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Hebrews 3: A Faithful High Priest

by Bob Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]

Reading: Hebrews 3

Text
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)

Reflecting and Thinking
The high priest in Judaism functioned as a bridge or go-between, linking God and human beings. As the Hebrew writer will soon point out, the difficulty in this plan was not the identity of the high priest with the people, but was that the high priest had to offer sacrifices for his own sins before he could enter God's presence on behalf of the people. Jesus can be our faithful high priest because he is God's Son, and thus greater than the servants. Lest the reader doubt the frailty of the former system, the writer reminds that Moses' leadership in the wilderness resulted in rebellion, unbelieving hearts, disobedience, and departure from God. Those who rebelled were those Moses had led out of Egypt. The only antidote is to share Christ with a firm hold and confidence and courage and hope.

Why did the people in the wilderness turn away from God? Where was the flaw or fault? Was it with God, Moses, or their hearts? Based on this text, why do Christians today turn away from God? How do you react to the suggestion that the problem is failure to fix one's thoughts firmly on Jesus as the one sent to serve as our high priest? How confident can we be under the high priesthood of Jesus? Are the writer's admonitions to courage and hope just empty words, or is he reflecting something we need to learn? Make a list of three great lessons you want to remember from today's devotional reading.

Prayer
Dear God, thank you for sending Jesus as your presence and representative, as your son and our high priest. Help us grow in faith and obedience. Rescue us when we are tempted to swerve away from our hope and calling. Help us keep our thoughts fixed on Jesus, even as we pray in his name, Amen.


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Last updated April 19, 2011