2 Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—
3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
As we’ve seen this week, the New Testament often utilizes the images of infants and milk to portray immature believers. Such is not the case here. Peter addressed believers who had already or likely soon would suffer persecution for their faith, not exactly an indication of immaturity.
Peter’s point was not the immaturity of newborn infants, but their desire or craving for the nourishment provided by the milk that sustains them. As believers align themselves under the high priest Jesus, their priesthood will be characterized by a deep longing for the nourishment of the “pure spiritual milk,” specifically the Word of God. For those who may this week be discouraged thinking, “I should be more mature in my faith by now,” this is great news! We all have room to grow, and the way to do that, no matter where we are in our spiritual journey, is to desire it and lean into God and His Word.
By stating, “that you may grow up into your salvation,” Peter was not suggesting that individuals can somehow grow themselves into a relationship with God apart from the grace and sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Rather, those who trust in Jesus’ atoning work receive the unmerited gift of eternal life: salvation. The more you “grow up into your salvation,” that is, the more you mature in faith and obedience, the more your salvation means to you. But only those who “have tasted that the Lord is good” will have the craving for the nourishment of God’s Word and the desire to grow further into their salvation.
• Read Psalm 34:8. How is taking refuge in the Lord related to growing up in your salvation?
• Though Peter had not used the term priesthood by this point in his letter, he had begun moving the conversation in that direction. What do verses 2-3 teach you about your priestly calling?
• Thank God for His graciousness in showing you His goodness and calling you to join in the priestly ministry of Jesus. Invite Him to increase your longing to know Him and grow up into the salvation to which you’ve been graciously called.