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Jesus is Greater – Week 39 / September 24th
“Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly
calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our
confession, Christ Jesus, who was faithful to Him who
appointed Him, as Moses also was faithful in all His
house. For this One has been counted worthy of more
glory that Moses, inasmuch as He who built the house
has more honor than the house. For every house is
built by someone, but He who built all things is God.
And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a
servant, for a testimony of those things which would
be spoken of afterward, but Christ as a Son over His
own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the
confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the
The Book of Hebrews is written to Jewish believers who were tempted, because of peer pressure and persecution, to abandon their faith in Christ. The writer of the book is determined to encourage them and he does so by placing before them the greatness of Jesus. Indeed he opens the book with the startling notion that Jesus is the very Creator and outshining of all that God is. In short, Jesus is God! He then augments this argument by demonstrating that Jesus is God because He is greater than Angels, because the testimony of scripture affirms this and because He is far greater than Moses, the revered Law Giver of Israel. This one of a kind Godman died for our sins and thereby released us from the tyranny of death, delivered us from all demonic power and reconciled us to God, His Father.
The main body of the book however sets out to prove that Jesus is greater than Moses and that His work on the cross is a fulfillment of Moses’ work, which by the wilderness tabernacle, was only a picture, though a very glorious one, of all that Jesus would come and do. Moses thus dealt only with pictures and shadows but Jesus entered the more perfect tabernacle of God’s real presence in heaven and there presented His blood as an atonement for the world’s sins. Moses is therefore great, indeed very great, but Jesus is greater! Jesus’ work was real; Moses work was preparatory by nature and therefore only a shadow of the good things to come in Christ. Or, to put it in the writer’s own words: Moses faithfully served God in His house and purpose but Jesus built the real house of God by the spilling of His blood by virtue of His indestructible life. Jesus is therefore greater than Moses and should be listened to because we shall not escape if we neglect the great salvation that Moses only pictured but which Jesus accomplished on the cross.
The writer then reminds his readers that great spiritual truths can be neglected and lost because we are weak and prone to drift. So, often it is not deliberate rebellion that takes us away from Christ but neglect and sheer spiritual laziness. Open rebellion will however leave us in a dangerous place as it could so offend God that He will not take us back even if we cry out for it. This is no idle warning! The greatness of Jesus is overwhelming and we must retain it before our spiritual eyes by not growing weary but by looking unto Him every day because He is the author and finisher of our faith. There is no trial or difficulty that should dissuade us from staying true to Him and we must learn to endure all of these because the prize of gaining His glory is worth it all. Jesus is greater!
Moreover, retaining Jesus’ greatness in our lives means that we should recognize that His life is given to us through the shared experience of gathering together to worship Him. We must then not neglect our “assembling together”, we must encourage each other as we see the day of His second coming drawing nearer, we must submit to godly leaders, we must draw near to God by regular devotion and we must “consider one another in order to stir up love and good works.”
Moses was indeed a very great man. He led over one million people out of Egypt into a wilderness and by the outstretched hand of God, fed them, delivered them, protected them and organized them into a great nation under God. Jesus by contrast has led billions out of the Egypt of sin and has brought them into the very near presence of God. Moses brought His people to a mountain that thundered, smoked and shook with lightning bolts thus striking fear into the hearts of his people but Jesus has led His people into the very near and loving embrace of God. He is just greater!