For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:
2 Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.
3 And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins.
4 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.
5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.
6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;
8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
10 Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.
11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.
12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Paul has just closed Hebrews 4 with a call to consider our High Priest, Jesus Christ, and His wondrous power to deliver us from our “infirmities.” Indeed, Jesus knows all about our struggles with sin and He has more than enough grace to give us great victories!
Continuing this glorious thought, in chapter 5 Paul amplifies the great truth of just how qualified Jesus is to be our High Priest. What an array of encouraging insights Paul shares! Read the first ten verses again and again and you will truly be enriched by the completeness of Christ’s identification with us!
And then, just as we’re being carried along with this uplifting narrative about Jesus our High Priest, with unexpected abruptness, Paul blurts out: “But you’re not ready to hear more” (my paraphrase)!
What?—No more insights into the work of Jesus in heaven? Nothing more about His High Priestly ministry?
Until we learn “the basic things about God’s word” (v.12, New Living Translation).
Isn’t that something! Why today we often equate mere facts from Bible study with “maturity” and “growth.” But Paul says that “solid food” is more than a knowledge of the Bible; it is also a faith that enables us to recognize right from wrong!
Chaplain, Hartland College, Rapidan, Virginia USA