“Solid Foods” ( Hebrews 5: 12, NIV ) by Carley Evans

The icon was painted by artist Nicholas Moroso...
The icon was painted by artist Nicholas Morosoff in 1935 at the request of Bishop Wedgwood for the St Francis Church in Tekels Park, Camberley, and hangs above its main altar. Courtesy Liberal Catholic Church of St Francis of Assisi. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

7 During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8 Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him 10 and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.

11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!”

The author of Hebrews expresses exasperation that someone must continue to teach “the elementary truths of God’s Word” to those who “by this time ought to be teachers.” The author writes of Jesus “learning obedience from what He suffered” and of Jesus being “made perfect,” “because of His reverent submission.” The author writes of God the Father “designating” Jesus “to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.” All of this teaching is “solid food,” not “milk.” Jesus “becomes the source of eternal salvation.” Jesus “becoming perfect”, Jesus “learning” are difficult teachings, for wasn’t Jesus God’s Son from before the beginning of time? “The Word was with God, and the Word was God,” writes John. (John 1:1) Paul writes, “For He chose us in [Christ] before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love, He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His good pleasure and will.” (Ephesians 1:4-5) Are we to understand Jesus, the man, somehow became God the Son?

Or, is it that Jesus learned what it is like to be fully man by actually being fully man? That, although fully divine, He also learned human submission to God, and human obedience to God in the face of ultimate suffering? Yes, Jesus was a man. By being a perfect man, God designated Him to be a priest in the order of Melchizedek.