A Million Billion Times

by Barry Newton
motherson.jpg A mom looked down at her junior high son with an all too familiar facial expression. Words tumbled down he had so often heard before. Words he did not really wish to hear again. “If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times to pick up your room on Saturday morning.”
Expressions such as “I’ve told you a million times” reveal that we often use repetition to highlight what is important. In a similar way, through repetition the author of Hebrews draws our attention to the problem he is addressing. Using the Greek word “nothrops” meaning lazy, slow or sluggish as bookends for a digression, he penned:
“We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn” (Hebrews 5:11).
“We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised” (Hebrews 6:12).
In the midst of teaching about Jesus, the author digresses into his frustration with his listeners. They have not matured as they ought. They should have progressed to becoming teachers themselves. And yet, as he exits this side bar he can genuinely encourage them and us. They, as well as we, can inherit the promises if we will be diligent in following the worn trail of those who have already been faithful. Regardless of the past, we keep our eyes on the goal and be patiently faithful.

2 Replies to “A Million Billion Times”

  1. Dear Brother Barry,
    Would you please tell me the VERSION you have quoted from- “We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn” (Hebrews 5:11).
    P.I. Sabbathi

  2. I doubled checked the quote to ensure that I had typed it correctly. The translation I used for Hebrews 5:11 and 6:12 was The New International Version.
    Hope this is helpful.
    Barry

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