Some sermons require a lot of those who are listening. And so is the case with the sermon we call the Letter to the Hebrews. However, this sermon is worth the effort.
So far the preacher has announced that God has spoken today through his Son who is better than angels who brought the law. Therefore, this Son deserves our careful attention. By becoming human, this Son became a little lower than the angels to identify with us, willingly claiming us as his siblings, so that he can be our great high priest. So little by little the case of Christ is being made.
“Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house, testifying to what would be said in the future. But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.” (Hebrews 3.1–6 NIV)
In his next move, the preacher of Hebrews calls on his “holy” brothers and sisters—who “share in the heavenly calling—to stay focused on Jesus, our high priest who now is also our “apostle.” This last descriptor reminds us of the “sent” nature of Jesus’ mission.
What follows is a comparison between the ministry of Jesus and Moses, the historic liberator of the Jewish people. The comparison is simple. Moses was a faithful servant in God’s house; yet Jesus was a faithful Son in the house. Conclusion: Jesus is better than Moses.
Furthermore, Moses testified to what could be in the future; in other words, Moses looked forward to the ministry of Jesus. The Hebrews writer will have much to say about this.
In this text, our ancient sermonizer started with the idea that the followers of Jesus “share in the heavenly calling.” Because of the high priesthood of Jesus, we now share in Jesus’ status. This is a hard thought for most Christians but it is what the text says.
Therefore, when the preacher finishes this text, he notes that this house over which Jesus has been faithful is us! We are that house and Jesus is in the house! That is, “if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.”
So, let us keep our eyes on Jesus!