The Book of Hebrews #11 chapter 3:1-6
The Book of Hebrews
Jesus Christ, Greater than Moses
Hebrews 3:1-6
         
Tonight we come to chapter 3.  The author is writing to present Jesus to a primarily Jewish audience.  Some were believers; some were searching; some weren’t interested.  And the theme of the book is right here in Hebrews 3:1: Consider Jesus. That's what it's all about.
 
We have already seen that Jesus is better than the prophets. That’s chapter 1. We have seen that Jesus is better than the angels.  That’s chapter 2. And now we shall see that Jesus is better than Moses. 
 
verses 1-6
 
TO understand the verses, we need to know a little bit about what the Jews though about Moses. 
To a Jew, Moses was the greatest of all.  He had a place that was utterly and absolutely unique in the mind of a Jew. He was the man to whom God spoke mouth to mouth.  He was a man who saw the glory of God and it showed on his face.   
 
He was the one who led Israel out of Egypt. He was God's man. But beyond that, the greatest thing in the mind of a Jew was the law. And Moses was the one through whom the law was given.  So to the Jewish mind, Moses and the law were synonymous.
 
Not only was he the law giver, he had written the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible, which lays out all the laws for everything they did. And so Moses was the great law giver.
Some Jews even believed that Moses was greater than angels. After all, to the other prophets, God spoke in visions.  But to Moses, He spoke mouth to mouth. He spoke to him in a burning bush. He spoke to him out of heaven. He spoke to him on Sinai and wrote the commandments with the finger of fire. God spoke directly to Moses and transferred His glory to him. And Moses stood far above any other man who ever lived in the mind of the Jewish people.
 
So for someone to come along and say, “So you think Moses is great?  Consider Jesus” was quite a statement.
 
And in order for the Holy Spirit to present evidence to support the superiority, the supremacy, and the sufficiency of Christ, He selects a threefold presentation.
 
First of all, the Holy Spirit says Jesus is superior to Moses in
 
1. His Office
 
Verse 1
 
First word, wherefore. He’s just said that we see Jesus, verse 9, made lower than the angels. He’s the salvation captain. You've said that He's a sanctifier. You said that He calls us brother. You've said that He destroyed Satan and death. You've said that He could deliver us out of bondage.
 
Now, on the basis of what’s been said, you ought to consider Him.
 
.
Then he calls them “holy brethren."
 
Not every time the author uses the term “brethren” is he talking to believers.  Sometimes he is talking to his Jewish brethren.  But when He says holy brethren, we know he's speaking to believers.
 
So this passage is addressed specifically to Christians, most likely Jewish, holy brothers in Christ. And they are holy, not because of their deeds, but because of their position in Christ. 
 
When you received Christ, you were made holy. And in that sense, we are holy brothers and holy sisters. 
 
So this section then is written to holy brothers who know and love Jesus Christ and have heard the author describing Jesus as superior to prophets and angels. 
 
And he says, “Think about this:  Consider Jesus.
 
Now the word consider means to gaze intently.  And we might be tempted to say, “Why is he saying this to Christians? After all, we already know Christ.”  But I would suggest that no one needs that message any more than you and I do as Christians, because anyone who knows anything about Jesus realizes no matter how much you know, you’ve just began to study and learn what needs to be known of Christ.  The more you discover and learn, the more you realize how little youknow! 
 
I don’t know about you, but I know I'm a long way from really discovering  all of His glories, all of His beauties, all that He is.
 
So He says to these believers, “Just keep gazing on Jesus and don't keep looking around and all these rituals and all these problems and all these persecutions.”  Just consider Jesus. You don't need anything else. He's sufficient for everything.
 
That’s the reason so many Christians struggle so much.  Instead of keeping their eyes on Jesus, they consider the problem they are having.  Or they concentrate on the difficulties.  But  when stuff gets rough and the problems come and everything goes bad, and you start thinking about certain things that are tempting you and so forth and so on, why don’t you try instead, putting your gaze on Jesus and keeping it there until all that He is begins to be unfolded before your eyes.
 
He’s the one who invites us to exchange our burdens for His yoke and to “Learn of Him”. 
 
Let me ask you this, do you really enjoy your Christian life? Do you get up every morning and say Lord, I just can't wait to get out of this place and see what you're going to do. Do you just love your Christian life? Is it so exciting you can hardly stand it?
 
It ought to be. Do you enjoy Jesus Christ? Do you just go through the day Lord, your fellowship and your presence is thrilling. Do you just sometimes want to stand up and shout?
 
Many Christians don't enjoy Jesus at all. They're miserable, unhappy, don't know anything about joy. The only thing the Lord's good for is to cry on. And the reason is they don't know Him experientially.
 
In particular, he says to consider two things and this is where we see His office.
 
First of all, He calls Him
 
1. The Apostle and High Priest
 
This is the first way Jesus is better than Moses for Jesus was both apostle and high priest, Moses was not. At best, Moses was an apostle. Who was the high priest? Aaron. So in this sense, Jesus is superior in His office for He is both, Moses was only one.
 
He is the sent one sent from God. Apostolas means sent from God. In the Greek, it would refer to an ambassador. And Jesus is the supreme ambassador of God sent to earth.
 
Now what are the characteristics of an apostole?
 
Number one, He has all the right and all the power and all the authority of the king in the country who sends Him and so did Jesus. He came clothed with the power of God. He came with all of God's grace, all of God's love, all of God's mercy, all of God's justice, and all of God's power.
 
Secondly, an ambassador has to speak with the voice of the one who sent Him. And so Jesus came and said, "I speak not that which I decide to speak. I speak only what I hear the Father say." So Jesus was the perfect sent one from God. He came with all of God's power and with God's voice He spoke.
 
But beyond that, He was also the high priest of our profession.
 
I’m not going to spend time on the high priest concept, because that unfolds later in the book.  Suffice it to say that the word priest in the Latin means bridge builder. And Jesus was the one who built the bridge from God to man. He was the one who connected God and man. And so Jesus is not only the sent one from God, with all God's power and speaking with God's voice, but He is the one who takes man and God and brings them together. He's the bridge builder. And He's also the bridge.
 
Then it says that He is the apostle and high priest of our profession. That is He's the one we confess. And don't miss the point of the verse.
 
If you profess Christ, if you confess that He is your Lord, then you certainly ought to gaze on Him. That's what He said. You have received Christ, you've confessed Him as apostle and your new high priest, you've received all that He has. Now gaze on Him intently.
 
How many of us as Christians have confessed Jesus Christ as Savior Lord and still run through our whole lives without looking at Him and looking at ourselves?
 
So in His office, He's greater than Moses. Secondly, He's superior in
 
2. His Works
 
verses 2-4
 
He gives a simple comparison of the work of Jesus with that of Moses to show who is superior.
 
Now keep in mind that it's hard for us who are Gentiles to understand the affection with which the Jews regard Moses. He was a great man of who stood head and shoulders above all other men. And everything connected with God in the Jews' mind is connected with Moses.
 
And so this subject is dealt with very delicately by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit doesn't fire out in verse 2, "Jesus is greater than Moses." He doesn't just say that. More delicately does He handle it. And the Spirit's wisdom is marvelous.
 
Before taking up Jesus' superiority to Moses, He points up the resemblance between the two. Before He talks about the difference, He talks about the similarities, see. And that's very, very tactful.
 
Notice in verse 1 and 2 he talks about Jesus being faithful go God.  He did what God appointed Him to do.  Over and over we are reminded of that in the New Testament.  One example is John 6:38: "For I came down from heaven not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me." In other words, I just do what the Father's will is and I don't every violate it. 
 
Jesus was faithful to Him that appointed Him. God said, you're going to go and here's your work and Jesus did it.
 
And then oh so tactfully does the Holy Spirit say, verse 2, "As also Moses was faithful in all his house." You see there's no distinction. There's a comparison. The Holy Spirit very delicately compares them together and says they're both faithful.
Moses was faithful. He carried faithfully God's plan. He came out in Egypt into the wilderness. God refined him. It took 40 years to make something out of himself 40 years for God to wreck him and 40 years God could use him.
 
But 40 years in the wilderness, God broke him, made him the man he wanted to be and then he took the children of Israel out of the land, he was faithful. He believed God. He got to the Red Sea, and I've often thought to myself, I got to the Red Sea and somebody said wave a stick and it'll part, I would have said, Could yo repeat that?” But he did. And it did!
 
I mean, he believed God. He was faithful and led the children of Israel through. And then he was faithful to the time in the wilderness. Oh there were times when he was unfaithful. There were several times, even in Egypt when he slew the Egyptian. Even in the wilderness when he smote the rock instead of speaking to the rock. But Moses for the most part was faithful.
 
And so here the Holy Spirit emphasizes similarity so as not to isolate the Jewish person. Now you'll notice that it says he was faithful in all his house. What house are you talking about? Well, this means household, and it is a reference to the household of God. 
 
What is God's household? Well, you go to the Old Testament and you read about the house of David and the house of Israel. Who then is God's household? Believers. The Old Testament believers, Israel.
 
And was Moses was faithful. There were times when his slowness in responding to God's call and his disbelief at the point of God's using him, restricted him. There were times when he was unwilling to be obedient and yet for the most part, he was faithful in discharging his calling and care for God's household.
 
Then notice in verse 2 that Christ also was faithful to His house. Who is Christ's household?
 
I'll read it to you. It's in Ephesians, Chapter 2, verse 19. "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and sojourners, but fellow citizens with the saints and of the household of God." Who is this? It's a church. We're the new household. And Jesus is the one who cares for us.
 
And as Moses was faithful to an earthly household, Jesus was faithful to a heavenly household. As Moses was faithful to the house God gave him, Jesus was also faithful to the house that God gave Him. And Jesus could say at the end of His life, "Father I have finished the work which you gave me to do. I've told the house all that you instructed me to tell them." He was faithful.
 
And so the Holy Spirit delicately then begins by comparing Moses with Jesus on the basis of their faithfulness to a God-given task.
 
By the way,, in the same fashion, we are to be faithful as well.  The Christian life is a sacred trust given to you by God and it demands your faithfulness.
 
 
And you may not have ever thought about it, but you can be faithful like Christ was faithful.  If Moses could do it, you could do it. 
 
Wouldn’t that be a great testimony?  To come to the end of your life and have someone say, "as Jesus was faithful to the Father so was and insert your name”?
 
I don't think we've begun to discover what it is that God can do through us if we're willing to be faithful. Moses and Jesus were both faithful. 
 
But then here comes the difference in verse 3.
 
Moses was faithful, but he's a piece of the house. Jesus made the house. That's the difference.
 
Jesus created Israel. Moses is only a member of the whole spiritual household which Jesus Himself built. Jesus created Israel, Jesus created the church. You say boy in order to do that, He'd have to be God.
 
That's verse 4
 
Who built all things? Jesus. So who is Jesus? He's God. Every house is built by some man.
 
For example, you're here today. You're a part of God's house. Somebody shared Christ with you. And somebody before them led them to the Lord.    But who really created the house? God did. It was God through them. 
 
 
 
 
So the distinction is just that clear. Moses is just part of the house. Jesus made the house.
 
So first of all in His office Jesus is superior and through His work He is superior.
 
Thirdly, the superiority of
 
3. His Person
 
verse 5
 
Moses was, in a word, a servant.  And as a servant, he conducted himself as a servant. By the way, the same word used for servant can also describe angels.  It was also used of prophets.  But they point is, everything we’ve looked at so far is all the same. 
 
And they all did it well.  And as far as Moses is concerned, he was a faithful, obedient, ministering, caring servant and he was a good steward of God.
 
In Exodus 40, eight times it refers to Moses obedience to all that God commanded him. That's pretty good. In Exodus 35 to 40, 22 times it refers to Moses faithfulness to obey all that God commanded him. Can that be said about your life? Could God say of you 22 times "He obeyed all that I commanded him." He did of Moses was. But as exalted as he was, he was still a servant. 
 
And he wasn’t the end of the line. 
 
That's what Judaism doesn't understand. Moses was only faithful as a testimony to those things which were yet to be fulfilled.
Judaism is incomplete without Christ. Listen the Old Testament needs the New Testmanet to make any sense. 
 
It's the shadow without the substance. Moses was only a servant who pointed to something which would come after that. He was a steward of another's house.
 
Then look at verse 6
 
Now Moses was a servant in somebody else's house Jesus is a Son over His own house.
 
So in His person He is greater than Moses. A servant compared to a Son. A servant is in somebody else's house. A son lives in his own house and we are the house. 
 
That kind of makes up for not being born a Jew doesn’t it?  To know we're a part of God's eternal spiritual house.
 
Now the Lord knows that we need a guarantee about that, so He closes out this verse with a guarantee that we're the spiritual house. How do we know this? How can we be sure that we're really His house?
 
Verse 6
 
Now some people say that verse means if you hang on all the way to the end, then you are saved.  But unfortunately you can live your whole Christian life, and make a blunder a the end and lose it.   Isn’t that a sad way to live?
 
 
You're only saved if you can hang on. That's not what it's talking about. You couldn't save yourself. You couldn't keep yourself saved. And it’s not up to you to hang on to the end.
 
So what is it saying? It's saying your continuance is the proof of reality. The fact that you “hang on” proves your salvation. It’s easy to determine who is really in the house of God because they stay there.
 
On the other hand, the one who falls out never belonged in the first place.  And you will discover this is repeated in Hebrews, because this was the problem. Some were convinced and were on the edge of commitment and kept falling away. See?
 
And He's saying for those that come right up to the door and never put their faith in Christ and they fall away, they give evidence that they never did really receive Christ.
 
But on the other hand, true saints persevere.
 
Listen, they came to Jesus (John Chapter 8) and He looked at them and He said, "If you continue in my word then are you my disciples indeed or for real." For real disciples stay. People always say to me, Terry, what happens to the guy who I used to know who came to church and this or that and now he repudiates God?  It’s simple.  "If you continue in my word, then are you my disciple for real."
 
If you don't continue in my word, then you're not my disciple for real at all. You see? It's a profession and not a possession.
 
And the author of Hebrews is saying to them, “Be for real. If you really commit yourself to Christ it will be evidenced by the pattern of your life which remains in fellowship with Christ.  That's the point.  And if under the pressure of persecution you get right up to the edge and you never make that commitment and it's a superficial confidence and it's a superficial rejoicing then it proves you never were His house to begin with.
 
Listen:  when somebody departs the faith they profess, be assured beyond doubt it's proof that they never knew Christ to begin with.
 
He is simply saying you're His house if by continuance you prove you were real to begin with.
 
So we’ll end where we begin.  Consider Jesus.  If Jesus is the real deal, you are safe.  If he’s worth professing as Lord, He is worth serving all the way to the end.  Live your whole life with your sights on Him. He is all you need.
 
Let's pray.
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