Monday, 3 September 2018
…who was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was faithful in all His house. Hebrews 3:2
The word “who” here is speaking of Jesus who was just referred to in verse 3:1. However, this is a present participle, and so “who was faithful” doesn’t convey the meaning of what the author is saying. It is more appropriately rendered “is faithful,” or “being faithful.” We aren’t asked to merely “consider” Him as Jesus the Person, but to think of Him in His faithfulness to God and on our behalf. It is of Jesus that we rightly say, “being faithful to Him.” “Him” here is speaking of God.
Jesus was faithful to God from whom He came. In the eternal mind of God, a plan was set forth to accomplish the redemption of man. There is nothing arbitrary or haphazard in this plan. God determined what would come about, and it is He “who appointed Him.” This is now speaking of God appointing Jesus. God arranged that Jesus would be the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, as noted in the previous verse. It was God’s determination that Jesus would come from Him, uniting with humanity (the incarnation). In this, Jesus would perform all that was necessary to sanctify His people, making them acceptable to God once again. After that, He would continue on as the Mediator of this New Covenant. It is an eternal service of God.
Finally, in this verse, the author then brings in a new comparison, that of Moses. He says, “as Moses.” Moses was looked to as the highest and greatest example of a humble, faithful messenger of the Lord. The books of Moses, time and time again, carefully record his faithfulness in accomplishing the tasks set before him. He was chosen as the human deliverer of the people. He was set in the role of their lawgiver. He was faithful to receive the word of God and to pass it on as it was received. And he even performed priestly functions before the appointment of Aaron as the high priest of the covenant. In these things, he “also was faithful in all His house,” meaning Moses was faithful in God’s house. The comparison is made in these words – Moses was faithful; Jesus is faithful.
In this chapter, Moses will be mentioned four times. The comparison here is then as Moses was the messenger (apostle) sent by God on behalf of His people, so Jesus is the Apostle who was likewise sent. Later, the comparison of Aaron (as high priest) to Jesus (as High Priest) will be made, but the author is slowly and methodically showing the supremacy of Christ in all ways. In that of Moses, it is a high challenge as well as a sensitive one. Moses was, and indeed still is, revered as one of the greatest figures in Jewish history.
Abraham was the father of the faith; Moses was the great deliverer, lawgiver (messenger of the covenant), and leader of God’s people; David was their great king. The author must carefully not diminish the greatness of such people while at the same time show the supremacy of Jesus in all ways. He shall accomplish this because Jesus was the source of these figures’ faith, and He is the anticipated realization of everything they spoke of and hoped for. These men were not looking to be exalted in themselves, but to exalt the Lord through His coming Messiah.
Life application: If you speak to a Jew about the Law of Moses and degrade the person of Moses in the process, you will alienate that person immediately. When speaking of Jesus, it is necessary to show that He was the hope and anticipation of everything spoken by, and about, these men. In properly conveying this, there is a chance he will realize this and call on the One that these great men of faith only pointed to.
Lord God! There are great figures of faith in Scripture such as Abraham, Moses, and David. These men are remembered for their own faithfulness within Your plan, but they and their lives were only markers which pointed to the coming Messiah. What they did, and what they said, all looked in anticipation of Him. And He has come. In the Person of Jesus, all of their hope and all of the typology is realized. Thank You that we possess what they only anticipated. Thank You for Jesus our Lord. Amen.