Wednesday, 5 September 2018
For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God. Hebrews 3:4
It has been noted by scholars that this verse, if omitted, would not leave any loss in the train of thought, and so it appears perplexing as to why the author would simply restate the same words in the passage. However, this actually isn’t the case. The word “built” which is used twice in this verse, is the same word which was also used in the previous verse, and which signifies “to prepare” or “form.” It includes everything associated with the materials, arrangement, etc. This is the job of the architect –
“For this One has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He who built the house has more honor than the house. 4 For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God.”
It is obvious from verse 3 that Jesus was the builder of the house in which Moses served in (meaning the Old Covenant). The author now simply assumes the deity of Jesus which has already been revealed in several ways in the previous two chapters. He is the incarnate LORD (Yehovah) of the Old Testament. Using this as an axiom, he now says, “For every house is built by someone.”
Moses did not build his own house. He was a servant in the house which had been built by Yehovah. Now there is a New Covenant (a new house) which has been built. This house, too, has been built by the same Lord, meaning Yehovah, who is the Son. This is revealed in verse 3:6. With this understanding, the author now says, “but He who built all things is God.”
The author is not making a distinction between God and Jesus, as if Jesus is not God. Rather, he is uniting the two by showing that God, in Christ, is the Builder of all things. The same thought is expressed elsewhere by Paul where he uses the idea that God is in Christ, such as in 2 Corinthians 5:18, 19 –
“Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”
God and Christ are One; Christ is the means by which God has done these things. Whether it is judging the secrets of men (Romans 2:16); allowing man to die to sin (Romans 6:11); expressing the gift of salvation (Romans 6:23); demonstrating His love (Romans 8:39); reconciling the world to Himself (2 Corinthians 5:18, 19); or accomplishing all other acts of His glory, including the building all things, it has been done through Christ. What we now see in this verse then is the confirmation of what was stated in the analysis of the previous verse when citing Vincent’s Word Studies –
“The point of the whole, however, is that Moses was a part of the O.T. system – a servant in the house; while Christ, as one with God who established all things, was the founder and establisher of both the Old and the New Testament economies.”
Without the inclusion of these seemingly unnecessary words, a logical connection to God in Christ may have been missed. However, by including it, the thought is brought to full light, even if it should already have been inferred from the nature of Christ. The idea then fits harmoniously with the thought of “the Word” as Jesus is referred to elsewhere. Jesus it the Word of God. It is through the Word that God created all things according to John 1:3. It is Jesus the Son who created all things according to Colossians 1:16. It is God in Christ, who is the Son, who is the Builder of all things here. Each term is given to show a unique aspect of Christ – be it Word, Son, or Christ, etc. – but they are all the same, they are all JESUS.
Life application: Do you have a nose? Go to the mirror and look at it. Is it on your face? From a proper interpretation of Scripture, it is as obvious as that nose on your face that Jesus is God. When people like the Jehovah’s Witnesses come a’knocking, tell them, “Take a hike, Henry Heretic. I follow the Lord God Almighty; I follow Jesus.” Don’t allow anyone to misdirect You from the glory of what God has done in Christ – the Word of God; the Son of God.
Heavenly Father, You are glorious in all that You are. If the beauty, splendor, wisdom, and marvel that we see in the creation is so magnificent, how much more glorious are You, from whom these things came? The house is not greater than the builder, nor is creation greater than the Creator. How gloriously splendid You are, O God. And so we praise You now and forever. Dwell in our praises, O God. Amen.