“as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word” (1 Peter 2:2, NKJV)
As the father of four kids, one of my favorite memories was of my wife sitting in the rocker in our nursery holding a crying baby as he or she rooted in to latch on to nurse. Loud cries of hunger tapered down to whimpers of anticipation and finally to coos of contentment.
Peter brings that image to bear when he speaks of our maturation as babes in Christ: “as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby” (1 Pet. 2:2). Babies don’t reason that way. They don’t go through the mental process of thinking that if they eat well they will grow. Peter, however, appeals to our will urging us to drink deeply of what God has provided for our spiritual development.
When the writer of Hebrews speaks of spiritual milk, he contrasts it with solid food. “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” (Heb. 5:12). Peter, however, is not admonishing us for lack of maturity. He is urging us to proper nourishment that will prompt our growth in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Peter identifies two things related to our partaking. One, have we experienced new birth in Christ (1 Pet. 1:23)? Have we indeed tasted that the Lord is good (1 Pet. 2:3)? Has God worked in our lives to experience His saving grace and so declare with spiritual sense and sensibility a newfound delight in God?
The other thing Peter brings to bear is the purity of what we partake. It is not to be adulterated with contaminants of error or the impurities of malice, deceit, envy, or evil. We grow in holiness through the steady diet of God’s Word, made effectual through His Spirit.
REFLECTION: How can we taste and see that the Lord is good?
Unless noted otherwise, Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.