The writer of Hebrews says to his readers, “By this time you ought to be teachers” (Hebrews 5:12, my paraphrase). These are strong, bold words. Who exactly is the writer addressing here? The book of Hebrews shows us he is speaking to believers who have been well schooled in biblical truth. In other words, those reading his letter had been sitting under powerful preaching by many anointed ministers.
Now, in chapter 5, the writer says to his readers:
“After all of this teaching, still you are dull of hearing. By this time, with all your Bible knowledge, you ought to be teachers. But it is clear you need someone to teach you the elementary principles of God all over again. You still need milk, when you ought to be feeding on meat” (see 5:11–12).
Think about what the writer is saying here. He’s telling his readers, in short, “By now you should be steadfast examples to your children. Your faith should be unwavering. You should no longer be murmuring or complaining in your afflictions, but instead be willing partakers of Christ’s sufferings. You ought not to be hot one moment and then suddenly cold when the enemy comes in like a flood.”
Does this word apply to you? How many sermons have we heard that challenge us to trust the Lord in all things? How many times have we heard God’s incredible promises preached to us? How many faith-stirring sermons have we taken in? How often have we been blessed by a message about God’s faithfulness? And yet how often are we quickly deflated when a trial comes?
Multitudes in the church today are well taught, full of biblical truth, experienced sermon tasters. Indeed, we are the ones the writer of Hebrews is addressing in this letter. And he is telling us, “By this time you ought to be teachers by your example. But, instead, your faith still wavers in times of battle.”