Wednesday 07 October 2020

Bible Book:

Christ.... was faithful over God’s house as a son (v. 6)

Hebrews 3:1-6 Wednesday 7 October 2020

Psalm 136: 1-9, 23-26


 Sometimes we forget how difficult it must have been for a Jewish community at the time of the Early Church to turn to Christ. They already had a faith that made sense to them. The Temple in Jerusalem may still have been a focus for their faith, or it may just have suffered destruction, but they still appreciated the role of priests and that of the High Priest. Furthermore, their faith was grounded in their Scriptures. The books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy formed ‘The Law’. The Hebrew name for these books was Torah, a word which has a far wider scope than simply legislation. They set out the foundational principles and stories on which the whole of Judaism was based, and they were also known as ‘the books of Moses’, or often just ‘Moses’.

 In writing to these Hebrew people our author starts with what was precious to them, namely their understanding of the role of the High Priest and their allegiance to ‘Moses’. However he then encourages them to make a huge leap in their thinking by, first, understanding Jesus as High Priest and then daring to compare Jesus favourably with Moses.

 The faithful character of Moses, and his place in God’s plan, is clearly acknowledged. There have always been those in the life of the Church who would dispose of the Hebrew Scriptures, but the New Testament is clear that the Christian good news flows from all that has been promised in that ‘Old’ Testament. Nevertheless Jesus is God’s son and so his place in God’s new creative plan is so much more significant.

 By verse three we have moved to the image of a builder and a house. It’s a picture used more than once in the New Testament. Our author develops it in a couple of ways. First, as we acknowledge that God is the builder of everything, we see Jesus being identified as ‘son’ where Moses is ‘servant’. Then the image shifts. Where we might be tempted to think of God designing a building of some sort (possibly a temple?), it becomes clear in verse six that the house is actually formed by the community of people rather than being a physical structure. Furthermore this new community was made up not only of people with a Jewish heritage but also those many more who had been outsiders, and whom some in the Jewish community may have treated with great suspicion. Those who first received this letter had many challenges to face.


To Ponder:

  • As you travel the road of following Jesus, have there been moments that brought an entirely new understanding of what it means to belong to him?
  • Take a moment to read today’s Psalm. You’ll see that it lists both good times and, towards the end, difficult times that people endured and were still able to sing “His love endures for ever”. Compose some extra verses of your own good times and difficult times in the style of the Psalm, echoing the refrain of God’s enduring love.
Previous Page Tuesday 06 October 2020
Next Page Thursday 08 October 2020