“For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.” (Hebrews 3:4)
Today’s congregational reading comes from the 3rd chapter of Hebrews. As I have pointed out in previous articles, it is the writer’s intent to prove the superiority of Jesus. In particular, He is superior to the old dispensation of Judaism and is the fulfillment of all the types and shadows of the Old Testament ceremonial laws. This is especially important as it regards Israel’s greatest prophet, Moses. Moses was revered because it was through him that God gave His holy law.
During the time of His three year ministry, Jesus was often confronted by Jewish accusers that were aghast at His claims to be God. When speaking to the blind man that Jesus healed in John chapter 9, the Jews said, “Thou art his disciple, but we are Moses’ disciples. We know that God spake to Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is” (John 9:28-29). Even some of Jesus’ greatest miracles were challenged on the basis they were not quite up to the level of those done by Moses. How could He be greater than Moses and claim to be God? For example, in John 6 the Jews asked for a sign, some further miracle to be done in order that they might believe in Him (as if He had not given abundant proof!). What was their standard? “Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat” (v. 31). The standard of proof was Moses. Jesus replied that Moses was not the one that gave them bread from heaven. Rather, the bread came from the Father.
These types of exchanges are extremely important as we come to Hebrews. Since the Jews revered Moses, the writer cannot disparage Moses in any way while proving the supremacy of Jesus. Therefore, he points out the faithfulness of Moses in 3:2. Even though Moses failed at times, for the most part he did what God required in the sphere of work he was given. God used Moses as an administrator over the household of Israel but Moses received his wisdom and abilities from God. Moses was not the builder of Israel; he was a steward over the nation. His relationship to God in this respect is that of a servant (3:5).
The point is made that Moses was a part of God’s household. He is not superior to the one who actually built the house. Jesus stands in a superior relationship to God, that of a son, the rightful heir of the household (3:6). But even more remarkable in its impact is that Christ is the one that built the house. Therefore, His equality with God is proven. “He that built all things is God” (3:4) = “Christ [is] a son over his own house” (3:6).
These statements build on the premise established in the first chapter. “[God] hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds” (1:2). I sincerely hope you feel the excitement of these unfolding irrefutable arguments concerning the deity of Jesus Christ. If you have placed your faith in Him, you are grounded on the solid rock of God Himself.
Blessed be God for Jesus Christ!
Pastor V. Mark Smith