Turning Away from the Best

I think most people would agree that in life we are in a pursuit to progress to better things. We generally strive for the greater comfort whether it would be in our relationships, finances or security. We like to move on to better things and hopefully this includes spiritual things as well. I have had the opportunity to look at the following passage in Hebrews 3:

Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession; He was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was in all His house. For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house. For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God. Now Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later; but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house—whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end. (Vs. 1-6)

In this passage in Hebrews we see the writer comparing Christ to Moses. His approach is to argue the fact that those who were thinking of returning to the Old Testament promises and religious observances were in fact returning to something inferior and inefficient. The writer argues this by comparing Christ’s and Moses’ place in light of the house of God. The writer references us back to Numbers 12:

 ““Hear now My words:
If there is a prophet among you,
I, the Lord, shall make Myself known to him in a vision.
I shall speak with him in a dream.
“Not so, with My servant Moses,
He is faithful in all My household;
With him I speak mouth to mouth,
Even openly, and not in dark sayings,
And he beholds the form of the Lord.
Why then were you not afraid
To speak against My servant, against Moses?”

The text demonstrates the special position that Moses held with Jehovah as a truly unique prophet and even more  unique mediator of God’s old covenant people. Moses was truly the greatest of all men that we find under the Old Testament writings. He was the instrument through whom Israel was redeemed and through whom the law came. He was not a prophet whom God had spoken to in dreams, visions and other indirect means but Moses had spoken with God face to face. Moses had experienced an intimacy far greater than any other. To speak against Moses was in essence speaking against the words that Jehovah had spoken. We should be careful to remember that the writer of Hebrews is not abasing Moses in this text but in fact is uplifting him.

The purpose for elevating him was so that he could demonstrate to the recipients of the letter (and to us) just how glorious another who is even greater than Moses and just how glorious He truly is. The Lord Jesu, the Mediator of the better covenant based upon better promises, is the greatest of all. The comparison of their purpose in the house of God is where we really see the significant contrast between the two. Moses was used of God as a servant while the Lord Jesus, while being a servant (Isaiah 53),  was the builder of the House of God (Matthew 16:18). The house of God comes from and exists through the Lord Jesus who is a better mediator of an even better covenant. His person and position makes Him worthy of more glory than Moses. He is the ultimate High Priest and Apostle and to turn to another would be to follow something far less.

What the writer is saying in this passage is that these people are to whom he writing are ready to swap someone more glorious than Moses whom they admired. They would be going back to a religion that had a servant as its mediator who couldn’t do anything for them and they would be denying the one through whom was the only way to God and the forgiveness of sin. What on earth where these people thinking? They had the best of the best, the reality of what Moses was looking forward to and they were ready to give it up.

With that said, while these recipients were ready to give him up, they had not yet done so. I have met people in my life who have given Him up. There are circumstances that came up in their lives where they decided that they had enough of being a Christian. Some have done so very vocally and with an attach on their former faith while others have done so in their behaviour. Some have succumbed to the disappointment of people who profess Christ’s name and others have simply abandoned the truth for the pleasures of the flesh. Regardless, they have turned their back on Christ. They no longer desire Him in their lives and have gone back to their past lives or a life of desires they could never let go. Some would argue that they are no longer a part of the house while others would say that they are separated from God but still a part of the house because of a moment of acknowledging a fact about Christ. I would say that they were never a part of the house because those who are part of this house they hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end. This is all a work of God and I as a Christian would never hold fast till the end unless I was being held (John 10:28-30). Those who persevere to the end do so because of being kept by God. As difficult as it is to see them go, I know they have chosen to turn to somethign inferior and leave the best that life had to offer. They turned away from eternal life itself and the glory of the Lord Jesus.

For those of you who are looking back at the things that you once had or you wished you had, remember that you possess something far better if you are in Christ and to leave it would be to leave that which nothing compares. Hold firm to your faith until the end and hope in Him who can give you eternal life.

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