Those of you who know me may know that I am really not a great cook. On the rare occasion when I make something that both looks and tastes good I want to throw a party and celebrate the moment! Lol!
So I was making some steak and determined that it looked more like a thick leather belt than meat. To be sure it didn’t taste as bad as it looked I cut off a small bite to taste it before serving it to my family. As I chewed it up and swallowed it, I had the startling realization that in fact, it was more like leather than I had originally thought and this piece of steak was now lodged in my throat! Now these things seem to happen to me when my husband is traveling and my three kids are staring at me wide-eyed as I remind them that if anything happens to me they must promise they will never stop reading and obeying God’s Word! Then we recited what to do if I put my hand over my throat to indicate that I’m choking and cannot breathe. It felt as if any second this piece of lodged meat was going to move and choke me. I was fixated on the feeling, monitoring the perceived slight movements of the meat when I determined I needed some professionals around me and went to the ER.
The next day, I found myself preparing for a scope that was going to be put in my esophagus to remove the meat. Later, after I made it out of there alive and well, I thought of what Paul tells the church of Corinth in his letter when he addresses their spiritual maturity.
“But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?” 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 ESV
Here’s the spiritual analogy I want to share. When more mature believers try to address those “infants in Christ” as spiritual people we might as well prepare for spiritual choking, a visit to the spiritual ER and finally a spiritual scope to physically remove the solid food that these infants are not ready to receive. It is another reason why it is so important that we only speak that which we hear the Spirit speaking when we are with other believers. Paul acknowledges that they were not ready at first for solid food, so he gave them “milk” and assesses that “even now you are not yet ready” and points to the jealousy and strife that is among them as an indicator of their immaturity in Christ.
What do you think Paul considered to be “milk” teaching and instruction and what part do you think Paul was considering to be “solid food?”
I would like to end with what Matthew Henry’s commentary adds to these verses, bolded emphasis mine:
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary
3:1-4 The most simple truths of the gospel, as to man’s sinfulness and God’s mercy, repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, stated in the plainest language, suit the people better than deeper mysteries. Men may have much doctrinal knowledge, yet be mere beginners in the life of faith and experience. Contentions and quarrels about religion are sad evidences of carnality. True religion makes men peaceable, not contentious. But it is to be lamented, that many who should walk as Christians, live and act too much like other men. Many professors, and preachers also, show themselves to be yet carnal, by vain-glorious strife, eagerness for dispute, and readiness to despise and speak evil of others.
Written by Jamie Shaver