Jesus Greater Than Moses, 1-6

Heb 3:1 Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. Fix your thoughts on Jesus

Holy brothers – Men and women alike have a family relationship in Christ.

The heavenly calling – refers to reigning with Christ in the world to come, Heb 2:5.

Fix your thoughts on Jesus – ‘Attentively ponder all that is said of the Messiah. Think of his rank; his dignity; his holiness; his sufferings; his death; his resurrection, ascension, intercession. Think of him that you may see the claims to a holy life; that you may learn to bear trials; that you may be kept from apostasy. The character and work of the Son of God are worthy of the profound and prayerful consideration of every man; and especially every Christian should reflect much on him. Of the friend that we love we think much; but what friend have we like the Lord Jesus?’ (Barnes)

Apostle – This is the only place in the NT where this term is applied to Jesus.  In Jewish terminology the word was used to describe an envoy of the Sanhedrin.  In the Greco-Roman world it was used of an ambassador.  As Barclay explains: ‘On one occasion the king of Syria, Antiochus Epiphanes, invaded Egypt. Rome desired to stop him and sent an envoy called Popillius to tell him to abandon his projected invasion. Popillius caught up with Antiochus on the borders of Egypt and they talked of this and that for they had known each other in Rome. Popillius had not the vestige of an army with him, not even a guard. Finally Antiochus asked him why he had come. Quietly Popillius told him that he had come to tell him that Rome wished him to abandon the invasion and go home. “I will consider it,” said Antiochus. Popillius smiled a little grimly; he took his stall and drew a circle in the earth round Antiochus. “Consider it,” he said, “and come to your decision before you leave that circle.” Antiochus thought for a few seconds and then said: “Very well. I will go home.” Popillius himself had not the slightest force available–but behind him was all the power of Rome. So Jesus came from God and all God’s grace and mercy and love and power were in his apostolos.’

High priest – ‘The Latin for a priest is pontifex, which means a bridge-builder. The priest is the person who builds a bridge between man and God. To do that he must know both man and God. He must be able to speak to God for men and to speak to men for God. Jesus is the perfect High Priest because he is perfectly man and perfectly God; He can represent man to God and God to man. He is the one person through whom man comes to God and God comes to man.’ (Barclay, DSB)

Jesus as apostle has been sent from God to represent God to us, and as high priest represents us to God and secures our eternal relationship with him.

Heb 3:2 he was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house.

House – or ‘household’.

Moses was faithful in all God’s house – See Num 12:7.

Heb 3:3 Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself.

Jesus is worthy of greater honour because he is the builder of the house in which Moses served.

‘The point of the argument in Numbers is that Moses differs from all the prophets. To them God makes himself known in a vision; to Moses he speaks “mouth to mouth.” To the Jew it would have been impossible to conceive that anyone ever stood closer to God than Moses did, and yet that is precisely what the writer of the Hebrews sets out to prove.’ (DSB)

Heb 3:4 For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.

Heb 3:5 Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house, testifying to what would be said in the future.

V5f. Moses…Christ – ‘Christ as Son and the one over the house is therefore superior to Moses, the servant and the one in the house.’ (Ryrie)

Even the worship which Moses inaugurated was preparatory to the one sacrifice offered by Jesus.

Heb 3:6 But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.

We are his house – consisting as it does of the body of true believers from every age.

Warning Against Unbelief, 7-19

Heb 3:7 So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice”

The quote is from Ps 95:7-11.

Heb 3:8 do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert,

Heb 3:9 where your fathers tested and tried me and for forty years saw what I did.

Heb 3:10 That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’

Heb 3:11 So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.'”

Heb 3:12 See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.

Heb 3:13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

Mutual encouragement
While this is the special duty of the ministers of the gospel, 1 Tim 6:2; 2 Tim 4:2; Tit 2:6,15, it is also the duty of all the members of the churches -and a most important, but much neglected duty. This does not refer to public exhortation, which more appropriately pertains to the ministers of the gospel, but to that private watch and care which the individual members of the church should have over one another. But in what cases is such exhortation proper? What rules should regulate it? I answer, It may be regarded as a duty, or is to be performed in such cases as the following:-

1. Intimate friends in the church should exhort and counsel one another; should admonish each other of their faults; and should aid one another in the divine life.

2. Parents should do the same thing to their children. They are placed particularly under their watch and care. A pastor cannot often see the members of his flock in private; and a parent may greatly aid him in his work by watching over the members of their families who are connected with the church.

3. Sabbath school teachers may aid much in this duty. They are to be assistants to parents and to pastors. They often have under their care youthful members of the churches. They have an opportunity of knowing their state of mind, their temptations, and their dangers, better than the pastor can have. It should be theirs, therefore, to exhort them to a holy life.

4. The aged should exhort the young. Every aged Christian may thus do much for the promotion of religion. His experience is the property of the church; and he is bound so to employ it, as to be useful in aiding the feeble, reclaiming the wandering, recovering the backslider, and directing the inquiring. There is a vast amount of spiritual capital of this kind in the church that is unemployed, and that might be made eminently useful in helping others to heaven.

5. Church members should exhort one another. There may not be the intimacy of personal friendship among all the members of a large church, but still the connexion between them should be regarded as sufficiently tender and confidential to make it proper for any one to admonish a brother who goes astray. They belong to the same communion. They sit down at the same Supper of the Lord. They express their assent to the same articles of faith. They are regarded by the community as united. Each member sustains a portion of the honour and the responsibility of the whole; and each member should feel that he has a right, and that it is his duty, to admonish a brother if he goes astray. Yet this duty is greatly neglected. In what church is it performed! How often do church-members see a fellow-member go astray, without any exhortation or admonition! How often do they hear reports of the inconsistent lives of other members, and perhaps contribute to the circulation of these reports themselves, without any pains taken to inquire whether they are true! How often do the poor fear the rich members of the church, or the rich despise the poor, and see each other live in sin, without any attempt to entreat or save them! I would not have the courtesies of life violated. I would not have any assume a dogmatical or dictatorial air. I would have no one step out of his proper sphere of life. But the principle which I would lay down is, that the fact of church-membership should inspire such confidence, as to make it proper for one member to exhort another whom he sees going astray. Belonging to the same family; having the same interest in religion; and all suffering when one suffers, why should they not be allowed tenderly and kindly to exhort one another to a holy life?’ (Barnes)

Encourage one another daily – ‘The present tense indicates repetition. If encouragement is only once a month, it will not help carry burdens. If encouragement is only once a week in the general assembly of believers, it will not meet the daily needs of living. The beginning church spent time together daily. (Ac 2:46) Besides daily food (Mt 6:11; Acts 6:1; Tit 3:14; Jas 2:15) there were daily struggles of cross-bearing (Lk 9:23; 1 Cor 15:31; 2 Cor 11:28) and need for daily renewal (2 Cor 4:16) when daily facing the unregenerate world. (1 Thess 4:12; 2 Pet 2:8) The work of evangelism was done daily. (Ac 2:47; 5:42; 16:5; 17:17; 19:9) one of the great weaknesses of the church today may be this general lack of daily interdependence with its accompanying openness in joy and sorrow, in sins and victories. Westcott reported Bengel’s insight that the Greek text properly says, “Encourage yourselves” rather than, “Encourage one another.” This “suggests the close unity of the Christian body.”‘ (College Press)

Heb 3:14 We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.

Heb 3:15 As has just been said: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.”

‘The requirements in the Psalm are applied directly to Christian readers. With this approach the OT is much more of a direct guide for Christians, than simply a record of God’s past dealings with his people.’ (College Press)

Heb 3:16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt?

Heb 3:17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert?

Heb 3:18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed ?

Heb 3:19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.