August 1, 2020
For the next 13 days we will be spending time together walking through the book of Hebrews! Hebrews is written to Jewish Christians who were undergoing persecution for their faith and considering running back to Judaism. The author of Hebrews takes an in-depth look at the practices and regulations of the Old Testament as articulated in the Torah and argues for how Jesus is both superior to each of them and supreme over all of them! The author also warns his audience of the grave danger facing them should they choose to now reject Jesus and return to their former way of life. These warnings can and should make us feel uncomfortable as we read through the book together; allow the Spirit to do what He wants to do in your heart through them! Overall, the message of Hebrews is that Jesus, the Son of God as well as our Savior and Messiah, is infinitely superior to anything or anyone else we could give our lives to, and He is worthy of all our devotion and worship. Jesus is greater!
In the beginning of this chapter the author explains that not only is Jesus greater than the angels, but He is also far greater than Moses himself! Moses led God’s people out of slavery in Egypt; Jesus delivered God’s people from the slavery to sin. Moses built the tabernacle; Jesus built the entire universe! Moses was faithful in his calling and was a servant of God; Jesus was faithful in His and is God’s own Son!
After demonstrating the superiority of Jesus over Moses, the author goes on to give another strong warning concerning the rebellion that the people of Israel who followed Moses participated in. This time the author, having just contrasted Moses with Jesus, contrasts the response of those who followed Moses with the response we who follow Jesus ought to have to His leadership.
Quoting extensively from the Old Testament (Psalm 95 specifically), the author reminds his audience that those who followed Moses were unable to enter the rest that God had prepared for them in the Promised Land due to their hard hearts, their willful rebellion and unbelief. In contrast, he calls followers of Christ to exhort and encourage one another to continue in the faith!
If Moses was great (and he was), and if the revelation of God through Moses was great (and it was), then how much greater should our devotion and belief towards Jesus be? If Christ is so vastly superior to Moses and all that Moses represents, we must take great care not to fall into the same trap that Moses’ followers fell into. We must hold fast to Jesus and give Him our all!
Jesus Greater Than Moses
3 Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, 2 who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God’s house.3 For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses—as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself.4 (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.)5 Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, 6 but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house, if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.
A Rest for the People of God
7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,
“Today, if you hear his voice,
8 do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
on the day of testing in the wilderness,
9 where your fathers put me to the test
and saw my works for forty years.
10 Therefore I was provoked with that generation,
and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart;
they have not known my ways.’
11 As I swore in my wrath,
‘They shall not enter my rest.’”
12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. 15 As it is said,
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
16 For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness?18 And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Family Discussion Question:
- How can we know if our hearts have been hardened by the deceitfulness of sin? What are some ways we can encourage and exhort one another every day, as we are commanded to in this passage, and take this warning seriously?