Don't Be a Slow Learner. Heb 5:1-14
The priesthood of Jesus Christ: Heb 5:1-6.
The emphasis in this chapter is the priesthood of Jesus Christ. Christ is the qualified High Priest. He is also the superior High Priest in that His priesthood is eternal unlike Aaron’s high priesthood. Having made purification of our sins by His death, He became our merciful and faithful High Priest forever (4:15, 16). The Old Testament sacrificial system was initiated by God. They were pointing forward to the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ. They teach that forgiveness of sin is costly and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin. Christ was appointed to be the High Priest according to the will of God (5:5-6). The author explains the qualities and the job description of the high priest here. He was chosen from people of Israel to represent them before God. He was divinely appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He must have three qualifications to mediate between God and man. He must be God. Secondly he must be human. Thirdly he must be able to show compassion to those who come to him. He should be able to deal with them gently, understanding their weaknesses. Jesus met all these three criteria. Being human, Old Testament high priest had to offer sacrifice for himself as well as for the people (Leviticus 16). Those who willfully took this office suffered dire consequences (Numbers 16:31-35; 1 Sam 13:9-11). Christ was divinely appointed to be our High Priest (5:5-6). Here the author quotes Psalm 2:7 and Psalm 110:4. These references show the Son-ship and the priesthood of Jesus Christ. The eternal Son of God became a genuine human to become our great high priest. His priesthood is after the order of Melchizedek (Genesis 14). The writer shows that in Jesus Christ we have the kingly rule and priestly function. As Son, He fulfilled Father's will on the cross. He was without sin yet He died as a sacrifice to take away our sins (9:28). Someone has said that the glory of the risen Savior finds its source in the will and purpose of God. Father planned salvation, Son procured it and Holy Spirit applies it in those who trust Christ. Christ is both king and priest forever. Old Testament sacrificial system was only a shadow of good thing to come. Christ's sacrifice is the reality. Christ's priesthood abides forever. So Christ's priesthood is indeed superior to the priesthood of Aaron.
Christ intercedes for us. Heb 5:7-10.
The Gospels gives the account of Christ's agony in the garden of Gethsemane. In Hebrews 5:7, the author indicates that Jesus prayed with tears to the Father who was able to save Him from death. His prayer was answered because of His reverence and his submission to God. The answer came, not in the sense that the cup was removed from Him but by enabling him to drink the cup. Thus He accomplished the saving plan of God. He came forth victoriously by submitting Himself to Father's will and facing the cross fearlessly. Even in the darkest hour, Christ prayed for us. He learned obedience by the things He suffered. He was never disobedient to the Father. His suffering was a necessary part of His incarnation to relate fully to human conditions so that He could become their compassionate High Priest. He was made "Perfect" by completing his assignment (5:7-9). He is able to show mercy as our High Priest. Thus having been made perfect, Christ became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey Him (5:10). Here "Perfect" means, fully qualified to be the author of our eternal salvation. He is the almighty God at the same time human. He is the creator yet He became the man of sorrows acquainted with grief. "In our place bearing our shame He stood condemned and sealed our pardon". He is the Lord of glory yet He is the lowly Jesus. He is Jesus Christ, our great High Priest. He is able to save us completely because He ever lives to intercede for us (7:25). Hallelujah, what a Savior! Do you know this great Savior?
Do not become dull of hearing. 5:11-14.
The author was disappointed with the lack of spiritual growth of the Hebrew Christians. They are not mature enough to understand the teaching concerning Christ’s priesthood after the order of Melchizedek. Though they have been saved long enough, they remain infants in the knowledge of Christ. Here the author warns believers of the danger of not growing in their faith. Solid food is only for full-grown believers. Only the matured Christians have the ability to discern both good and evil. This is a reference to truth from error. It is sad to see many believers remain spiritually infants and in need of constant help. They have no interest in the study of the Scriptures. They are unable to make spiritual discernment between truth and error. By this time they ought to be teachers but they need someone to teach them the basic principles. They live on milk and unskilled in the word of righteousness. They are in danger of drifting from Christ. Once foundational truth are learned we should go on to maturity. Baptism is the mark of salvation. Someone has said "new Testament knows nothing of unbaptized believers". How to achieve spiritual progress? make a commitment to study the scripture yourself and do not depend on someone to feed you. Constant use and diligence are necessary for growth. Share what we have learned with someone. By constant use of the Word we train ourselves to be godly. Do not look for spoon feeding always. Survey shows that 95% of believers never share the gospel or lead anyone to Christ. May God help us to grow in the grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).