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Hebrews Chapter 5  

Memory verses for this week:  Acts 20:24  But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. 

Introduction:  In Chapter 4, we studied about how there is a future rest for the child of the Lord when we die.  We studied also about how the word of God is very powerful, able to divide soul and spirit as a two-edged sword.   The end of the chapter discussed how Jesus came in the order of Melchisedec.


I.  The Office of High Priest

Heb 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:

Heb 5:2  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.

There were many Old Testament priests, beginning with Aaron.   But we have a much greater high priest than any earthly man, and this is Jesus Christ. 

We discussed how that Melchizedek was a priest of the most high God in last weeks lesson.

Gen 14:18  And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.

Moses’ father in law Jethro was a priest in Midian.

Exo 3:1  Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.

God chose the tribe of Levi to be priests of Israel, while the family of Aaron was chosen to the high priest.

 Num 17:1  And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

Num 17:2  Speak unto the children of Israel, and take of every one of them a rod according to the house of their fathers, of all their princes according to the house of their fathers twelve rods: write thou every man's name upon his rod.

Num 17:3  And thou shalt write Aaron's name upon the rod of Levi: for one rod shall be for the head of the house of their fathers.

Num 17:4  And thou shalt lay them up in the tabernacle of the congregation before the testimony, where I will meet with you.

The high priest was the one totally in charge.   He was the one above all the other priests from the tribe of Levi.    The high priest had the job of presenting his brethren’s gifts and sacrifices for their sins.  Our great High Priest Jesus Christ offered himself on the cross of Calvary to be our sacrifice for sins.  Today, in Heaven, he offers our gifts of worship and praise. 

Heb 5:3  And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins.

Heb 5:4  And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.

It was necessary for the high priest to offer a sacrifice for himself as well as for the people.

Hebrews 9:7   But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:

Leviticus 16:6   And Aaron shall offer his bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make an atonement for himself, and for his house.

In this we see the superiority of our great High Priest, Jesus Christ.   He needed no offering for Himself, but gave Himself in love for others.

Hebrews 7:27  Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. 

J. Vernon McGee said this about the excellency of Christ.

You will recall that on the great Day of Atonement Aaron first brought a sacrifice and took the blood into the Holy of Holies for his own sins. He had to have his own sin question settled first before he could represent the people. There is no counterpart of this in Christ. Christ did not have to make an offering for Himself. He made an offering for you and me.   [1]

Verse 4 reminds us that God chose who the High Priest was to be just like he calls men to be preachers and ministers of the Gospel.   In the Old Testament, a priest began his service in the tabernacle at the age of 30.  He served in that capacity and when he turned 50 and retired.   If any of you are wondering why I am still teaching S/S at 50, there is no biblical imperative set down that we should cease teaching at 50.   Seriously, there is never an age when any of us should stop reaching others with the Gospel.  Remember, it took 80 years for God to get Moses READY to begin serving.   40 years in Pharaoh’s Palace raised as Pharaoh’s daughter’s son, and 40 years on the backside of the desert learning patience. 

Numbers 4:3  From thirty years old and upward even until fifty years old, all that enter into the host, to do the work in the tabernacle of the congregation.

Numbers 4:23,30,35,39,43, & 47 all repeat this command.   Anytime you see scripture repeated, God is making a point that we should pay attention to.

Numbers 4:47  From thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old, every one that came to do the service of the ministry, and the service of the burden in the tabernacle of the congregation, 


II.  Christ – A Priest after the Order of Melchisedec

Heb 5:5  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.

Heb 5:6  As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

We discussed earlier about Melchisedec’s priesthood which was over in Gen 14:18.

The order of Melchisek was Prophet, Priest, and King.   Christ came and was known as a prophet through his earthly life.   Today he is our high priest, seated in heaven with the Father making intercession for us.

Hebrews 3:1  Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; 

One day, which I believe is coming very soon, Jesus will return as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.

Rev 19:11  And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

Rev 19:12  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.

Rev 19:13  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

Rev 19:14  And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

Rev 19:15  And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

Rev 19:16  And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.


Phil 2:8  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Phil 2:9  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

Phil 2:10  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

Phil 2:11  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Heb 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;

Heb 5:8  Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;

Heb 5:9  And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

Heb 5:10  Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.

In the tribe of Levi, there were many priests because they lived and then they died.  Our Great High Priest will never change, since Jesus continueth forever.  He is our one and only High Priest.

Heb 7:23  And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death:

Heb 7:24  But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.

Heb 7:25  Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

J. Vernon McGee had this so say about Christ learning obedience.

And being made perfect”—that is, made complete, made full.

“Eternal salvation”—the only kind of salvation He offers is eternal. If you can lose it tomorrow, then, my friend, it is not eternal. It is some other kind of salvation. But He offers only eternal salvation.

“Unto all them that obey him.” What is obedience? A crowd of people asked Jesus, “… What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?” (John 6:28). Jesus replied, “… This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent” (John 6:29). Do you want to obey God? Then trust Christ. That is what He is saying.

But there is something here that I do not understand—I am frank to admit it. “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.” Why did the Son of God need to learn obedience by suffering? And why did He need to be made perfect when He already was perfect? I stand here in the presence of a mystery, a mystery that I cannot fathom. I know only that God got something out of the death of Christ that has made heaven more wonderful and has added something to heaven where everything is perfection and that the Son of God has learned something!

Now I am well acquainted with the explanation that men gave, but none of them satisfy me. I just recognize that it is a great mystery. Christ took upon Himself our humanity, and in that humanity He obeyed God. He said, “I have come to do my Father’s will” (see John 6:39). Paul said of Him, “… [He] took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:7–8, italics mine). My friend, I want you to know that when I die (if the Lord tarries) I won’t do it obediently. I don’t want to die. I think it is morbid when folk always talk about wanting to die. I want to live on earth as long as I can.  i

III.  Milk and Meat of the Word

Heb 5:11  Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.

Heb 5:12  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.

There were many things Paul wanted to say to these people but he could not because they were dull of hearing.  They were in this condition because they were still on the milk of the word.   These folks had been saved long enough that they should have been able to teach others the deep things of God.

Heb 5:13  For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

Heb 5:14  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.

Paul declares that these who were unskilful were in need to be taught the basic fundamentals again.   It is sad for someone to sit in church week after week, and never grow in their knowledge of God’s Word.   You can still be a babe in the bible at 80 if you are not digging and attempting to learn.   Milk of the word speaks of the simple things, like we feed a baby milk when he or she is first born.  You can’t feed a steak to a newborn.   As I put this lesson together in September of 2001, we are keeping my 2 week old granddaughter Katherine as my son and wife attend a Christian function tonight.   It is a joy to see her take that bottle and be happy and satisfied.  But if she was to remain that way 4 years from now, we would not be happy.  The same is true in God’s view of the Christian who does not grow and take on the meat of the word.   Strong meat belongs to them who are of full age.   Paul in his letter to the Corinthians mentioned how he had to feed them with milk because they had not grown spiritually.

1 Cor 3:1  And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

1 Cor 3:2  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.

1 Cor 3:3  For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

1 Cor 3:4  For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

1 Cor 3:5  Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?

1 Cor 3:6  I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.

1 Cor 3:7  So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

1 Cor 3:8  Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.

1 Cor 3:9  For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.

Abraham was so happy when Isaac was weaned, he made a great feast.

Gen 21:8  And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned.

When God’s people grow and get off the milk of the word and on to the meat, there will be a great time of feasting for your soul when you study and meditate in God’s Word.


Internet Bible Studies are prepared and distributed free of charge.  The lessons may not be sold without consent.   If you have questions or wish to discuss the lessons, or possibly need help in finding Jesus Christ as your Personal Lord and Savior, contact David Parham at 940-322-4343.


Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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