Where’s the Beef?
In 1984, the fast food chain Wendy’s came out with a series of commercials attempting to highlight the fact that their hamburger patties were bigger than McDonald’s and Burger King’s patties. If you’ve never seen these commercials, here is a link to the original one: Where’s the Beef commercial. The commercials featured an elderly lady saying the phrase, “Where’s the beef?” I don’t know if the writer of Hebrews used a phrase quite like that but in Hebrews 5 he is essentially asking the same question. Let’s read his closing paragraph in this chapter: 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
The reader is exhorted to start maturing in his faith. Like a baby transitions from milk to solid food, so followers of Jesus must transition from basic, spiritual things to more “meaty” ones. How does this happen? I think verse 14 tells us. We have to “use” our spiritual senses and abilities. A small child learns most of the things he learns through repetition and use. A child doesn’t get a class on how to sit up…she just keeps trying and eventually it works. A child doesn’t watch a DVD on how to walk. She just keeps “using” those muscles until they work. That is what the writer has in mind I think. Are you exercising the “muscles” of your spiritual life so that milk no longer satisfies you? It would be very strange to see a 25 year old man with a bottle of milk. Let’s not be veteran followers of Jesus on milk. If someone says, “Where’s the beef?” let’s be able to show them our lives.