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Daily Devotional Hebrews 5:11–14

Many parents rejoice when their child begins to eat solid food. It may only be a bit of cracker or a cookie, but it is cause for celebration because it is a sign of growth. Hebrews 5:11–14 points to this common experience to make an uncomfortable point for the recipients of this letter. “You need milk, not solid food!” the author says (v. 12). Spiritual immaturity made it difficult for them to grasp the comparison between the Old Testament figure of Melchizedek and Jesus. Melchizedek was the mysterious figure who came out to greet Abraham with bread and wine after the battle of the kings (read Genesis 14:1–24).

Solid food is for the mature.


The key teaching here is Jesus’ role as a high priest over God’s people. Like Aaron, Jesus was “appointed to represent the people in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins” (compare with Heb. 5:1). Christ’s appointment as high priest, described in Psalms 2:7 and 110:4, is quoted in verses 5 6. Like the priests of the Mosaic Law, Jesus shares the humanity of those He serves. But these readers needed to grasp a distinct difference. Because Jesus obeyed when He was tempted and suffered death on their behalf, He “became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him” (v. 9). Notice the emphasis on the “eternal” nature of the salvation Jesus provides, the “once for all” nature of His sacrifice. It is non-repeatable, and its effects are permanent.

The writer had more to write, but it was impossible to say it all because his readers were not able to grasp it (vv. 11–12). By this time, they should have been teachers, but they needed to return to spiritual kindergarten, to learn the “elementary truths of God’s word all over again” (v. 12).

Go Deeper

Where are you on the sliding scale of “kindergarten” to maturity in terms of your growth in Christ? What do you need to do to grow?

Pray with Us:

What a comfort it is to know, Lord, that your salvation is eternal, that those who obey You receive the grace of Your one-for-all sacrifice. Give us insight and spiritual maturity to live in the light of these truths.

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