Posted On August 12, 2020

Hebrews 5:11-12, “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,”

The High Priesthood of Christ is one of the central themes of the book of Hebrews. Thus far, we have seen that Christ, like the priests of old, was appointed by the Father to the position of High Priest. However, unlike the priests of old, Christ as our great High Priest is the source of eternal salvation for all who follow Him (5:9–10).

This brings us to Hebrews 5:11, which begins with the clause “about this we have much to say.” The priesthood of Christ and Melchizedek is the subject in view here. There is indeed much that needs to be said about these two figures, but the author will not pick up this subject again until the very end of chapter 6.

Why does the author not immediately go on to develop the teaching about Christ and the Melchizedekian priesthood? The answer is that these things are “hard to explain” (5:11). This does not mean that these subjects are esoteric or deeply mysterious. Rather, as John Owen tells us, they are hard to explain because the understanding of the audience is “weak and imperfect.” This interpretation fits well with the rest of verse 11, which places the blame for the difficulty of these subjects not with the subjects themselves but with the readers and their “dullness of hearing.”Note that this dullness of hearing is not the original state of the readers. Rather, the audience has “become” dull of hearing. They started out all right, but they have made themselves unable to grasp the more complex aspects of the Word of God.

This is why the book of Hebrews was written. The original audience of this book made itself all but deaf to the new covenant, thinking that hearing the old covenant without hearing Christ could bring them to salvation. But they should have known better. Many in the audience should have been teachers by the time they received this letter, but because they had made themselves dull of hearing, they needed teachers to come in and lay again the basic principles — the basic milk of the Christian faith (5:12). Though they should have been able to handle the solid food that develops the meaning of the basics of the faith, they still needed to be taught these basics because they had forgotten them. Thus, instead of focusing on the High Priesthood of Christ immediately, the author now has to take a break to teach His audience the basics of the Christian faith again.

Coram Deo

We must never forget the basic truths of the Christian faith because, if we do so, we will not go on to maturity. The cares of this world and confidence in our own wisdom can make us neglect these basics and in doing so we will forget them. Pray that in living in this world you will not neglect your study of the Word of God.

Dull of Hearing, Copyright (2020), Ligonier Ministries.

Related Posts

Approved Workers

Approved Workers

On today’s Warriors of Grace show, Dave continues the 2 Timothy series looking at 2 Timothy 2:14-21 and teaching Christians the truth and how to handle error correctly, and dealing with false teachers. What you’ll hear in this episode Dealing with false teachers....

Till All Our Strivings Cease: Enduring Exhaustion with Hope

Till All Our Strivings Cease: Enduring Exhaustion with Hope

“I’m so tired.” These words seem to come out of my mouth more and more these days and start off more journal entries than I can count. I feel physically tired, as though no amount of sleep could possibly replenish my energy, as well as emotionally tired. I hear these...

Wild Olive Branches

Wild Olive Branches

Romans 11:16-18, “If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches. But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the...

Deborah Howard- HELP! Someone I Love Has Alzheimer’s

Deborah Howard- HELP! Someone I Love Has Alzheimer’s

On today’s Equipping You in Grace show, Dave and Deborah Howard discuss Christian friendship and support in and out of the local church, advice for family members and friends with family or friends who have memory loss, the local church, and supporting family members...

When Sinful Comparison Rears Its Ugly Head, Draw Near to Jesus

When Sinful Comparison Rears Its Ugly Head, Draw Near to Jesus

I’d done it again. It was subtle, and neither my husband nor any of our five children sitting in the car with me knew what I had done. That’s how sneaky sinful comparison can be. While reading during a long road trip, right in the middle of a well-crafted sentence in...

The Jews and the Resurrection

The Jews and the Resurrection

Romans 11:13-15, “13 Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry 14 in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. 15 For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share26
Tweet3
Reddit
Email
Buffer