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 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 end. (NKJV)
Having dealt with Christ’s relationship to the OT prophets, and to angels, and having affirmed the Lord’s true humanity, the writer now turns to what perhaps was one of the greatest difficulties the NT Jew might have had in turning to Christ, namely, what to do with Moses. After all, his whole life had been involved in following Moses. Almost every part of that life was affected by what Moses had written.
Even though the scribes and Pharisees had largely distorted what Moses wrote by their various traditions, still, our Lord said, “The scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do…,” Matthew 23:2, 3. Moses had been their lifelong supreme authority.
Furthermore, Hebrews 10:11 indicates that the Temple was still standing and sacrifices were still being offered. Even if the writer was simply preparing his readers for the coming destruction of the Temple and all of their culture, still, he wanted their focus to be on Christ and not on Moses.
So he told them to “consider” the Lord Jesus. The word translated “consider” means “to observe fully.” Further, it’s a command, not just a suggestion or a good idea. It is an essential, because without the Lord Jesus, we have nothing.
I wonder how much time we really spend thinking on the wonders of that One through whom we have everything. The wonder of the Incarnation – that that little “Babe in the manger,” about whom we will soon sing – was God! What must it have been like for Him to have to learn how to walk, to talk, to learn to do all the things we have to learn to do. The Scripture tells us that He increased in wisdom and stature, Luke 2:52.
I’ve often wondered if He “spoiled” His parents for their other children. Yes, Mary had children after Him, children who were conceived and born in the usual manner. Matthew 1:25 clearly indicates that Mary and Joseph enjoyed a normal marital relationship after His birth. Furthermore, for Him to be called her “firstborn,” Matthew 1:25; Luke 2:7, is meaningless if He were her “onlyborn.”
What must His life have been like – the Incarnate Son of God? Granted, He willingly endured some limitations because He was truly human, but there was still an awareness even from early days that His was to be a life of service to the Father, cf. Luke 2:49.
And what of His death? In this day of “criminal rights,” and concern for their welfare and that they be treated “fairly”, how can we even begin to understand what He suffered physically? To say nothing of what He suffered spiritually – the weight of the sins of His people and the wrath of God against those sins? We don’t even hardly believe there is such a thing as “the wrath of God” anymore, but the Lord Jesus felt the full weight of that wrath.
We mentioned His life of service to the Father. The writer of Hebrews says that He was faithful, v. 2. Moses was also faithful, v. 5. Moses has nothing to be ashamed of.
There are some basic differences, though. Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, …but Christ as a Son over His own house, vs. 5, 6.
Though God spoke highly of Moses when some questioned his authority, he was still called a “servant,” Numbers 12, esp. vs. 7. No doubt, this is where the writer to Hebrews got his description of Moses. He was a servant in God’s house – the nation of Israel. But Christ is a Son over His own house – the Church.
There are many people today who insist that we must live according to Moses. We must observe the seventh-day Sabbath and follow the dietary laws. Or we must have him in order to be sanctified; it is through the Law that we become holy. We’ll have more to say about this later on, Lord willing, but both Hebrews and Acts 15:1-29 tell us that the Law – the Mosaic Covenant – is gone for the Church.
One final thing: Hebrews 3:6 is one of the verses used by those who insist that salvation can be lost. After all, doesn’t it say, if we hold fast….? The verse doesn’t teach the loss of salvation, any more than Hebrews 6:4-6 teaches that. Speaking of the preeminence of Christ even over Moses, the writer says in v. 6 that He is 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 end.
The verse does not say that we “become” or that we “remain” His house, but that we are His house, if we hold fast. In other words, perseverance is an evidence of our salvation, not a means of “keeping” it. Even our Lord said to some Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed,“ John 8:31. He didn’t tell them that they would remain His disciples, but that their perseverance would show that they were truly His disciples. Before the end of that chapter, though, these “believers” tried to kill Him! They did not “continue”!
We have a lot of people who, in the moment of one kind or another, make a profession of faith, but who, even though they might not try to kill the Lord, when life happens, drift away and never come back. Are they truly saved? Only God knows for sure, but there can’t be any assurance of it. And John wrote of some false teachers, They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us, but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us, 1 John 2:19.
Oh, that today we would “consider” that One who alone is our Life and our Hope!