“Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession,” (Hebrews 3:1, ESV)
I read a sign once that read, “Before opening your mouth, think!” In other words, we need to put the brain in gear before we do things, say things, or plan things. We need to think deeply about things before we come to conclusions.
If you are like me, you probably have been guilty of making assessments about people based upon first impressions. These judgments are generally based upon preconceived ideas that we have developed through our experiences. Usually, our prejudgments are way off the mark. The same can happen in the area of theology. Many people develop theological views without really thinking through things.
In this section of Hebrews, the author continues to deal with his Jewish audience’s views regarding Jesus. Here in chapter 3:1-6, he challenges them to consider how they view Jesus in comparison to Moses. The Jews regarded Moses as greater than any other Jew who ever lived. All you need to do is read the first five books of the Bible to see why. God used this man in mighty ways to deliver the nation from bondage in Egypt. The Lord spoke to Moses directly. God had Moses be the one who would take the Law to the people. In fact, the Law is referenced as “The Law of Moses” in over twenty verses throughout the Bible. He also wrote the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible. The Jews held Moses in the highest regard for these and many other reasons. They even considered him higher than the angels.
With the Jews having such a high regard for Moses, the author of Hebrews writes so that his audience will see that Jesus is even greater. Thus, he tells the readers to “consider Jesus.” The word consider, katanoeo, means to give very careful attention to something. They were to consider the person of Jesus carefully and deeply. In these verses, he gives several things to consider that point to how Jesus is greater than the one they considered the greatest Jew that ever lived.
The first of these reasons is that Jesus held a unique and higher office than Moses did. He states that Jesus was “the apostle and high priest.” The office of an apostle refers to one sent forth with orders or a message. Here, the construction of the phrase connects the office of apostle to that of the high priest. Jesus was the apostle-high-priest. Moses on the other hand, while he served as an apostle, did not function as the high priest. Jesus had a higher office.
Both Moses and Jesus were apostles, sent to bring the word of God to people. Yet they had different offices and different orders. Unlike Moses, who served in an apostolic role, Jesus was the apostle-high-priest. Moses was to deliver people from an earthly temporal peril, while Jesus was to deliver people from the eternal peril of sin. Moses brought the Law to man and Jesus fulfilled the Law bringing salvation to man. Thus, Jesus was greater than that of Moses.
In a way, we today have an apostolic mission. While we are not apostles as we see in the New Testament, we have been sent with orders. It is the Great Commission. We have been sent to make disciples of all the nations. This is a vital work. Consider Jesus and the commission He has given to us. Consider His faithfulness. Will we in the same way strive to be faithful to the orders we have received?