5 Every high priest is selected from among the people and is appointed to represent the people in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2 He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. 3 This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people. 4 And no one takes this honor on himself, but he receives it when called by God, just as Aaron was. 5 In the same way, Christ did not take on himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.” 6 And he says in another place, “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” 7 During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8 Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him 10 and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek. 11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 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! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
As I read this passage, I sense that the writer is frustrated with his audience at the lack of spiritual understanding. There is an expectation that they would be able to understand the difficult things, but they couldn’t. Instead of being teachers of the Word, they still needed teachers. Because of this, they didn’t know how to do what was right, or even recognise the difference between right and wrong.
All believers start the journey of faith needing milk, but that is only for the start and not the diet for the rest of our lives. As hard as it is to eat solid food, we feed it to infants because it is right and healthy for them, for their growth.
When we read the Bible, we will find passages that are difficult to understand, and we have a choice. Either we skim over it because its too hard or we meditate on it and seek to understand and become skilled in recognizing right from wrong.
There are no short cuts to maturity.
Holy Spirit, I ask that as I read the Word, that you will teach me to know the difference between right and wrong, and more than just knowing, but to live it.
Written by Andrew Martin