Jeremiah 43-45 Hebrews 5
“By now you should be teachers, but you need someone to teach you again the first lessons of God’s message. You still need the teaching that is like milk. You are not ready for solid food. Anyone who lives on milk is still a baby and knows nothing about right teaching. But solid food is for those who are grown up. They are mature enough to know the difference between good and evil.” (Hebrews 5:12-14 NCV)
The author of Hebrews laid down some smack on his audience in the fifth chapter. Their problem was that when they should be teaching others, they still needed to be taught the basics of the faith. The comparison is to a baby who can only drink milk when they’re young. As they grow, they try new foods and eventually, they’re eating the same things everyone else is eating. In this situation, Christians weren’t growing. They were living on the basics of the faith instead of living at mature Christians.
I’m going to be honest with you. I’m not exactly sure what the author means in this section. I’m going to take a clue from that last sentence: “They are mature enough to know the difference between good and evil,” and say that the author was dealing with issues of legalism and grace. While they are spiritually mature enough to know the difference between right and wrong, apparently, they still need to be told. When we first turn to Jesus we want checklists. We want others to tell us what’s right and what’s wrong. As we grow, though, and we begin to understand the enormity of God’s grace, life changes. I shouldn’t need people to tell me what’s right or wrong, I should know that difference in my spirit. My desire to do that which is right doesn’t come from fear that “God will get me,” but out of a desire to honor God. I believe that mature Christian living is living in the grace of God and showing that grace and mercy to others. As I walk with God daily, I see opportunities to help people by showing them God’s love instead of finding ways to make myself look better by putting others down. The basics of the faith are still important and we need to review them, just like older people still drink milk occasionally, but God’s people are called beyond those basics and live in His grace as mature followers of Christ.
Lord, help me to grow up in my faith and walk as a mature believer in Christ. As I experience Your forgiveness and grace, help me to show it to others so that they too might come to know You or grow in You.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.