As Paul begins to consider explaining that Christ is a different high priest than those who ministered in the Tabernacle, he turns his thoughts to Melchizedek, but realises the Jews were so immature as believers they wouldn’t understand what he was talking about. (v.11) So, he diverts, and writes chapter 6. He says that spiritually they were still babes and had never grown up. They were only able to take the milk of the word whereas by now they should have been able to digest the solid food of the Word. NOTES: Solid food is needed in the natural for strength. Probable reason the Jews backslid was because of the lack of it. Today we see empty churches- backsliders, weak Christians. Too many custard and jelly meetings. Very little strong bible teaching; - Sadly little appetite, and sadder still little effort made to cultivate an appetite. Hebrews and Romans are the foundational epistles upon which all the others are built. Romans is about the gospel, and how it works. Hebrews is about Salvation which is the experience of those who believe the gospel. It is in fact, more a work of the gospel than of us. In this chapter, Paul makes comparisons between the Old Testament priests and Jesus who is the great high priest under the new covenant. Jesus, also did not take this office upon himself, He was called and appointed. According to Psalm 110, Jesus was ordained to be a priest “after the order of Melchizadek”. Once again in this chapter the humanity of Jesus is expressed.
Three evidences of the humanity of Jesus our High Priest 1. Called of God, like Aaron. Did not assume or take the honour to Himself. v 4 2. He prayed earnestly in great need. (v. 7) 3. He learnt his obedience by suffering.
Though He was an obedient Son, whose delight was to do His father’s will, He discovered what obedience was, when he had to endure the suffering Without that suffering, it would have been all pleasure We are reminded that Jesus prayed earnestly. That in itself is a human act. It is an act of dependence; A cry for help from a higher power. When Jesus was on this earth, He prayed in such human weakness. He called upon God to save Him from death. He feared in that He might die. He calls upon God. This is a true human experience. These verses are open to diverse interpretation, but it would seem that the only possible time when this incident could have happened was when He was in the Garden of Gethsemane. Perhaps we are being shown just a glimpse of what really happened in the Garden. It would seem that so great and unbearable was the agony, where he sweat, what looked like drops of blood, that Jesus must have thought He was going to die there in the garden. His fear was surely that He would not make it to the cross, and so fulfil His Father’s will. The scripture here records that He was heard in what He feared and was saved from death. Perhaps one ought to read Luke ch. 22 v 42 in a different light. Asking if the cup could be taken from Him probably meant that He did not want to drink the cup of death, there in the garden. The next verse says that an angel came and strengthened Him. Truly it would have been a scene to behold; our Saviour, weeping with tears and crying from his heart. All too often our tears are because we feel sorry for ourselves, but He was crying and weeping blood through his skin for us. This insight once again endorses Him as our true High Priest. He does not intercede for us in any condescending manner, as if asking God a favour. He is not like a lawyer pleading for leniency on behalf of his client. He is truly representing us, having been tested in all points like we are. He understands human weakness.
v. 9 "and being made perfect" Note the significance and the reason he had to endure suffering. His mission was to obey his father "Thou art my son" v 5. We know that Adam caused all the trouble in the first place by disobedience, and salvation came by one man’s obedience. True obedience of necessity must involve suffering. He could have been an obedient son if all he was commanded to do was become a priest like Aaron and serve in the tabernacle. But his obedience was tested far in excess of any obedience we might be called to fulfil. Disobedience is an act of self will because the one who disobeys prefers a less painful way (in the short term). If one was commanded to go on holiday to the Bahamas, one would hardly say that true obedience was called for. But if one was commanded to walk to the North Pole in slippers then of course obedience would be paramount. However, from the divine point of view we know that Jesus was an obedient Son. Scripture tells us that it was a delight for Him to do his Father’s will. So we as humans could not equate true obedience with delight or pleasure. Therefore the true meaning of this verse is that Jesus discovered what it was like to be obedient as man when the suffering came. This really perfected him as one of us. Man often makes suffering an excuse for his sin. It is hard for the natural man not to have reservations about God's justice when he feels he is suffering yet thinks he hasn't done anything to deserve it. Jesus was typified in Job. "Perfect" yet suffered. Had we not had Job's friends who were convinced he must have sinned to suffer, there would no doubt be many (especially among the Jews) who would need convincing that Jesus never sinned. Obedience is an acceptance of higher authority. Jesus , the man, was perfected as a man by his suffering. It made him complete as a sinless spotless lamb of God.. He is now “the author of Eternal salvation to all who obey Him”. As fellow “sons of God”, we are called to the same pathway of obedience. Jesus is Lord.! The last verses in chapter five are almost a forethought to chapter 7. As pointed out earlier, it is as though Paul thinks to himself “What’s the point of telling these about Mechizadek. They won’t understand” For he tells them there is much He could tell them but they are not ready to receive it, being still children in things of the Spirit, when they should have grown up by now.[It may be an obvious thing to say, but chapter six is written to connect the end of chapter five with the beginning of chapter seven. One of the ways to prove to yourself that you understand a certain passage is to see if you are able to trace the line of thought that the inspired writers had. Test yourself, if you wish, with this chapter and see if you had to join up what is written at the end of chapter five with chapter seven, would you write something akin to chapter six. Probably not!.]
BOARD SUMMARY CH. 5 His Priesthood endorsed- after the order of Melchizadek- a better and higher priesthood than that of Aaron The attributes of humanity revealed in Jesus. a, called to priesthood by God just like any other man. b, Prayed with strong cryings and tears- Prayer is a human thing c. Learnt to obey God even though he suffered like other men. Jesus perfected as a man through suffering Jesus perfected as a man through obedience despite suffering Jesus perfected in that he didn't sin at all - even though he suffered-