ĎYou have been Christians for a long time now. So you should be teaching Godís word to other people. But in fact, you are not ready to do this. In fact, you have not yet learned even the first lessons that Christians should learn.í
That is what the author seems to say in Hebrews 5:12. But it cannot be his real meaning. If they really needed to learn those first lessons, he would teach them those lessons. A good teacher does not teach any lesson until his students are ready to learn it. But the author will soon return to his explanation of Jesusí work as chief priest.
Really, the author is encouraging his readers to study Godís word in a more careful manner. At the present time, they become tired quickly when the author tries to teach them (Hebrews 5:11). They say that his lessons are too hard. And they ask for someone to teach them some easy lessons again. They like to hear about love and kindness (Hebrews 6:10). Lessons about those things make them happy. But the purpose of the Christian life is not to be happy. It is to become mature as sons and daughters of the living God.
That is why the author speaks about milk and solid food. At that time, a child continued to receive its motherís milk until the child was about 4 years old. And when the mother refused to give milk, the child became angry and afraid. The child still wanted milk. But it was time to grow up and to become more mature.
A similar thing was happening to those Christians. They needed to become more mature. But it felt difficult to them. They preferred only to think happy thoughts about love and kindness.
There is nothing wrong with lessons about love and kindness. They are among the things that Christians consider important. But, as the author will explain (Hebrews 6:1-2), the real first lessons for Christians are actually more difficult than those ones.
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© 2014, Keith Simons.