World English Bible translation
3:1Therefore, holy brothers, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Jesus; 3:2 who was faithful to him who appointed him, as also was Moses in all his house. 3:3 For he has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who built the house has more honor than the house. 3:4 For every house is built by someone; but he who built all things is God. 3:5 Moses indeed was faithful in all his house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were afterward to be spoken, 3:6 but Christ is faithful as a Son over his house; whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the glorying of our hope firm to the end.
Thus far, the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews has had two premises. The first premise that has taken the bulk of the letter so far is that Jesus was greater than the prophets and greater than the angels. He has made extensive use of the Old Testament Scriptures to show that there was indeed a person that was to come that would be greater than all the angels and would bring a greater revelation of God. The second premise, that was introduced in yesterday's lesson, is that Jesus is a faithful High Priest for the people of God. He is a priest that has made the final sacrifice for sin and now intercedes between the people and God.
Having established that Jesus is greater than the prophets and the angels, but in this passage the author goes even beyond this premise. Now he tells them that Jesus is even greater than Moses. He says that Jesus is our apostle and the high priest just as Moses was to the people of Israel. We have studied the duties of the priest, but a word must be said about the role of the apostle. The apostle was one who was sent out with a special message or commission. The Twelve apostles were disciples that were specially chosen by Jesus and sent out to baptize and make disciples of all men. Moses became an apostle when he encountered God in the burning bush. In the same way, Jesus was an apostle sent out from the Father with a special message and commission.
But, though Moses and Jesus both would qualify for the status of apostle and high priest, Jesus is greater than Moses. Moses was a faithful and honored servant of God. He was given a commission from God and Moses faithfully fulfilled God's will. But, Jesus is the Son of the house. All things were created by Him and for Him. While Moses was a faithful servant of the house, Jesus is the builder of the house. "Christ is faithful as a Son over his house."
The implication of this comparison could not have been missed by this audience of Christians of Jewish descent. If Jesus is greater than Moses then the New Covenant that He brought is greater than the Mosaic Covenant. This comparison in no way denigrates Moses or the Covenant of Law that he initiated. Moses was the household servant that was exalted because of his faithful service to the highest position that was available. But the message and the Covenant of Christ are both greater because Christ is greater.
The house within which Moses serves was the nation of Israel. The house that Christ is over consist of all those who hold fast to their hope to the end. Those that are chosen by God will persevere because God will make them persevere. We are not in the house of Christ because we hold firm to the end. We are able to hold firm to the end because we are in the house of Christ. Christ is in us. He is not timid and He never gives up!
When you do not have confidence that you are holding on to Christ, do you have confidence that Christ is holding on to you?
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