Don't Be a Slow Learner. Heb 5:1-14
Christ is our faithful High Priest. The emphasis in this chapter is the priesthood of Christ. Jesus Christ is the qualified High Priest. He is also the superior High Priest in that His priesthood is eternal unlike Aaron’s. 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 and pointing forward to the ultimate fulfillment in Christ Jesus. They teach that forgiveness of sin is costly; the punishment for sin is death and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. It was a gift from God to His covenant people so that they may know who God is and what He expects of them.
The Priesthood of Christ (Heb 5:1-10). The author explains the qualities and the job description of the high priest here. They were chosen from people of Israel to represent in relation to God. They were divinely appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He must be called of God. One of the qualifications for the high priest is that he has the capacity to have compassion on those who come to him. He should be able to deal with them gently, understanding their weaknesses. Being human, Old Testament high priest had to offer sacrifice for himself as well as for the people. (Leviticus16). Those who willfully took this office suffered dire consequences (Num 16:31-35; 1 Sam 13:9-11). History shows that the appointing of the high priest had gone wrong and it became political appointment and establishment during the time of Christ. He was divinely appointed to be the High Priest (5:5-6). Here the author quotes Psalm 2:7 and Psalm 110:4. These references show son-ship and priesthood of Jesus Christ. 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 once as a sacrifice to take away our sins (9:28). Someone 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 both king and priest forever Genesis 14:18-20). Old Testament sacrifice system was only a shadow and their priest had their day. It passed away. Christ’s sacrifice is the reality. His priesthood abides forever. So Christ's priesthood is indeed superior to the priesthood of Aaron.
Christ intercedes for us. 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 for God. The answer came, not in the sense that the cup was removed from Him but by drinking that cup. Thus He accomplished the saving purpose of God. He came forth victoriously by submitting Himself to Father's will and thus facing the cross fearlessly. Even in the darkest hour Christ provided a timeless example of prayer for us to follow. Thus 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. 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, Christ is the Son of man. He is the creator but He became the man of sorrows and 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 not become dull of hearing. In Hebrews 5:11-14, the author fears that his readers are not spiritually grown 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 believer of the danger of not growing in their faith. It can lead to apostasy from Christ. 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. Also they are unable to instruct others. They are in danger of drifting from Christ. So let us grow in the grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).