Chapter 5

Don't Be a Slow Learner. 
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 (Hebrews 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 and the punishment for sin is death.  Without the 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. Christ has established the new covenant by his blood for the remission of sin of those who believe in him (Matthew 26:28).

The Priesthood of Christ (Hebrews 5:1-6). 
The author explains the qualities and the job description of the high priest here. There were three qualifications for the position of high priest.  They were chosen from the people of Israel to represent them before God.  They were divinely appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.  He must be called by God. The high priest should be able to deal with people gently and understand their weaknesses. Being human, the 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 Samuel 13:9-11). History shows that the appointing of the high priest had  gone wrong.  It became a political appointment during the time of Christ. Christ was divinely appointed to be the High Priest (5:5-6).  The mediator must be God and human to make intercession. Jesus met these qualifications.  Here the author quotes Psalms 2:7 and Psalms 110:4. These references show the 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 as well as the priestly function.  As Son, He fulfilled Father's will on the cross. He was without sin yet He died once for all to take away our sins (Hebrews 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 on those who believe in Christ.  Christ is both King and priest forever (Genesis 14:18-20). The Old Testament sacrificial system was only a shadow of Christ's priesthood.  Christ’s sacrifice is the reality.  His priesthood abides forever. So Christ's priesthood is indeed superior to the priesthood of Aaron.

Christ is qualified to intercedes for us. (5:7-11). 
The Gospels give the account of Christ's agony in the garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26).  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 enabling Him to drink  the cup. Thus He accomplished the saving work of God.  He came forth victoriously by submitting Himself to Father's will.  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.  Christ’s  suffering was a necessary part of His incarnation to relate to human conditions.  Thus He could become their compassionate High Priest. Having been made perfect, Christ became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey Him (Hebrews 5:10). Here "Perfect" means, fully qualified to be the author of our eternal salvation. He is both God and at the same time  man.  The creator of the universe became the man of sorrows and acquainted with grief to identify with the fallen human race.   In our place Christ bore the shame and stood condemned to seal our pardon. He is the Lord of glory yet He is the lowly Jesus. He is the Son of God, our great High Priest. He is able to save us completely because He ever lives to make intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25).  Hallelujah, what a Savior! Do you know him as your Lord and Savior?

Do not become dull of hearing (5:12-14). 
In Hebrews 5:11-14, the author explains his concern for the readers.  By this time they ought to be teachers of the scripture but they need someone to teach them.  They have not grown spiritually 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. What are the marks of spiritual immaturity?  They have no interest in studying the scripture, dull of hearing the Word of  God. It grieves the Holy Spirit who begotten them.  They alway look for spoon feeding and have no desire for solid spiritual food.  They are unable to discern truth from error. They are not able to minister others.  Here the author warns believers of the danger of not growing spiritually. 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.  This ability is developed through years of learning. 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. They are in danger of drifting from Christ. Pray that we may grow in the grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). This is not a mental assent but the knowledge that comes through spending time with Christ and his Word.





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