Hebrews 5:11 (ESV)
About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.
The last four verses of Hebrews 5 list four contrasts. The Hebrew believers:
Are dull of hearing (vs 11) rather than able to distinguish good from evil (vs 14)
Ought to be teachers, but need to be taught (vs 12)
Need milk, not solid food (vs 12)
Are unskilled, not trained in powers of discernment (vss 13-14)
This raises several questions: Why are they unskilled? What contributed to their immaturity? What needs to change? How does one move from being unskilled to skilled, dull of hearing to discerning, milk drinkers to meat eaters? None of these questions are directly answered. In fact, the author of Hebrews simply says, "Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God." (Hebrews 6:1) He is essentially saying, "I'm going to feed you meat anyway, whether you are ready for it or not.
The bigger question behind this passage is: What does it have to do with the High Priesthood of Jesus? Chapter 5 flows out of the end of chapter 4, "We have a great High Priest … Jesus, the Son of God." It is followed in chapter 7 by a discussion of the Melchizedekian priesthood to which Jesus belongs. These verses at the end of chapter 5 and into chapter 6 become a parenthetical statement of warning. They should challenge us to ask two questions of ourselves:
Am I dull of hearing when it comes to these things?
Do I really understand the significance of having Jesus as my High Priest?
These are questions for us to humbly and prayerfully consider as we move into Hebrews 5.
By His grace,