Think we need heroes, those who inspire us – hero: “noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life.” Too often now, courage and nobility are missing from evaluation process – people treated as heroes simply because they are celebrities. Didn’t used to be that way; have been many in history who truly fit the definition.
e.g., St. Patrick. Enslaved as a teenager by pagan Irish pirates, he escaped their clutches and made his way home to Britain, only to return to Ireland under the call of God to proclaim the Gospel to the Druid dominated isle. It was a dangerous call of which he wrote, “Daily I expect murder, fraud or captivity, but I fear none of these things because of the promises of heaven. I have cast myself into the hands of God almighty who rules everywhere.” By the time of St. Patrick’s death, Ireland had been transformed from a barbaric pagan island to a haven of Christianity.
Find heroes in the Bible, too. Philistine’s hero (or champion) Goliath; David, who killed his ten thousands; Abraham, a hero at least because of what God promised him. Jewish people of Jesus’ day especially proudly included Abraham on their name tags. As important as Abraham was (and still is) to Jews, Moses is probably the one at the top. Sure, Abraham was their father, the one from whom they all descended. But it was Moses who defined what it meant to be a Jew, what was necessary to live and worship as a Jew, what distinguished Jewish people from all others.
Yes, I know, was God who defined all that; Moses was God’s instrument. Jews would acknowledge that, but…Moses was the big guy – let them out of Egypt, across the Red Sea, etc., etc. They would come to blows over who had the right interpretation over some finer point of Mosaic law. Now, along comes author of Hebrews with the idea that there is a better hero than Moses. Doesn’t put Moses down, later on is highly commended in chapter 11. Yet as significant as Moses was, “consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession”.
We don’t have cultural heritage to be attracted away from Jesus and back to Moses like Jewish people do. We have other temptations, though – for example, attitude that if want to be 1st class Christian, have to follow these rules: this Bible version, long hair and dresses on women/short hair and pants on men (don’t dare mix ’em up), these activities during the week, no movies unless Christian, etc… Is just as important for us as for 1st century Jewish believers to heed call to Consider Jesus and in so doing, remember who we are.
A. who are you v.1a
once was a time when father would say to his son or daughter: “remember who you are; you carry the family name, don’t do anything that would dishonor it”
people of God should remember who they are…to encourage and inspire; and remember – is entirely because of God’s grace we are who we are; is God who has made us who we are, who is making us into who we will be
called by God individually and collectively out of the world, set apart for God’s exclusive use and purpose
1 Cor. 6:19-20Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
brothers and sisters
have a relational connection with one another, those who have the same confession (profess to believe same truths)
from Heb. 2:11 “For both He who makes holy and those who are being made holy are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren”
business partners (Luke 5:7) share in the labor, also in the rewards from the business – adding to the strength of relationship with other partners…and the business “owner”, Lord Jesus who distributes the profits
a heavenly calling
this is what Jesus’ brothers and sisters share in: blessings and benefits of a heavenly citizenship, a share in Christ’s kingdom, in all he purchased by his life and death and resurrection
B. consider Jesus v.1b-2
the challenge to remember who we are not given in isolation – context is: “therefore”, “since this is true”, while you are being encouraged by remembering who you are, consider Jesus, fix your thoughts and attention and focus on Jesus
years ago, heard expression: “he is so heavenly minded he’s no earthly good!” – is impossible to be so Jesus-minded we’re no earthly good
Moses was faithful to God; with God’s help, we can be as faithful as Moses was…but we need more than a Moses
need Jesus who took faithfulness to completely different level – Jesus’ faithfulness beyond commendable, actually accomplished for others what they could not achieve for themselves
glory Jesus received not granted on basis of faithfulness, is based on position…and his suitability as our Mediator and intercessor
Jesus is the Apostle – one sent on God’s behalf to us, his people: he represents God to us; God has spoken through him, he is perfect representation of God to us in ways Moses never could
Jesus is the High Priest – one who goes to God on our behalf: he represents us to God; Moses could plead only on God’s mercy and grace, Jesus pleads his own merits on our behalf
remember Job – Job 9:33 “Nor is there any mediator between us, Who may lay his hand on us both.”
we need both merciful and faithful High Priest (Heb. 2:17-18), and Mediator of greater standing than Moses
if anyone trusted in Moses, could have no real consequence; best Moses could offer was what God said through him, but could give no personal guarantees
Jesus, though, gives iron-clad guarantee – trust in Him, believe he is who he claimed to be, rest in his righteousness not your own, you will be saved
will come back to this later in Hebrews – Jesus is Apostle and High Priest, Mediator of a better covenant than Moses (Heb. 8:6)
C. builder vs building v.2b-4
Moses a faithful member of the household, Jesus the builder of the house
Moses a privileged member, by no means in charge; certainly not calling design shots, only builder gets to do that
a house or a home?
two newlyweds, found home with tons of potential; tons of problems, too, but could be dream house someday, like ones in magazines. 17 years, 3 children, $200K+ later – house featured in the magazines, mom and dad filed for divorce. Spent all that time and money and effort building house, not a home. Sacrificed relationships to build a building.
Lord Jesus building his people into a household of faith, a spiritual house – 1 Pet. 2:5
not only preparing a place for us (John 14:2-3), is preparing us for our place in that house
think about trip to HomeDepot – 2×4’s come in all sorts of shapes and conditions; are selective in choice depending on intended use
big difference between us and Jesus – he picks up 2×4 knowing how he is going to make it useful for his purpose
comes back to that heavenly calling in v.1 – Jesus has particular place and purpose in mind for each of his brothers and sisters in relation to everyone and everything else
D. servant vs. son v.5-6a
Son has greater investment than servant – his life was purchase price
servant does his job day by day, collects his wages; Son on duty 24/7, and in this case, obedience to his Father required his life
Son has greater stake in outcome – his inheritance hangs in balance
you know what I’m saying, outcome was never in doubt – it is all of God and God never fails in his purpose
but at same time, God’s intended outcome really depended on the God-Man successfully completing work Father sent him to do – Isa. 53:11-12after he suffered that he would receive the spoils of victory
Son has greater responsibility – his reputation is at stake
servant’s poor performance rarely reflects on family’s reputation; firstborn and only Son, that’s different – he carries responsibility for it all, including his Father’s reputation, since he was acting in full capacity as Father’s representative
E. His house vs. His own house v.6b
Moses faithful in God’s house – Num. 12:7; Jesus faithful in His own house
Jesus is both builder and inheritor of his own house that he is building – remember: it’s a house made up of living stones
Moses did a lot of things, was used by God in amazing ways; even Moses could not build up people into the kind of building fit to be God’s dwelling
Acts 17:24“God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands.
instead he lives in house He builds – us – we are temple of the Holy Spirit, the Lord Jesus’ own house
it includes a certain hope – Moses could only see the hope in shadows, Jesus sees in its fullness according to God’s design
we need to meditate regularly on our hope – heaven, and the most important one who will be there, our Savior – not so we can check out of reality, rather so we can deal with reality
our hope, our confidence that keeps us going cannot be found in anything temporal, earthly; 1 Cor. 15:19 “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.”
ours is intended to be a confident hope, not an “I hope so” that man or circumstances can take away
A pastor’s wife named Tammy Kramer who worked at an AIDS clinic in Los Angeles. One day a young man who came in for his weekly treatment, but this time he faced a new doctor. Without so much as looking at the patient, the doctor said casually, “You know, don’t you, that you won’t live out the year?”
As the man left the clinic, he stopped at Tammy’s desk and sobbed, “He took away my hope!”
“I guess he did,” Tammy answered. “Do you have another one?”
If that were to happen to you, how would you respond? Do you have another hope? a better hope? Consider Jesus… and remember what those two men in white robes said to disciples: “This same Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will come back in the same way you saw him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11) When that time comes, we will finally be made fully ready for the home Jesus has been making ready for us. Keep your eyes on Jesus, don’t lose your focus, don’t lose sight of Jesus; one of these days you will see him for real.