The Passion Translation
A King-Priest like Melchizedek
5 For every High Priest was chosen from among the people and appointed to represent them before God by presenting their gifts to God and offering sacrifices on their behalf. 2 Since the High Priest is also one who is clothed in weakness, he humbles himself[a] by showing compassion to those who are ignorant of God’s ways and stray from them. 3 And for this reason, he has to not only present the sin offerings of others, but also to bring a sin offering for himself. 4 And no one takes this honor upon himself by being self-appointed, but God is the one who calls each one, just as Aaron was called.
5 So also, Christ was not self-appointed and did not glorify himself by becoming a high priest, but God called and glorified him![b] For the Father said to him,
“You are my favored Son. Today I have fathered you.”[c]
6 And in another Scripture he says about this new priestly order,
“You are a Priest like Melchizedek,[d] a King-Priest forever!”
7 During Christ’s days on earth[e] he pleaded with God, praying with passion and with tearful agony that God would spare him from death.[f] And because of his perfect devotion his prayer was answered and he was delivered. 8 But even though he was a wonderful Son,[g] he learned to listen[h] and obey through all his sufferings. 9 And after being proven perfect in this way he has now become the source of eternal salvation to all those who listen to him and obey. 10 For God has designated him as the King-Priest who is over the priestly order of Melchizedek.[i]
Moving On into Full Maturity
11 We have much to say about this topic although it is difficult to explain,[j] because you have become too dull and sluggish to understand. 12 For you should already be professors instructing others by now; but instead, you need to be taught from the beginning the basics of God’s prophetic oracles![k] You’re like children[l] still needing milk and not yet ready to digest solid food. 13 For every spiritual infant who lives on milk is not yet pierced[m] by the revelation of righteousness.[n] 14 But solid food is for the mature, whose spiritual senses perceive heavenly matters. And they have been adequately trained by what they’ve experienced to emerge[o] with understanding of the difference between what is truly excellent and what is evil and harmful.
- 5:2 As translated from the Aramaic. There is an alternate translation of the Aramaic which reads “He [Christ] humbled himself and took the sorrows of those who knew nothing and were lost, for he was also clothed in frailty [humanity].”
- 5:5 Apparently, many Jewish believers were having difficulty with Jesus being our High Priest, since he was not of Aaron’s lineage from the tribe of Levi. The Holy Spirit is showing us that his priesthood is not on the basis of lineage, but the supernatural calling of God, much like Melchizedek. The meaning of the name Melchizedek is “king of righteousness.”
- 5:5 The Aramaic can be translated “Every day I beget you.” See Ps. 2:7, 12; Heb. 1:5.
- 5:6 Or “in the succession of Melchizedek.” See Ps. 110:4.
- 5:7 Or “During the days when Christ wore flesh.”
- 5:7 That is, from a premature death in Gethsemane. The text clearly states that Jesus was spared from death. What death? He gave his life on the cross for us. This seems to reveal that Jesus prayed in the garden to be spared from death that night and live long enough to die on the cross, and not prematurely die in the garden. Most expositors believe this was the “cup” of God’s wrath that was the sin payment. Yet it is possible that the “cup” he was asking God to let pass from him was the cup of premature death in the garden, not the death he would experience the next day on the cross. He had already sweat drops of blood, but the prophecies had to be fulfilled of being pierced on a cross for our transgressions. God answered his cry and he lived through the agony of Gethsemane so that he could be our sacrifice for sin on Calvary. Jesus did not waver in the garden. We have a brave Savior! See John 18:11.
- 5:8 As translated from the Aramaic.
- 5:8 The Greek word for obedience, hupakoe, means “to hearken” or “to listen for the knock on the door” or “to pay attention.” Also in v. 9. (See Strong’s Concordance, Gr. 5218 and 5219.) Jesus’ sufferings were seen as lessons of listening to and obeying God.
- 5:10 As translated from the Aramaic. Jesus, our magnificent King-Priest, has made us kings and priests that serve him and extend his kingdom on the earth. See 1 Peter 2:9–10; Rev. 5:8–10.
- 5:11 The Aramaic can be translated “We have so much more to say about Melchizedek, but his manifestation overwhelms us and makes it difficult to explain.”
- 5:12 Or “the elements of the beginnings of the oracles of God.” That is, how Jesus is the substance and fulfillment of the oracles (message) of God.
- 5:12 The Greek word nepios means “still unfit to bear arms,” that is, unprepared for battle.
- 5:13 Or “inexperienced.” The Greek word apeiros means “unpierced.” (See Strong’s Concordance, Gr. 552, 586, 3984, and 4008.)
- 5:13 The Aramaic can be translated “they are not unversed in the language [manifestation] of righteousness.”
- 5:14 As translated from the Aramaic.