In Hebrews, the writer shapes a beautiful discussion of Jesus as our great high priest. As part of this discussion, he links Jesus to the Old Testament priest Melchizedek. But before he is able to, he stops to discuss the notion of Christian maturity. He does not believe he can go on with his argument because his hearers are not ready to hear it (5:11). They are still feeding off of milk, not solid food. In this, they are childish in their faith (5:13).
Solid food (more advanced teaching), on the other hand, is for the mature. Hebrews characterizes maturity as the ability to discern good from evil through constant application of, and skill in, the word of righteousness (5:12, 14). He makes this statement: "By this time you ought to be teachers [but] you need someone to teach you again" (5:12). Mature believers have assimilated basic teaching, are teaching others, and are ready for advanced instruction.
Mature followers of Jesus are able to teach others and help them grow in faith. They do not need to be continually taught themselves.
Mature followers of Jesus comprehend the basic teachings of the way of Jesus and they teach them to others in a variety of ways. Teaching is not only done formally, from a lectern in front of a group of people. It is also done informally, through conversation, when the word of righteousness is shared in word or deed.
People are taught when they are provided information, whether in a class or in a more informal setting, when someone mentors them and shares their life with them, or when they are immersed into a Christian context and learn through the teaching and the examples around them.
Let us strive towards maturity. Assimilate basic Christian teaching into your life and then multiply, or reproduce, yourself by teaching another, leading them further into maturity in Christ.