 5 HERE: https://tinyurl.com/u2sudpe
LISTEN TO HEBREWS CHAPTER 5 HERE: https://tinyurl.com/wkj4xw3
Hebrews Chapter 5- Maturing Our Relationship with Christ
Hebrews chapter 5 is perhaps the shortest chapter in the entire book. Despite it's lack of length, it still discusses two important points- Jesus's role as our High Priest and spiritual development.
Before Christ came, he was in heaven serving equally alongside God. In this chapter, we see the distinguishing labels of God and Son given (Hebrews 5:5). This tells me that Jesus truly did "step down" from his position of power in heaven for the sake of humanity. That isn't just something nice that we say- it really happened. Prior to Jesus's earthly ministry, the people of Biblical times had designated High Priests who worked in their Temples and assisted in pardoning their sins. Leviticus 6 speaks in-depth on Priestly duties and what their responsibilities were in relation to the confessions of the people.
After Jesus came, there was no more need for a High Priest (though the Jewish community continued the tradition of having one) to pardon sins. Jesus, who was the ultimate sacrifice, became our ultimate High Priest. He offered up prayers and petitions on behalf of the people of the earth and he still does this for us today though he is in Heaven (Hebrews 5:7). The author of Hebrews stresses how important this role shift (from High Priest to Jesus) is, and he points out that many of the people of the time do not understand this transition. They don't even try to understand it.
The last few verses of this chapter were what got to me the most:
We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.
This is a bit harsh... the idea that the believers are just as ignorant and clueless as infants. At first, I wasn't sure what to make of it, but now as I write this I believe it is, unfortunately, the same with many of us today. Because we do not read the Bible for ourselves, we too depend on other people to teach us what we know about God.
Not too long ago, I was hanging out with a group of fairly new-to-me friends. A Biblical question came up and someone turned to me blurting out, "Well you should ask Melissa! She is like a Biblical scholar!" I wish I could keep that label, but I really can't. I'm just a girl. I'm just a person who decided to read scripture for myself and share what I think about it. That's it. There are hundreds, no probably thousands of people who could also be "Biblical scholars" and teach new and inspiring perspective on Bible truths if they would just take the time to study for themselves. Yet just like the people of Hebrews 5, we choose to remain oblivious. We continue to mindlessly follow our church traditions. If anyone asks us something challenging about God or the Bible, we don't know what to do. We point our fingers at the "religious leaders" of today and expect them to handle it. Many of us know we love Jesus, but the lines are blurred about what that looks like in a practical, physical sense.
The good news is, you can stop being a baby any time you want. All you have to do is start reading the Bible for yourself. The way to become spiritually mature is to spend time in God's word. Just like any other skill or hobby, gaining wisdom and understanding about God takes time, patience, and dedication. If studying the Bible just seems too hard for you, I encourage you to check out these other posts that I have written specifically on Bible study:
1. Who is one person that you consider "spiritually mature"? What about them causes you to give them that label?
2. When was the last time you read the Bible all by yourself? What did you read and what did God reveal to you through it?
3. What is one thing you can give up in your daily routine for the sake of incorporating time with God?