Thursday, May 29, 2014

Hebrews 3:1-6 Holy Moses!?

The trouble with putting our faith in people is that they will at some point let us down. Even the best cannot be completely faithful and will eventually disappoint us. That is why the author of Hebrews argues that the Jewish believers would be foolish to turn back to their old traditions and reliance on the Law to save them. Even their greatest heroes, Moses, and his brother, the High Priest, Aaron, could not live up to the expectations of the Israelites. In the third chapter of Hebrews, the author lays out the case for the superiority of Christ over Moses, the lawgiver.

Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest.  He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house.  Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself.  For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.  “Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house,” bearing witness to what would be spoken by God in the future.  But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory. (Hebrews 3:1-6)

Jesus is called our apostle and high priest here. An apostle is one who is sent. Moses was one sent by God to deliver the Israelites from Egypt, and Aaron was their high priest. But the author urges the readers here to fix their eyes on the Apostle and High Priest who does not disappoint. For, even though Moses was considered faithful to those he lead, they were not happy with him, and they were in continual rebellion, grumbling, complaining, even seeking to stone Moses, Aaron, Joshua, and Caleb (see Numbers 13 and 14 to put this into context).

While Moses is described as faithful as a servant in all God’s house in these verses, the author states that Jesus is superior because He is faithful as the only Son over God’s house. Don’t fix your eyes on Moses and the Law. Moses couldn’t save us, and the Law just showed us our desperate need for a Savior. Instead, fix your eyes on Jesus! It’s not that Jesus was faithful to US (although, He certainly was, is, and always will be), but that He was always faithful to His Father. He came to do His Father’s will and was obedient in everything, even unto death. He’s the only one who could save us.

I like what Jon Courson writes:

Biblical Christianity is not about us, gang. It’s not about our prayer. It’s not about our devotion. It’s not about whether we’re good or bad, obedient or disobedient. It’s not about how much we pray or how little we pray. It’s not about whether you go or don’t go, what we do or don’t do. It’s about Jesus’ faithfulness to His Father. And our failures only make His ministry to the Father that much more impressive. (Application Commentary: New Testament, P. 1464)

Jesus is the faithful Savior. As the author of Hebrews moves forward with His argument about the superiority of Christ, he will warn them about the danger of turning back to their traditions, as he reminds the readers that we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory. We will see next why we need to hold firmly.  

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