Introduction The writer proceeds to take up the terms “merciful” and “faithful” from 2v17 and to expound them in reverse order. He speaks of the faithfulness of Jesus in 3v1-6, and of the need for his hearers to remain faithful as well [3v7-4v14]. Thereafter, he encourages his readers with a reminder of Jesus' compassion as a merciful high priest in the service of God [4v15-5v10].
Presentation 05 The Faithfulness Of The Son The word “Therefore”, v1 signifies the close connection with what has gone before. In the light of what has been declared, we are to fix our eyes on Jesus because he is supremely great. We should give careful attention to Jesus because of our solidarity as brothers and our holy calling as participants in his future reign and joy. He is greater than the angels for he is the author of a great salvation, and great enough to become man to accomplish it.
Presentation 05 The Faithfulness Of The Son Jesus Christ is the "Apostle" [lit. delegate, messenger, one sent forth with orders] in that he is the One God sent to reveal the Father to humankind [cf. 1v1-2; John 1v14; 3v17, 34; 5v36, 38]. Furthermore, he is the "High Priest" in that he is the One God anointed to represent human beings to Himself [2v17-18]. Our confession is that for which we take a public stand - water baptism signifies that we belong to Jesus. We are those who profess our faith in him [4v14; 10v23].
Presentation 05 The Faithfulness Of The Son Moses was regarded by the Jews as the greatest of men. The writer does nothing to belittle or criticise Moses. He accepts Moses' greatness but his goal is to show that as great as he was, Jesus was greater by far. It was important to convince his Jewish readers of this because the entire Jewish religion came through Moses, while Christianity came through Christ. Jesus is presented as one who is ‘now’ faithful, just as Moses was in the past. Moses' faithfulness is focused upon how he served regarding God's “house,” the tabernacle, and regarding God's “household,” Israel [The Greek word ‘oikos’ can mean both]. Moses served exactly as God instructed him [Num. 12v7; 1 Sam. 2v35; 1Chron. 17v14].
Presentation 05 The broad context of the exhortation is God’ s “house” v2. That is God’s work or kingdom which is one “house”, clear in purpose and perfect in outworking from beginning to end. The executor of all God’s glorious “household business” is none other than the Son who has been expounded in the first two chapters in his glory and his humiliation for the salvation of men. But we also, in Christ, are called to be part of God’s “house” v6. This is something far too glorious to take any risks with, and by the Holy Spirit the writer is urging these wavering believers to consider these things. He addresses the believers in their true identity in Christ, “holy brethren”. The Faithfulness Of The Son
Presentation 05 We can also see the difference between Jesus Christ's superiority and Moses‘ by comparing the builder of a building with the building itself. No matter how grand a building may be, its creator always gets more glory than the building itself. Whereas Moses served faithfully in the system of worship the tabernacle represented, Jesus Christ designed that system of worship. These verses are a powerful testimony to the deity of Jesus Christ. If God built everything, and Jesus Christ built God's house, Jesus Christ is God. The Faithfulness Of The Son
Presentation 05 Moses functioned as a servant [‘therapon’, one who freely renders personal service], preparing a worship system that would foreshadow that to be introduced by Jesus, a spiritual temple. Jesus Christ will not serve. He will reign. He is not God's servant but God's Son. As such, he sits. he does not stand like a servant. he is the possessor of all things, not one who makes preparation for things, as Moses did. By defining Moses' service in this way, the writer indicates that Moses' status as servant corresponds to that of the angels, who are servants to the heirs of salvation. The Faithfulness Of The Son
Presentation 05 God's house over which Jesus Christ sits in authority represents the whole system of worship that our Lord inaugurated with the New Covenant. He sits in God's place, the holy of holies of this house. The tabernacle foreshadowed this final system of worship in which Jesus rules as King-Priest. The tabernacle was a microcosm of God's greater house. Moses served in the model [prototype] faithfully. Jesus rules faithfully over the larger house [the spiritual reality], not as a servant, but as God's Son with full authority. The Faithfulness Of The Son
Presentation 05 The writer shifted from using “house” to refer to the place where priestly functions take place, to using "house" to refer to the people engaged in those activities, namely, a household. Is the writer's aim to show that his readers should follow the example of faithfulness to God that Moses and Jesus set or, they could lose their privilege as priests? Essentially priests represent people to God. They exercise the leadership of people Godward. By contrasting Jesus and Moses the writer helps his Jewish readers appreciate the superiority of Jesus over Moses and so discourages them from departing from Christianity and returning to Judaism The Faithfulness Of The Son
Presentation 05 Whatever people may say or, they themselves may feel, this is what they are, brothers together in the family of God. This is a great word of encouragement for those dogged by a sense of sin, failure, unworthiness or, inferiority. God took us to himself in Christ, just as we were, cf. Rom.5v6-11; 8v31-33; Eph. 2v4-10, 18-22. It does not yet appear to men what we shall be, but there is no doubt cf. 1 John 3v1-3. We share in a heavenly calling. There is no place for pride, but plenty of place for thrill, for we are “born free” in Christ [John 8v32, 35-36; Gal. 5v1; Lk. 4v18-19], free from the limitation of circumstances and the inhibition of personality. These things may no longer dominate us. We are more than conquerors [Rom. 8v37-39]. The Faithfulness Of The Son
Presentation 05 The Danger Of Disbelief : The Second Warning In 3v 6-19 we are confronted with three leading and very searching questions. Question 1. Who in Israel’s history heard God’s voice and rebelled against it? A people who had just been delivered from awful bondage and slavery - surely the very last people we might expect to rebel against God! What is more unthinkable is the prospect of a hard hearted rebellion of Christians against the Lord who poured out his own life-blood to ransom them. Yet this was the danger that threatened this community.
Presentation 05 The Danger Of Disbelief : The Second Warning The word “Today” v7 stresses the urgency of immediate action. This writer uses it eight times in Hebrews. The context of the words quoted [Psalm 95:7b-11] is very significant. The verses immediately preceding those quoted [Ps. 95:6-7a] are a call to bow down and worship the Lord. That was the writer to the Hebrews' desire for his readers. The words he quoted urge avoidance of Israel's sin. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ initiated a new and more significant Exodus. The grand and terrible lesson of Israel's history is that it is possible to begin well and end poorly. In fact, this tragic human tendency dominates much spiritual experience.
Presentation 05 Question 2. Who was God angry with for 40 years? The very people he had delivered for the hand of Pharaoh. His deliverance did not make them so secure they could treat God with impunity and get away with it. He delivered them from Egypt in order to take them into Canaan but the one did not guarantee the other. Their trust in God was a factor in the equation so that their rejection of him meant their punishment, their bodies fell in the wilderness. A journey which should have taken a few months lasted forty years. And with the exception of a minute remnant none of those who came out of Egypt actually entered Canaan. The Danger Of Disbelief : The Second Warning
Presentation 05 Question 3. To whom did God swear they would never enter his rest? Those who disqualified themselves by their disobedience and unbelief Notice there is a connection between unbelief and disobedience just as there is between faith and obedience. One flows naturally from the other. Unbelief always passes into action for which there is a consequence to suffer. This pattern is seen first in Eden, where Adam and Eve were excluded from fellowship with God; the rest forfeited by Israel was that of the promised land; and the rest denied to those who make themselves apostates is the eternal Sabbath of the new heaven and the new earth. The Danger Of Disbelief : The Second Warning
Presentation 05 Notice the stress: the unbeliever excludes himself from rest. God’s new creation has no place for unbelief nor for the unrest which flows from it. True rest is the enjoyment of fellowship and harmony on the part of man with his Creator. And as such it is incompatible with unbelief and disobedience towards God. Hence the moral inability of the rebellious Israelites to enter into God’s rest. The Danger Of Disbelief : The Second Warning