Grace For The Journey
The writer of Hebrews has been steadily developing his argument that Jesus is supremely great . . .
- He is greater than the angels,
- He is the author of a great salvation,
- He is great enough to become man to accomplish it.
In our passage that we will look at today, the author turns his attention to Moses, regarded by the Jews as the greatest of men. The writer does nothing to belittle Moses. Nor does he criticize him. He accepts Moses’ greatness but shows that as great as he was, Jesus was greater by far. It was important to convince the Jewish readers that Jesus Christ is greater than Moses, because the entire Jewish religion came through Moses. Christianity came through Christ.
Someone has said, “Human beings need two things: we need to hear from God and we need to go to God. We need a word from God and we need a way to God.” That is exactly what the Bible teaches.
We need to hear from God so that we know
What He is like and what His purposes are
For the world and what he requires of us.
And we need a way to God because
To be cut off from God in death would be
Darkness and misery and torment forever.
We need revelation from God
And reconciliation with God.
We are looking today at Hebrews 3:1-7. Verse one addresses this issue. It says to the Christians, “Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession.”
- Christians are people who have heard and believed a heavenly calling, and are therefore partakers of it, sharers in it. It is a “heavenly” calling because it comes from heaven – from God; and it is a heavenly “calling” because it invites us and shows us the way home to God.
- Christians are people who have been gripped by this calling. The Word of God broke through our resistance, took hold of us with the truth and love of Christ, and reconciled us to God and is now leading us home to heaven.
This means that . . .
- Christians are people of great hope. God has spoken from heaven, made a way to heaven, and we have believed and our hope and confidence are firm.
The reason our hope and confidence are firm is not because of ourselves. There are sinners of every kind reading this blog this morning – lying sinners, stealing sinners, killing sinners, parent-disobeying sinners, etc.
The hope of the heavenly calling
Does not Hang on our righteousness.
If it did, we would be hopeless.
Our hope and confidence hang on Jesus.
This is why verse 1 continues: “Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus.” This is what this blog is all about; this is what Bible Study is all about – Considering Jesus.
We often think that considering Jesus is something that unbelievers should do. We do instruct the seeker and the perplexed to “consider Jesus,” as we absolutely should. But the book of Hebrews is devoted to helping Christians consider Jesus. “Holy brethren, . . . consider Jesus.” Why does the writer say that? Don’t holy brethren automatically consider Jesus? The answer is “No.” That is what the warning in Hebrews 2 verse 1 reminds us about, we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.”
The danger is constantly in our way
That we will stop considering Jesus
And become more interested
In other things and drift away
From the Word and perhaps never return
And prove that we were never truly
Partakers of the heavenly calling.
Hebrews calls Christians and non-Christian again and again to “Consider Jesus.”
Jesus Is The Word OF God And The Way To God.
We need a word from God and way to God. We need revelation from God and we need reconciliation with God. And the point of the book of Hebrews is that Jesus is both. This is why verse 1 ends with two descriptions of Jesus: “. . . the Apostle and High Priest of our confession.”
These two descriptions of Jesus correspond to our two great needs:
Jesus is our Apostle,
Jesus is our High Priest.
The word “apostle” means “one who is sent.” The Bible teaches that Jesus is the one sent from God to earth with the revelation of His heavenly calling. The phrase “High priest” means “one who is a go-between, who offers a sacrifice so that there can be reconciliation.” Jesus is our high priest. Hebrews 2:17 helps us to clearly see this, “He [Jesus] had to be made like His brethren in all things, that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.” The phrase “make propitiation” means “make a sacrifice for our sins that brings God’s anger at us to an end.”
What the writer is saying is: Christians, who share in the calling of God from heaven to heaven, have great confidence that we have heard from God (through our prophets and apostles) and have great hope that we are going to God, loved ,and reconciled and secure; we should consider Jesus, think about Jesus, meditate on Jesus, and listen to Jesus. Why? Because he is the Apostle from heaven who brought us our calling. And He is the final, once for all High Priest of God whose sacrifice of himself reconciled you to God and guarantees your homecoming to heaven.
God’s Apostle –
The final word from God
– And God’s High Priest –
The final way to God.
This whole book of Hebrews is written to help us consider Jesus. There is more to consider about Jesus than you could ever exhaust in this life. In chapter 1, the writer declares that Jesus is superior to angels. Jesus made and sustains the world (1:1–2, 10), but the angels run errands in it (1:14). In chapter 2 the writer states that Jesus took on human flesh and fulfilled the hope of Psalm 8 for all His people (2:7–8), “You O God have made Him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned Him with glory and honor, and have appointed Him over the works of your hands; you have put all things in subjection under His feet.”
At every stage of the book the writer is asking us to consider Jesus, ponder Who He is, and fix our eyes on Him. Like a compass moving through a world of magnets, making it spin this way and that, we need to make Jesus the North Pole of our life that our heart comes back to again and again through the day.
What Are To Consider About Jesus?
The writer of this book, and the God who inspired it, want us to consider His superiority over Moses. Why? Because in considering this, our confidence in our heavenly calling will be made stronger and our hope will be more bold.
There are two ways that Jesus is superior to Moses mentioned in verses 2–6. What strengthens our confidence and our hope is not just the raw fact of Jesus’ superiority over Moses; it is what we see about Jesus that makes Him superior. Seeing Jesus in a fresh way in this text is what helps us “hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end” (3:6b).
Let’s look at these two ways Jesus is superior to Moses. Verse 2 introduces the comparison and shows that both Jesus and Moses were faithful in God’s house, which is a picture of God’s people. Verse 2 says, “He [Jesus] was faithful to Him [God the Father] who appointed Him, as Moses also was in all His house.”
There is a comparison
There is a comparison before there is a contrast.
The writer is not putting Moses down. That is not the point. Moses was faithful in the household of God. The writer is quoting from Numbers 12:6-8 where God says, “Hear now My words: if there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, shall make myself known to him in a vision. I shall speak with him in a dream. Not so, with my servant Moses, he is faithful in all my household; with him I speak mouth to mouth, even openly, and not in dark sayings, and he beholds the form of the Lord.”
There is a contrast.
This contrast between Jesus and Moses is significant because Moses was one of a kind in his day – with a more intimate relation to God than any other prophet. But . . .
Jesus Is Worthy of More Glory
Verse 3 states, “For He [Jesus] has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house.” Verse 3 says that Jesus is worthy of more glory than Moses in relation to God’s house . . . and he gives an astonishing reason . . . Because Jesus is the builder of the house and Moses is a part of the house. Let’s take a closer look at what the writer is saying. He says, “Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses.” In what way? Because the builder of the house has more honor than the house. In other words, he is saying: Jesus is to the people of God as a builder is to a house. Moses is to the people of God as one of the people of God is to God’s household. Therefore, Jesus is Moses’ builder. In short, Jesus made Moses.
Now let this sink in. “Consider” this! Jesus is our Apostle and High Priest . . .
He is the one who brought you a heavenly calling
From God and made you a way to God.
On Him hangs all your hope of heaven.
If you have any confidence this morning
That your sins are forgiven and that you
Will persevere in faith and attain your
Heavenly calling, this confidence depends on Jesus.
The greater and more glorious he is,
The greater our hope and confidence.
Verse 3 declares that Jesus is worthy of as much more glory than Moses as the builder of a house is worthy of more glory than the house. He made the house. He made Moses. So . . . Jesus is the greatest.
Verse 4 makes it clear just how great He is, “For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.” Verse 3 says that Jesus made the house of God. Verse 4 says that the maker of all things is God. There can be only one conclusion . . . The same as chapter 1 . . . Jesus, the Son of God, is God. That is how great He is!
The word of our Apostle is a sure word because it is a word carried by God himself. The atoning work of our High Priest on the cross is a finished and all-sufficient work, because it has infinite value as the work of God Himself. Consider this about Jesus: He made Moses . . . and He made you.
One other superiority of Jesus over Moses is mentioned in verses 5–6a: “Now Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later; 6 but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house.” Moses was a servant in the house of God. Jesus is a Son over the house of God. The difference between a servant and a son is that the son, by inheritance, owns the house, and is Lord over the house, and provides for those in the house out of his wealth. But the servants do not own anything in the house, and they follow the word of the owner. The servants receive their provision from the owner.
The Bible teaches that Jesus, as a Son, is superior to Moses in these three ways: He owns the house of God; He rules the house of God; and He provides for the house of God. By comparison Moses is just a servant in the house. He does not own it; he does not rule it; and he does not provide for it from his wealth. And the striking thing here in verse 6 is that the writer wants you immediately to apply this superiority of Jesus to yourself. Do you see how verse 6 ends? It says, “Christ was faithful as a Son over His house whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.”
The church of Jesus Christ is the house of God today. Which means that . . .
Jesus this morning is our Maker, our Owner,
Our Ruler, and our Provider.
He is the Son; we are the servants.
We are the household of God. Moses is one with us in this household, and he is our fellow servant through his prophetic ministry. But . . . Jesus is our Maker, our Owner, our Ruler, and our Provider. The text concludes by saying we are his house – we are His people, we are partakers of a heavenly calling – “if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.” The evidence that we are part of the household of God is that we do not throw away our hope. Hebrews 10:35 says, “Do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.” We do not drift into indifference and unbelief.
Becoming a Christian and being a Christian
Happen in the same way:
By hoping in Jesus –
A hope that produces
Confidence and boasting in Jesus.
What are you hoping in this morning? Where are you looking for confidence?
- In yourself?
- In shrewd investing?
- In physical fitness programs?
- In hard work?
- In luck?
The Word of God to you this morning is, “consider Jesus,” and hope in him. Then you will be part of His house and He will be your Maker, your Owner, your Ruler, and your Provider.
As we “consider Jesus” it will strengthen our faith and we will be able to persevere faithfully through God’s salvation power. The question is, “Why does the writer issue all these exhortations and warnings in the first part of his letter? To drive home the point that our salvation does not depend on faithful perseverance but on the justification that God grants the believing sinner when he or she trusts in Christ (Romans 8:1). Our assurance of salvation does not depend on our faithfulness but God’s faithfulness to His promise to glorify all those whom He has justified (Romans 8:30).
This is Grace for your Journey …
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”