JohnSWilson3 Blog


“Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house.”
July 1, 2011, 2:42 pm
Filed under: Q - Letter to Hebrews

In Chapters 1 and 2 of the letter to Hebrews the author describes a glorious picture of how great our Lord Jesus Christ is and concludes with “because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” This gets at the crux of the issue that I think the author is trying to get at for these Christians. They were being tempted to focus on something or someone other than on Christ, some think they were being tempted, perhaps even suffering as a result, to go back to Judaism and following the Law of Moses. Perhaps most had relatives and friends whom they knew well but did not know Christ and were being strongly impressed by them or the religious leaders to return to their old religious ways, ways that were habitual, thoughtless, ritualistic, and controlled by a religious leader. Living by the life of Christ will be fraught with the same kind of temptations. Relationships are difficult and take time, so to with Christ and His body. It isn’t about you, it’s about the body of Christ. The devil with all of his “craftinesses” will bring conflict and tempt us to fall back and live by the flesh, to live by ourselves individually, and religion instead of by Christ who is our life. But Christ also “suffered when he was tempted” and “he is able to help” us when we “are being tempted.” Christ was tempted to live by His flesh, to live not by the life of the Father, to live by the institutions of men, but He did not, He was faithful to the Father. So how does Christ help us? That I think is what the author has in mind as he writes chapters 3 and 4.

As the author continues he again focuses on the greatness of Christ! “Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.” What a wonderful statement! But as I read it I have to confess what does it mean? There appears to be a number of words that need some defining. Looking at the literal rendering and then defining the words a retranslation could look something like this: “Therefore separated to God brothers and sisters who share in and partake in the origin, nature, and destiny that is not here but above in heaven, consider fully the One sent from heaven who offered Himself as our sacrifice and is in charge of those whom He sacrificed for of whom we agree with – Jesus.” (1) If we are tempted to fall away from living by the life of Christ organically with our brothers and sisters let us remind ourselves that in Christ Jesus we are separated to God, we belong to God and to no thing or no one else, we are His! And because we are in Christ we are partakers in the origin, nature, and destiny of not what is here but above in heaven, it is spiritual, it is Christ Himself! Christ willingly offered Himself for us as our sacrifice for our sins, removing our sins by nailing them to the cross, so that we could be separated to Him and be partakers in Him! He is now in charge! Let us together agree with Him and with who we are in Him! Christ Jesus “was faithful to the one appointed to him” and He will be faithful to us! Christ is “merciful and faithful” and will help us!

“He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house” but “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.” While the Son was faithful to the Father, like Moses was, there is a major difference! Moses did not build “God’s house,” Moses was only a faithful servant. God is the builder of His house, Moses was only a man, a servant, a faithful servant indeed, but still only a man. It is through the Son that “he made the worlds” and the Son is “God’s glory and exact representation.” To see the Son is to see the Father! Jesus said “I will build my church!” Paul said to the Ephesians “we are God’s workmanship” and to the body of Christ in Corinth Paul says “…you are not your own.” We now belong to Christ. Moses is like a type of Christ being “faithful as a servant in all God’s house” but He is not greater than Christ. To follow Judaism and the Law of Moses, or some religious institution is to follow a man and not Christ Jesus Himself. Christ is not just a servant to the building like Moses was, Christ is the Son and the builder of the building! Christ is not a servant to a man, He is greater than any man, including Moses!

“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.” Brothers and sisters when we are tempted to leave one another, to leave living by Christ’s life organically and to follow some person or thing we are in truth leaving Christ! We are in truth saying that that person or thing we are following is greater than Christ who lives in us and desires to express His life through us! Because Christ was and is faithful, living by His life we will also be faithful to His body. Let us have our confidence in Christ, let us boast in Christ, let us hold fast to living by the life of Christ together! Only as the brothers and sisters are living by the life of Christ, who is our life, the builder of the household, the family of God, can we say then we are His house.

“Therefore separated to God brothers and sisters who share in and partake in the origin, nature, and destiny that is not here but above in heaven, consider fully the One sent from heaven who offered Himself as our sacrifice and is in charge of those whom He sacrificed for of whom we agree with – Jesus.” “Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house.” Let us hear Him and be taught by Him because truth is in Jesus!

(1) This retranslation is based on the definitions of the words from the original Greek from Alfred Marshall, The Interlinear KJV-NIV Parallel New Testament in Greek and English, 1975, The Zondervan Corporation, 645. The word definitions are from W.E. Vine, Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers: “holy” means “separated” (p307), “calling means “origin, nature, and destiny” (p87), “heavenly” means “not here but above” (p298), “sharers” means “sharing in, partaking of” (p232), “consider” is better translated “fully consider” (p123), “apostle” means “send from” (p30), “high priest” means “one who offers sacrifice and has charge of the things pertaining thereto” (p486), “confession” means “speak the same” or “agree with” (p120).

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