Hebrews 3

This devotional is written by Jermaine Jarrett.

Hebrews 3

Jesus greater than Moses
Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest. 2 He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. 3 Jesus has been found worthy of greater honour than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honour than the house itself. 4 For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. 5 ‘Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house,’ bearing witness to what would be spoken by God in the future. 6 But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.

Warning against unbelief
7 So, as the Holy Spirit says:

‘Today, if you hear his voice,
8 do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion,
during the time of testing in the wilderness,
9 where your ancestors tested and tried me,
though for forty years they saw what I did.
10 That is why I was angry with that generation;
I said, “Their hearts are always going astray,
and they have not known my ways.”
11 So I declared on oath in my anger,
“They shall never enter my rest.”’

12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 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. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. 15 As has just been said:

‘Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion.’

16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.

Reflection

Following on from the previous two chapters which lay out who Jesus is, this one looks at what that means for us. For the Jewish audience being written to, the message is crystal clear; “The Church’s one Foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord” as the old hymn goes. That is the message being expounded here.

For ‘Moses’, substitute religiosity and outward displays of piety, and our challenge is the same. Are we more focused on the servant than the master, the trappings of faith rather than a faithful heart? Do we mistake the shadow for the substance? Too much religious observance and not enough trust in Jesus.

Moses was an important figure who was given the role of bringing the law and pointing to the deliverance that God would bring, but a created thing not the creator. Jesus is the creator, the giver of life, the fulfilment of the law, the deliverance that God promised.
He is the rock on which we stand, the one who holds it all together. We are his Church and we should depend on his word, follow his lead. And just as there were consequences for doubting the word of God given through Moses – forty wasted years wandering in the desert – what can we expect if we disregard the prompting of the Holy Spirit and choose to go our own way?
The word ‘Today’ is what jumps out to me in this passage. It’s immediacy always brings to my mind the parable of the rich fool in Luke 12 and the associated warning ‘This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich towards God.’ What are we focused on, what are our priorities?

There are times in our lives when we have greater need to trust God, his presence, his provision. And it is easy in those periods to fixate on what we don’t have, to focus on the metaphorical giants on the other side of the Canaan river, and to try to go it alone, forgetting all that God has already done for us and his promise to keep us. But His promises are sure; They are sure, if we will only believe.

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