Jesus is the ultimate High Priest.
He is seated at the right hand of Majesty on high (Hebrews 1.3). He is superior to the angels (Hebrews 1.5-14) and Moses (Hebrews 3.1-5).
You would think that people would be ready to hear every word from the mouth of such a dynamic Being.
Instead of attentive listening, Jesus is met with sluggish hearers.
About this we have much to say that is hard to explain, since you have become sluggish in hearing (Hebrews 5.11).
“Sluggish” is the most positive definition of the Greek. Other translations are “lazy” and “stupid.”
Rather than being insulted by the author’s language, we need to ask what could make us like this.
Hearing implies hearing and obedience. Sluggishness and stupidity come when we actively resist God’s word.
Not only is the problem one of being sluggish, lazy, and stupid regarding the message of Christ, but God’s children should be more advanced in their spirituality.
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic elements of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food (Hebrews 5.12).
This verse raises the question of when are Christians mature enough to begin teaching others about Jesus.
The very day a blind man met Jesus, he was able to teach religious leaders. He told them, “One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see” (John 9.25).
That is a dramatic story, but if you are reading this article, you ought to be ready to instruct someone new to the faith.
Who do you know that you can help experience the love of God through his Son?
Given the greatness of the messenger and the message, we should give it our best. A sluggish, lazy, and stupid response keeps us needing “milk” instead of the meat of the gospel.
For everyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is unskilled in the word of righteousness (Hebrews 5.13).
The “word of righteousness is reasoning about what is right. It involves the ability to discern and follow a correct course of action.
Beyond this, the word of righteousness is the revelation of all that the author has written about Christ.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be identified with the sluggish, stupid, lazy, immature Christians.
Instead, I want to be among the mature.
But solid food is for the mature, for those whose faculties have been trained by practice to distinguish good from evil (Hebrews 5.14).
How do we move from “milk” to the “solid food” of Jesus’ revelation?
Sluggish and lazy people don’t make the effort to hear the message of the Greatest Teacher of All. They will never move from “milk” to “meat” unless they get exposed to Jesus’ message.
If we expose ourselves to God’s word, the next step on the way to maturity is dependence on the Lord.
Constant faith and dependence on the Lord will bring us to maturity.
Rudy Ross and I talk about Hebrews today on YouTube. You can see the video on the Bob Spradling channel.
I am indebted to Gareth Lee Cockerill’s commentary on Hebrews for the information contained in this blog.
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