Hebrews 5

The Word Made Fresh

1Every high priest chosen from among us is placed in charge of those things that have to do with God, so that they might offer gifts and sacrifices for our sins. 2And since he is also subject to weakness, the priest can deal gently with those who are ignorant and wayward, 3but he must offer sacrifices for his own sins as well as for the sins of the people. 4And no one presumes to accept this honor, but only does so at God’s bidding, just as did Aaron.

5Christ did not glorify himself as a high priest, but was appointed to that office by the one who said to him, “You are my son; today I have given you birth.” 6And he also says in another place, “You are a priest forever like Melchizedek.”

7While he was in the flesh Jesus raised prayers and supplications, tearfully crying aloud to the One who saved him from death, and he was heard because he submitted in reverence. 8So, even though he was a son, he learned obedience through his suffering. 9Then, having been made perfect, he became the ground of salvation for everyone who obeys him, 10because God designated him as a high priest like Melchizedek.

11Much of this is hard to explain because you have become weak in your understanding. 12By now you should have become teachers yourselves, but instead you need someone to teach you again the basic truths contained in God’s wisdom because you need milk, not solid food. 13And everyone who is living on milk are still babies, and cannot understand the teachings of righteousness. 14Solid food is for those who are mature, for they have been trained through practice to understand good and evil.


1-4: Some points about the high priests who have served in that office since the time of Aaron: 1)the high priest is in charge of offering sacrifices on behalf of the people so that they are forgiven of their sins; 2) the high priest can deal gently with sinners because he shares their weaknesses; 3) the high priest must offer sacrifices for his own sins as well as for others; 4) the high priest doesn’t select himself (although in Israel’s history that has happened a few times when the high priesthood could be purchased from a foreigner who ruled Israel); 5) the high priest is chosen by God. This last point is the only qualification for becoming a high priest; the other items outline the duties after attaining the office.

5-6: Christ qualifies as high priest because God chose him. (The quote in verse 5 is from Psalm 2:7, but also check John 8:54. The quote in verse 6 is from Psalm 110:4.) He thus satisfies the qualification for becoming the high priest.

7-10: Here are some corresponding points about Jesus: 1) He was designated by God as high priest after the order of Melchizedek (verse 10); 2) he was resurrected from death because of his reverent submission; 3) he learned obedience through suffering; 4) he was made perfect (through his resurrection); and 5) he is the source of salvation for all who obey him.

11-16: None of this should be hard to explain, but it is hard to explain to the readers of this letter because they are not mature in their understanding of the faith. In other words, it is time for them to be weaned from their simplistic ideas and go on to more substantial teachings and concepts.


Sometimes we fall away from faith so gradually that we don’t recognize it is happening. Regular worship and prayer are the essential activities of faith.