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Every high priest is appointed to help others by offering gifts and sacrifices to God because of their sins. A high priest has weaknesses of his own, and he feels sorry for foolish and sinful people. That is why he must offer sacrifices for his own sins and for the sins of others. But no one can have the honor of being a high priest simply by wanting to be one. Only God can choose a priest, and God is the one who chose Aaron.

That is how it was with Christ. He became a high priest, but not just because he wanted the honor of being one. It was God who told him,

“You are my Son, because today
    I have become your Father!”

In another place, God says,

“You are a priest forever
    just like Melchizedek.”[a]

God had the power to save Jesus from death. And while Jesus was on earth, he begged God with loud crying and tears to save him. He truly worshiped God, and God listened to his prayers. Jesus is God’s own Son, but still he had to suffer before he could learn what it really means to obey God. Suffering made Jesus perfect, and now he can save forever all who obey him. 10 This is because God chose him to be a high priest like Melchizedek.

Warning against Turning Away

11 Much more could be said about this subject. But it is hard to explain, and all of you are slow to understand. 12 By now you should have been teachers, but once again you need to be taught the simplest things about what God has said. You need milk instead of solid food. 13 People who live on milk are like babies who don’t really know what is right. 14 Solid food is for mature people who have been trained to know right from wrong.

Footnotes

  1. 5.6 Melchizedek: When Melchizedek is mentioned in the Old Testament, he is described as a priest who lived before Aaron. Nothing is said about his ancestors or his death (see 7.3 and Genesis 14.17-20).

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