My friend Ann has marks in her kitchen doorway. They measure the changing heights of her children and grandchildren through the years. The names and dates next to the marks trace their progress. While we can’t measure our spiritual growth on a door frame, it is a lot like physical growth. It should increase with time, but that isn’t always the case. Some believers seem stunted in their spiritual development.
The believers to whom the book of Hebrews was written are a case in point. In verse 12 the author complains that they should have been teachers by this time. Instead, they still needed someone to go over the spiritual ABCs. Their spiritual immaturity kept them from seeing important aspects of Christ’s ministry. For example, they needed to know that Jesus was both their sacrifice for sin and their High Priest (vv. 1–4). By taking on a human nature, He became “subject to weakness” (v. 2).
Unlike the earthly priests of the Law of Moses, Jesus did not have to offer sacrifices for Himself. He was truly human, but sinless. Because Jesus shared the frailty of our humanity, He “became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him” (v. 9). The writer compares Jesus to the mysterious Old Testament figure Melchizedek, whose name meant King of Salem or King of Peace. He is mentioned in Genesis 14:18–20 and Psalm 110:4, where he seems to be a picture of the Messiah. The writer will say more about him in Hebrews 7, but here he merely whets their appetite and observes that their immaturity will make it hard for them to understand what he means. According to verse 11, their main problem was that they had stopped trying to understand. When the implications of what we hear make us uncomfortable, sometimes we stop listening.
>> Are you looking for a chance to go deeper in your faith? Check out the book titles on the Moody Publishers webpage, moodypublishers.com. Several are written by Today in the Word authors!
Some of us may be stagnating. We may have lost interest in spiritual things. We’re not growing anymore. Lord God, remind us who You are and what You have done. Reawaken our souls to the joy of knowing You.