Almost everything we know about this mysterious Old Testament character named Melchizedek is found in this epistle to the Hebrews. Some scholars claim he was Christophany, a pre-incarnate manifestation of Jesus. Others argue he was an archetype, a symbol or a foreshadowing of Christ, as both are known as kings and high priests to God. Let's find out why the author of Hebrews thought it was imperative that his readers understand that Jesus was "after the order of Melchizedek".
Let today’s reading wash over you. It starts with God’s promise being made, backed by His own perfection. It ends with God’s unchangeable and perfect nature. Amidst a world that twists and turns, and waves that slosh around us and at times right into our mouth and nose, we rise above the waves and see our God, making promises, wanting us to be blessed, wanting us to be encouraged, wanting us to have hope, His throne always open for us to find refuge while we wait for the promise to be fulfilled.
-- Amy and Todd Smith
In today’s passage the author of Hebrews, after delivering a very stern warning to his audience, turns and exhorts them to keep going. He feels sure, in their case, of their ability to persist and “be imitators” of those who had faith and patience before them. In this passage, the author is inviting us to earnestly desire the hope that produces assurance that encourages us to persist in faith and love for the name of God and those around us.
This is a passage that we must pay very close attention to (Hebrews 2:1). Every single word of this text is important. It is serious, it is heartbreaking to us in our human condition, but it is just and righteous. This passage is a very stern warning against neglecting salvation. Let us heed this warning with heaviness and trembling. Praise King Jesus.
Conviction comes in many forms and through many avenues. Sometimes it comes from people God places in your life, like Nathan sent out to share a significant story with David. Sometimes it comes through fasting and prayer. Sometimes it hits like a brick. Sometimes God gently comes through His Word and reminds in a gentle whisper. I was convicted in this way today as I interacted with God through Hebrews 6. As I wrote “The Daily, “I was reminded that I do, in fact, want the abundant life God promises! There is so much more according to this scripture. I am not sure what I have been waiting for, but I want to “get on with it!” Do you?
Today's passage admonishes those who would be lazy in their faith, those not putting in the time and effort necessary to grow in God. Christianity is not a spectator sport or a consumer-oriented pastime--it requires hard work and training to bring about necessary results. God expects us to be hard at work, which is why He gave us the sabbath: to break and recuperate from all our work, which will enable us to then do more work. Just like building muscle, learning an art form, or studying a subject, Christianity requires regular, intentional effort to yield growth. Let the word of God drive you to be mindful or your Christian walk and to consistently put into practice what He is teaching you, not for your sake alone, but also for those in the church and community who will benefit from your faith in action.
When God gave up the glory of heaven to walk with us, in flesh, as a man, he came to live a perfect and blameless path that was fraught with temptation, difficulty and pain. He felt every emotion we have ever felt. He felt the difficulty of obedience and how it calls us out of what we know to be comfortable. In the garden of Gethsemane, the bible tells us that he was “in agony” to the point of sweating blood. Jesus prayed to God to deliver Him from the fate of the cross, yet ultimately, he obeyed. In His perfection through obedience, He was made the source of eternal salvation for us all.
Hebrews 3:5—6 is part of a larger section running through Hebrews 4—8 about Jesus’ priesthood being superior to that of Moses. It is said, “Scripture helps interpret Scripture.” Here is a section where that is greatly needed. A lot of Scripture references are contained in just these two verses.
In verse 5, we see that Christ’s priesthood needed to be divinely appointed and was divinely appointed by God. Psalms 2:7 and 110:4 tells us that the Messianic priest was to be chosen by God. In both Psalms the priest is a royal priest. In Psalm 2:7, the Messianic priest is the Son—who has access to the Father. Verse 5:6 emphasizes His priestly order—that of Melchizedek. The history of Melchizedek is found in Genesis
14:18—20. Christ and Melchizedek both had the office of King and the function of high priest. This was normally not the case. It is further developed in Hebrews 7. Finally, Christ’s special priesthood is also mentioned in 1 Peter 2:9, John 17:22, and Revelation 5:10.
The big thing here is that Jesus combines the role of high priest with his status as the Son of God. It’s not two people we are looking for. It’s one savior—Jesus! He is our intercessor.
Yesterday we saw how Christ exceeds all other high priests that came before Him. Today, we consider further the role of the high priest and how they are marked with humility in their leadership of God’s people, because God chooses them out of His wisdom, not out of their worthiness.
Have you ever said “You don’t know what I’ve been through”. While this may be true for many, Jesus does know what we have been through. Jesus is the Son of God and yet He came and lived a humble life. A life many can relate to and many try to emulate. Christ is our High Priest. However He does not lord His stature over us. Jesus sympathizes with us because He lived among us. Unlike us Jesus was victorious over sin. Because of this we should see Jesus as approachable. Jesus provides mercy (not getting what we deserve) and then gives us grace (getting what we don’t deserve). This should be comforting when we struggle. When life gets hard and things seem bleak or we feel the temptation to hide we should draw near to Christ. Jesus knows what we have been through because He went through it too.