Paul Kretzmann Commentary - Hebrews 3:1 - 3:6

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Paul Kretzmann Commentary - Hebrews 3:1 - 3:6

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

The Superiority of Christ over Moses.

Christ compared with Moses:

v. 1. Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus,

v. 2. who was faithful to Him that appointed Him, as also Moses was faithful in all His house.

v. 3. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honor than the house.

v. 4. For every house is builded by some man; but He that built all things is God.

v. 5. And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;

v. 6. but Christ as a son over His own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

Having shown the superiority of Christ over the angels, the sacred writer proceeds to strengthen the allegiance of his readers in presenting Christ as the final Mediator. The angels, although the mediators of God in the disposition of the Law and of great power in the forces of nature, yet could not compare with the Lord of the angels. The same is now proved in regard to the earthly mediator of the Law: Wherefore, holy brethren, associates of the heavenly calling, mark well the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus, who was faithful to Him that appointed Him, as also Moses was in His whole house. The inspired author here apparently goes back to the first statement of his letter, concerning the fact that God spoke His final and saving word through His Son Jesus Christ. This the readers should mark well, for which reason they are tenderly urged and encouraged by the name "holy brethren" which the writer applies to them. All Christians are holy, sanctified, consecrated to God by virtue of the faith which was kindled in their hearts. By reason of this fact also they are companions of the writer, associates with him in the heavenly calling. Through the call of God in the Gospel they have actually secured a participation in all the heavenly treasures and blessings, Col_1:5. This being the case, the readers are also in a position to look upon Christ in a proper manner, to realize the scope of His office, to understand the greatness of His dignity, at least in a measure. For He was truly made and appointed by God as the Apostle and High Priest of our confession. He was sent forth by God with the message of our salvation, He was appointed to be our High Priest and Sacrifice at and on the altar of the cross. This we, who believe, freely and gladly confess and praise. The special qualification of Jesus for this important office, to which we and all believers should direct our careful attention, is His faithfulness or trustworthiness. It was the faithfulness of the Son to the obedience of the Father. Moses indeed was also faithful in God's house, in the congregation of the believers of the Old Testament, in the Lord's Church. This testimony God Himself gave him while he was yet living, Num_12:7. Even here the structure of the sentence, if not the words themselves, indicates that the faithfulness of Moses cannot truly compare with that of Christ.

This idea is more fully substantiated by the writer: For of greater glory than Moses has this Man been deemed worthy by as much as he that erects a house is greater than the house. For every house is erected by someone, but He that establishes all things is God. With emphasis the writer says "this Man," since he is referring to that great God and man in one person, who assumed a true human nature in order to gain salvation for the whole world. He has been adjudged of God worthy of greater glory than Moses, the greater glory being seen in the more important place occupied by Him in the fulfillment of God's purpose of salvation. So far as the worth and the dignity of Christ and Moses, respectively, are concerned, there is the same difference of degree as in the case of a man that erects and prepares a house for occupancy and the house itself. The man that plans a house, builds it, and equips it with all the paraphernalia necessary for a well-conducted household is greater than the household in its condition in the house. But He that builds, prepares, and equips the house of God, the Church in all its fullness, is Jesus Christ, who is thus identified with the Builder of the house of the Church, with God Himself, while Moses is considered only a part of the household. In the form of a proverb the author adds that every house naturally has someone that plans the building and the equipment, Jesus Christ in this case being the Builder of the structure of the Church. God, however, being the Author and Creator of all things, it follows that Christ is on a level with God and worthy of much more honor than Moses.

The argument is continued in the next verses: And Moses indeed was faithful in His entire house as an attendant, to a testimony of the things that would be spoken of, hut Christ is as a Son over His house, whose house are we, if we shall have held fast our confidence and the glorying of our hope firm to the end. This is not an unwilling concession, but a willing praise of Moses. He was faithful in every department of God's house, in every branch of his difficult ministry. But he was, after all, only in the house of God, only in the congregation of the believers, as an attendant upon holy things, as a servant of God. So far as the people, the children of Israel, were concerned, the fact that God Himself had testified to the faithfulness of Moses was the guarantee also of the trustworthiness of the report and message which he gave of what the Lord had spoken to him on the mountain. The Law, as he preached it, was indeed the Word of God, and as such served a very definite purpose in the Church of the Old Testament. But Christ is more. As the Son of God, He is over the house, He is the Lord of the structure of the Church, to which, as the author points out, we and all believers belong. We are members of the Church of God and Christ, if we remain faithful to the end, if we adhere with all confident boasting to the hope of our salvation until the end. The hope of the Christians is not an unstable, uncertain quantity, which is subject to every fluctuation of feeling, but being founded in the promises of the Lord, it is a cheerful confidence, a quiet boast, that there is laid up for them a crown of righteousness, which the Lord will give them on the last day, 2Ti_4:8. There is no self-reliance, no self-sufficiency in the true Christian, but only an unwavering trust in the love and power of God. "The Christian's hope of a heavenly inheritance, of perfected fellowship with God, should be so sure that it confidently proclaims itself, and instead of being shamefaced, glories in the future it anticipates. And this attitude must be maintained until difficulty and trial are past and hope has become possession."