Thursday 15 October 2020

Bible Book:

… one who has become a priest, not through a legal requirement concerning physical descent, but through the power of an indestructible life. (v. 16)

Hebrews 7:1-3, 15-17 Thursday 15 October 2020

Psalm 146


Hebrews takes the tradition of a particular high priest and uses that tradition to describe an ideal of ministry. This ideal (“Without father, without mother, without genealogy” – v.3) is strangely dislocated from the rest of the human race and history. Jesus is like this ideal, not through his physical descent, but through an indestructible life. Jesus resembles Melchizedek but is not Melchizedek. The titles that Melchizedek are given describe the ideal rather than a real person. This ideal of ministry is ‘king of righteousness’ and ‘king of peace’. Jesus resembles this, but in Hebrews there is a distinction. For a start Jesus is located within history, he has a genealogy, a mother and a father. The notion of ‘adoption’ is so strong in the tradition that there need be no question mark over the complexity of Joseph’s role. More importantly Jesus is understood as real, not an ideal. He is no philosophical concept but flesh and blood. Indeed Melchizedek, the ideal of ministry, resembles the Son of God, whereas Jesus is understood here as the Son of God.

 Now all this might strike us as complex and abstract. But perhaps the message is to notice an obscure theological construct that has layers and layers of philosophical meaning and compare it with the guts and reality of the fact of Jesus: Jesus who resembles all that, but is by contrast a real person that we may approach and know.


To Ponder:

  • What do you notice about the ‘indestructible life’ of Jesus as you read this passage?
  • How might our fellowship with Jesus help us to be more resilient in life?
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