You Need Milk, Not Solid Food (Hebrews 5:11-12)

Written by Juli Camarin on .

“We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. 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!” (Hebrews 5:11-12)

This is a word for the modern church today. We have congregations of people who neither know the truth of the Word or the power of God. They remain in infancy, hovering around the door of salvation without desire to walk into the fullness of God to which they have been called. Placing no importance on God's Word in their own lives, they starve on half truths and “feel good” sermons. They cannot accept the deep things of God because they haven't strived to understand even the foundation.

This is exactly what the writer of Hebrews is chiding the reader about. The wonderful truth being explained of Jesus' priesthood being on the same order as Melchizedek’s is hard to comprehend, not because it is impossible but because we are unable to receive it. This is due to dullness in our spiritual understanding and being undisciplined in God's word. The Amplified Bible records it this way, “Concerning this we have much to say which is hard to explain, since you have become dull in your [spiritual] hearing and sluggish [even slothful in achieving spiritual insight]. For even though by this time you ought to be teaching others, you actually need someone to teach you over again the very first principles of God's Word. You have come to need milk, not solid food” (Hebrews 5:11-12 AMP).

I believe this epidemic of infancy is twofold. First, since those who call themselves teachers do not have a full understanding of the scripture as a whole, they deliver the same message over and over packaged in different forms with a witty title. They spoon feed these elementary truths again and again without offering to lead their congregations deeper in their understanding of God. Secondly, because of this, people have no desire to find out for themselves what God's Word says. They take at face value what they've been taught without verifying or knowing it for themselves. They do not allow themselves to feast on anything other than the milk of the Word. Because of this, we have congregations full of people who look more like the world, than like Jesus.

As believers we must place the utmost importance on knowing God's Word. Not just reading it to check it off the list, but studying it to gain spiritual understanding and revelation knowledge. This is our handbook for life. This is God's love letter to us to show us the person of Jesus Christ. John tells us that Jesus is the Word (John 1:1; John 1:14), which means that these written truths are living and once we digest them they will activate within us and change us forever.

Peter said "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires" (II Peter 1:3-4). Paul told Timothy, "But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work" (II Timothy 3:14-17). James said something similar, "But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does" (James 1:25). All of these great men placed an importance on knowing the Word. Scripture was given for us to help us through this life. To remind us of everything Jesus said and did. To show us what is to come. And to protect us from everything that Jesus died to set us free of. The Bible is full of amazing truths and wonderful promises, but unless you know them you will never own them.

The Bible is not hard to understand because we have a capable teacher. This is one of the functions of the Holy Spirit. I John 2 says, "As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him" (I John 2:27). The Holy Spirit will guide you to understand the Bible as you start to explore. He will speak these truths into your life, bringing understanding. All you need to do is start planting the seeds of life and He will do the rest.

Paul's charge to Timothy is a good one for us today, He told him, "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth" (II Timothy 2:15). We study not to prove ourselves to God, but to show ourselves that we are approved by God. We will never be ashamed before Him when we accurately handle and skillfully teach the truths of the Word.