Hebrews 3:1-6

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, July 12, 2021 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

“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

I know I write this often, but it’s always true: when we see a “therefore” in Scripture, we have to ask what the “therefore” is there for. In this case, it’s referring back to the beginning two chapters of Hebrews. The author has primarily been discussing Jesus - who He is and what He has done to provide the opportunity for salvation for us. The author is continuing here to develop the idea that Jesus is supremely great.

Because of all of that discussion on Jesus, what are we called to do? Fix our thoughts on Jesus! He is so important for our faith and life that He should always be on our minds. He is our apostle - the one God sent to earth to provide for our salvation. He is our high priest - the only one who is worthy to perform the sacrifice necessary for our salvation.

The author then moves to comparing Jesus to Moses. He has already established that Jesus is greater than the angels and greater than any human, so why is this comparison needed? Moses was revered as the most important person in the nation of Israel’s history. He was the one who God chose to lead them out of slavery and almost into the Promised Land. Even though this text says that Moses was faithful, we know that he was not 100% faithful all the time. Moses was still a sinful human being, just like every other human who has ever lived - except Jesus.

The house analogy that we see in this passage helps us put it all into perspective. God built the house, Jesus is the owner of the house, and Moses is a servant in that house. They’re both part of the house - God’s plan for the nation of Israel - but Jesus is greater than Moses. Did Moses do great things to free the nation of Israel from slavery in Egypt? Yes. Did Jesus do even better things by giving up His life for the salvation of all people, in all times and all places? Definitely.

There’s even evidence that God created the world inside this passage. Verse 4 says, “For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.” Houses do not build themselves, and worlds do not create themselves. There must be someone behind that building/creating, and that someone is God. Of course, God is much greater than any house builder, but this helps provide evidence for God as creator.

But, back to Moses. We see again that Moses was God’s faithful servant. The word used here for “servant” is the only time this word occurs in the New Testament. It does not just refer to any average servant but one who is honored. It’s a servant who is far above a slave in status but still serves the master. Other similar words could be henchman, attendant, companion in arms, or squire. (Personally, I think it’d be fun to call Moses “God’s henchman”!) Moses’ servitude foretold what Jesus would be like - obedient to the Father and providing for salvation for the people, though Jesus fulfilled this perfectly and to a greater extent than Moses.

Interestingly, verse 6 is the first time we see the name “Christ” used in the book of Hebrews. Here, it’s significant that Christ is used instead of the human name Jesus to show the superiority of the person behind the title. Moses was a member, albeit a distinguished one, of the house, whereas Christ is the “Son over God’s house.” Christ has a much higher role in this house than Moses, or any other member, does.

The author found it important to clarify at this point who is a part of this house. The reference to Moses and the exodus from Egypt may lead the reader to believe that only the Jews, Abraham’s descendants, are part of God’s house since they were God’s chosen people for so many generations. But now, because of Jesus and His saving work, all people of God are included in this house! The people of God are those who “hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.” But what does that phrase mean?

The word for “confidence” can also mean courage, so we are to hold firmly onto our confidence and our courage. The word translated as “glory” can also mean to boast, but it more specifically means something that a person can boast about, not the actual act of boasting. Instead of being ashamed of our position in God’s house, we should hold onto the confidence that we have a position we can boast about. Our hope is specifically the certain Christian hope that God will fulfill His promises.

How are you holding firmly to your confidence and hope in Christ that you can boast about? Are you living your life in such a manner that shows that Jesus Christ is greater than any other person who has ever lived?

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