Summary: A look through the book of Hebrews to better understand who Jesus is and who we are called to be.
Jesus Is . . . !
July 30, 2017
It may be difficult to believe, but sometimes adults can act like children - - There’s nothing more fun than to watch a MLB manager go ballastic and act like a 2 year old. We see 40 year olds acting like 5 year olds. It’s embarrassing when it happens in our lives. Sometimes, we lose it, and we become rather childish in our behavior.
Yet, sometimes, if we were to be really honest, adults would like to be a little more childlike. Think about how goofy we look when we’re talking to a baby or playing with a young child. We can get away with it then.
For the most part, even when we’re older, we don’t always want to act older. We fight that aging process and seek to be young, and sometimes it comes out in our behavior and attitude.
Well, we’re in the 9th week of a look through the book of Hebrews. We’ve been looking at who Jesus is, and at this point the writer steps back and speaks to the people about who they are and who they are becoming. . . and it’s not so good. The writer has been encouraging the people, but now, he’s not so encouraging. In fact, he kind of steps on their toes.
There were some problems in the church and the writer wasn’t shy in addressing them. Let’s look at the final 4 verses of chapter 5 ~
11 About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.
12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food,
13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child.
14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.
Now, that’s pretty harsh. I can guarantee you there were lots of toes being stepped on. For the last couple of weeks the writer of Hebrews has been introducing the idea that Jesus is our high priest, that He stands before us on God's behalf and before God on our behalf.
Now, he abruptly changes the subject. He'll come back to the idea of Jesus as our High Priest, but he hits on spiritual maturity before they go any further.
The writer is telling the people, he wants to go deeper into the Word of God, He wants to explain theological concepts to them. He wants to help them understand in greater depth why Jesus is our Hugh Priest . . . but he can’t. He’s limited by their lack of understanding. He’s offering a spiritual challenge to the people, hoping to encourage them to grow in Christ. And he does that in chapter 6.
As we consider these harsh words, let’s stop for a moment, take a deep breath, and not try to get to defensive about what the writer is saying.
Could he be correct? Is there a possibility there is truth to what he has written as it pertains to us? He’s on the right track, although most of us don’t want to hear it.
I believe there are people in every church who fit into these categories. Notice in verse 11, he says there is so much I want to tell you, but there is a problem,
11 you have become dull of hearing.
The literal meaning for the word dull is sluggish, slothful, lazy. That’s the description of the people. There is much to learn, but they really don’t want to learn it. Lots of us experience this problem at one time or another in our spiritual lives. We start off great, but as time moves on, we don’t progress in our faith. We don’t grow, we don’t understand, and what’s worse . . . we don’t care. We make excuses, we find ways to pacify ourselves. We aren’t worried about spiritual maturity, after all, if I believe in Jesus, I have eternal life.
Here's the problem - You can't remain in 'neutral' in the Christian life. The Christian life is a constant climb. Sometimes it’s an easy climb, at other times, it’s not so easy. What happens when you put your car in neutral on a hill? You roll backward. It's the same way for a disciple. If you're not in gear, you start rolling backwards. In the Christian life, if you're not gaining ground, you're losing ground.
So the writer of Hebrews says, "Let's move on to maturity. Let's not stay here.”
You see, by now they should have been the teachers. They should have been helping those who were newer to the faith by helping them to understand who Christ is. Instead, they needed the teaching.