Faithful over God’s House

heb34cDoes your relationship with Christ seem at times to fall into a less than meaningful routine? Hebrews 3:1-6 tells you to focus on Jesus, who is faithful over God’s house.

Focus on your faithful mediator. Jesus is a greater mediator than Moses. Moses, according to Numbers 12:6-8, was a faithful servant in God’s house. House here was not the tent of meeting or the later temple. Rather, it is God’s people who are the house of God. The occasion for Miriam and Aaron’s jealousy was the unique place Moses had in representing the people before God and God to the people. He was the great intercessor of the Old Testament, speaking with God face to face. Yet, he was only a servant. Christ’ role is that of Son in the house in which Moses was a servant. As faithful as he was as a servant, Moses was a sinner. Christ was perfect. While Moses brought God’s Word down from the mountain, Jesus bridges the distance between heaven and earth, between a holy God and a sinful people. Notice how often faithful is used in the text. Moses was relatively so—Christ perfectly.

So, fix your thoughts on your faithful Savior. Jesus is the great apostle. He is the one sent by God with the Word for you, in fact, he is the Word, John 1:1. Perhaps the author avoids the use of “apostle” in Hebrews 2:3 in order to reserve it for Jesus. Apostle and high priest are tied together, uniting the prophetic and priestly offices. He is your high priest. He offered himself as the great sacrifice for your sins. He continues to intercede for you. He served faithfully in his sufferings, Hebrews 2:9,10,17. As the exalted Son he continues to be faithful and trustworthy. Focus on the Son over God’s house. Moses was a faithful servant, but only a servant. Jesus is the Son and heir. Focus on Jesus. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted from him. Don’t let the busyness of your life distance you from your Savior.

That means, live as God’s house. You are Christ’s house. There is a unity to God’s house. It is not that Moses and Christ served in separate houses (possibly the Old Testament and New Testament), but that both were faithful in the same house. The contrast between the old and new is that of promise vs. fulfillment, shadow vs. reality, not works vs. grace. The covenant unifies the Old and New Testaments. “It. . . is not that Moses was over the Old Testament house and Christ is over the New Testament house, but rather that Christ is a Son over the same house in which Moses was a servant. Christ was also the Messianic Son, and therefore, in the time of Moses, it was Christ that built the house.” (Geerhardus Vos, The Teaching of the Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 77). The New Testament church has a unity as well. There is an emphasis on corporate salvation and service. You are a body, a building, a house, not isolated individuals. That means that belonging to the house, being part of the church, is important. Hebrews will emphasize this as he continues to write. God is the maker of all things, and particularly of the house. By his death and resurrection, Christ purchased you as his possession.

So, live as a member of the house. You are Christ’s holy brothers. As his holy people, you are set apart to God. Therefore, don’t turn away, Hebrews 3:12. You are brothers of one another because, first of all, Christ is not ashamed to call you his brothers, Hebrews 2:11. Live up to your family name, “Christian.” You have a heavenly calling. God summons you from heaven, from above. His call is effectual. You share in that call, and you share in Christ, Hebrews 3:14. Thus you must not tolerate sin. Notice the if in verse 6. Ratehr than calling into doubt, it is a summons to perseve. Guard against the unbelief, the hardness of heart, that kept Israel out of the promised land. Conduct your life in a way that shows you belong to God’s house. Don’t be satisfied with external ceremonies. Fixing your mind on Jesus is not just a mental activity, but rather is something that structures all of your life by his Word. God’s eternal rest is a prize worth seizing. Don’t slip into complacent presumption.

Because you are the house of God, because Jesus is faithful over that house, keep him, your apostle and high priest, central in your life this week.

About jwm

I serve as pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church, Newberg, Oregon.
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