Hebrews 5:12-14 Skilled In The Word.
The previous verse cut short, for a time, our author’s treatment of the Son as high priest according to the order of Melchizedek. He said that they were “dull of hearing” (5:11 Cf. 6:12). Evidently our author believed that they had received a great deal of teaching already but it was not taking root. They were still lacking in their understanding of “ the first principles of the oracles of God” (v. 12 Cf. I Cor. 3:1-4; I Pet. 2:2). These are what he will go on to say are “the elementary principles of Christ” (6:1). He viewed these first principles as milk and not solid food. They were babes “unskilled in the word of righteousness” (v. 13 Cf. Eph. 4:14).
There are necessary skills needed by God’s people when it comes to understanding His word. There ought to be some progress. Only insofar as we are faithful students of the word will we be able “to discern both good and evil” (v. 14). It is important that we can discern what the word says with respect to both good and evil. To this end, the promised Immanuel, also gives us an example to follow (Is. 7:14). “The maturity needed to grasp Christ’s priestly ministry is not intellectual sophistication, but spiritual discernment arising from consistent obedience to God’s will (Phil. 1:9-11). True belief shows itself in practice.