In Hebrews Paul tells his fellow Jews about Jesus, that he is their one and only high priest. Priests had held important posts, playing a significant role in the life of Israel and had done so since the time of Moses, even when they were in captivity. All this was to end when their nation and its temple were destroyed.

Paul’s message was, “since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses …” (4:14,15). He understands and sympathizes because “in the days of his flesh … he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him …” (5:7-9).

Jesus set the example for us, he knew what it was like to be human. But at the same time his mind was ‘alive’ to what God had written and the meaning of the words of the prophets. This perception is behind Paul’s lament that his fellow Jews “have become dull of hearing” (5:11) – and today the same thing has happened to all nations despite God’s word being available in all languages: but the final ingathering (Matthew 13:30) is taking place.

Few appreciate how “the word of God is living and active …” (4:12) and provides “solid food … for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil” (5:14) – nearly everyone, then and now has become “dull of hearing”. Paul also complains that they are “unskilled in the word of righteousness” (verse 13). Let neither of these things be said of those who read and reflect on God’s word each day.