Today’s Scripture: Hebrews 3:1-6
1Therefore, brothers and sisters, holy partners in a heavenly calling, consider that Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession,2was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses also "was faithful in all God’s house." (NRSV)
Hebrews presents a challenge to the non-scholarly reader; elliptical language and frequent Old Testament references undoubtedly provide deeper meaning to those who have studied the Bible in a formal way. Today’s passage presented a cloudy message to me as I first read the verses titled “Jesus greater than Moses.” I certainly understand the difference between the great prophet and Our Lord…duh. Is this scripture significant given its seemingly obvious doctrine and knowledge that it was addressed to persons so strikingly different from us?
Originally thought to be written by Paul or a student of Paul, Hebrews opens by reminding its possibly skeptical audience that Jesus is the High Priest. The writer illustrates the exceptional role of Jesus by acknowledging that he is faithful like the great Jewish prophet Moses, but worthy of greater honor. We are immediately asked to consider whether we accept Jesus as worthy of the greatest honor, or whether that place is occupied by other prophets and authorities.
The author then uses a familiar analogy of a house builder and a home to communicate the difference between Jesus and Moses while at the same time the similarity between Moses and all of us. The twist is that while we might easily identify God through Christ rebuilding the house of humankind through salvation, we are not the inhabitants of the home: we are the home itself.
As the home itself, the materials organized to create the structure — Moses, Paul, you and I — all have a role. When we accept that Jesus, as the Son of God, is the builder, we allow ourselves to be used to strengthen the home and make it a warm and welcoming place. When we ignore the builders instructions… well, you know how that can turn out.
The writer finishes with encouragement: if we hold firmly to Christ, serving as his house with confidence, hope, and faith, then we are the materials that make a strong house indeed.
God, let me follow the builder, allowing myself to serve as the means to his house, his Kingdom on earth. Amen.