Hebrews 5: Spiritual Growth

How did the High Priest’s responsibilities differ from other priests?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Hebrews 5:1 The High Priest has always been appointed to offer gifts to God and make sacrifices for people’s sins.
King James
Hebrews 5:1 For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:

If Jesus never sinned, how can he empathize with those who struggle with wrong desires?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 139:2 You see every time I sit or stand. No matter how distant I might think I am, you still know my thoughts.
Hebrews 4:15 Our High Priest is easily touched with the feeling of our infirmities, because he was tested in every area just as we are, yet without sin.
Hebrews 5:2–3 Because of his own experience with temptations, he has compassion for sinners. That’s why he offers sacrifices for his own sin as well as others.
King James
Psalm 139:2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Hebrews 5:2–3 Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity. And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins.

Who appointed the High Priests? In what ways were the appointments of Aaron and Jesus unique?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Hebrews 5:4–6 The High Priest is not self-appointed but is appointed by God, just as Aaron was. Jesus Christ did not exalt himself as High Priest, but the Father exalted him, saying, “You are my Son. Today I have brought you forth.” In another place, he said, “You are a priest forever, of the Melchizedek order.”
King James
Hebrews 5:4–6 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

What was the message and motivation for Jesus’ prayers in the Garden of Gethsemane before he was arrested?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Matthew 26:42 Again, Jesus left to pray. “My Father, if this cup of suffering cannot be emptied without my drinking it, let your will be done.”
Hebrews 5:7 While on Earth, Jesus prayed, pleading with a loud voice and tears to the one who could keep him from death. Because of his submission, the Father brought comfort and strength.
King James
Matthew 26:42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.
Hebrews 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;

For someone who had never been disobedient, what did Jesus have left to “learn” about obedience?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Hebrews 5:8 Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he still had to show obedience through the things he suffered.
King James
Hebrews 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;

What does doing God’s will have to do with our salvation?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Hebrews 5:9 Perfect in his surrender to the Father’s will, he made eternal salvation available to all who do his will.
King James
Hebrews 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

Who was Melchizedek?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Genesis 14:18–19 Melchizedek, king of Salem and priest of the most high God, brought bread and wine. And he said in blessing, “Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of earth and sky.”
Hebrews 5:10 He was addressed by God as a priest of the Melchizedek order.
King James
Genesis 14:18–19 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. 19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:
Hebrews 5:10 Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.

What causes people to not listen well?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Hebrews 5:11 Since you don’t listen very well, revealing the truth of God’s word is difficult and requires many words.
King James
Hebrews 5:11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.

You may know adults who panic when they face a problem, who can’t handle responsibility or keep a job very long, who have a fit when things don’t go to suit them. Apparently, they never outgrew their adolescent years. Why do you think some people mature more slowly than others, and some never grow up?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
1 Corinthians 3:1–2 When I was with you, my friends, I could not speak to you as spiritually mature adults, but I had to address you as baby Christians, feeding you milk instead of meat. You could not handle what I wanted to tell you, and you’re still not ready,
Hebrews 5:12–14 By now, you ought to be teachers, but instead you need others to teach you basic scriptural truth. You’re like babies who can’t handle solid food but must be given milk. If you’re living on milk like babies, you’ve not yet learned to handle the meat of doing what is right. As mature adults can chew tough meat, those who have been through a lot have their spiritual senses exercised to distinguish between good and evil.
1 Peter 2:2–3 Like newborns, thirst for pure, spiritual milk that will help you grow now that you have tasted how good the Lord is.
King James
1 Corinthians 3:1–2 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
Hebrews 5:12–14 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
1 Peter 2:2–3 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.