Jean Stockdale teaches Week 2 of our Bellevue Women study of Hebrews, "Fresh Brewed Faith."
This seriesView series
Week 2 - Jesus, Our Savior
The writer of Hebrews continues to establish the superiority of Jesus. In Chapter 1, the writer declares Jesus is better than the prophets (1:1-3) and the angels (1:4-14). Now he will compare Jesus with Moses, the great hero of the Jewish nation, and his successor, Joshua. For the writer to conclusively illustrate Christ's superiority over these two men, especially Moses, is tantamount to proving the superiority of Christianity over Judaism.
The reason the writer uses these comparisons is that each of these groups or people were of great importance in rabbinical Judaism. They were the framework of Jewish worship, and for their followers to transfer their allegiance, something or someone must be proven to be better to take either place. (Dr. Henrietta Mears, What the Bible is All About, p. 678)
I. Jesus is Better Than Moses (3:1-19).
A. Moses was called of God to lead His people, Israel. Jesus was sent from God to shepherd those who would believe on His name.
B. Moses ministered to an earthly people whose calling and promises were primarily earthly. Jesus is the Apostle and High Priest of a heavenly people who are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession (1 Peter 2:9).
C. Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant (3:5) while Christ was faithful as a Son over His house (3:6 emphasis mine). Moses was a servant in Israel, God’s Old Testament household. Jesus is a Son over God’s New Testament household being the precious cornerstone (1 Peter 2:6) of the church.
D. Moses ministered using shadows and pictures of the realities to come. Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the Old Testament types. Therefore, Jesus Christ is superior to Moses.
In light of the superiority of Jesus over Moses, the writer inserts a warning to New Testament believers using the nation of Israel as an illustration of spiritual truth. The writer quotes Psalm 95 to remind his readers of Israel’s hardness of heart after her glorious deliverance from the bondage of Egypt. Israel provoked and tested God in the day of trial in the wilderness (3:8). In a similar fashion, New Testament believers were (and still are) in danger of forfeiting the soul-rest of God’s promises and experiencing His wrath because of unbelief. Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God (3:12). We are all always in danger of drifting away, hardening our hearts to the voice of the Holy Spirit, and being deluded by the deceitfulness of sin (3:13).
Unbelief is a besetting sin among Christians, and this unbelief comes from an evil heart that neglects the Word. It is one thing to trust God for salvation, and quite another to surrender our wills and lives to Him for daily guidance and service. Many Christians are still “wandering in the wilderness” of defeat and unbelief; they have been delivered from Egypt, but they have never crossed into Canaan to claim their inheritance in Christ. (Warren Wiersbe, Expository Outlines of the New Testament)
II. Jesus is Better Than Joshua (4:1-12)
The writer now demonstrates the superiority of Jesus Christ over Joshua. Joshua led Israel into national rest, but could not give them spiritual rest. God has promised a soul rest for all who place their faith in Jesus Christ. We can trust God’s promises. We can enjoy peace in the midst of difficult circumstances. We can enjoy His victory in spite of seemingly impossible problems. We can rest from any attempt to garner God’s favor through works of righteousness or religious rituals. We can set our affections on things above and develop an eternal perspective. We can rest in the reality that we are pilgrims passing through on our way to a promised eternity with Him.
Unbelief and a lack of faith caused the Israelites to be denied entrance into the Promised Land. Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience (4:11).
May the aroma of your Fresh Brewed Faith fill your life with the fragrance of Jesus Christ!