Hebrews 3:3

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

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. Hebrews 3:3

“For” expands on the thought of the previous verse. It said there that Christ Jesus “was faithful to Him who appointed Him.” Moses was then immediately introduced by saying that he “also was faithful in all His house,” meaning “God’s house.” The logic is that if Moses was faithful in all of God’s house, he was still faithful as a servant of God (as will be seen by the term “servant” in verse 3:4). With this understanding, we come to grasp what the author intends with the use of “For.” “For this One” refers to Christ Jesus. It is He who “has been counted worthy.”

The idea of being counted worthy ties again to His having been faithful to “Him who appointed Him.” Initially, it appears that He is on the same level as Moses. If Moses was faithful to God, and Jesus was faithful to God, then both are counted worthy to the same degree, right? No. The thought continues, “For this One has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses.”

How can this be? To this point, nothing has been said of Him that would justify this, and yet the estimation is made nonetheless. Both were appointed by God, both were faithful, and yet Christ Jesus is worthy of more glory than Moses. The idea of “glory” here is that He is worthy of more honor and dignity than that of Moses. This could cause consternation with a Jewish audience, because Moses, and the law which came through him, was considered the foundation of Jewish life. At the end of Deuteronomy, this is said of Moses –

“But since then there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, 11 in all the signs and wonders which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, before Pharaoh, before all his servants, and in all his land, 12 and by all that mighty power and all the great terror which Moses performed in the sight of all Israel.” Deuteronomy 34:10-12

The man Moses was thus held in the highest esteem. To now speak of Jesus as being worthy of greater glory thus necessitates a sound and reasonable explanation. And so one is next provided beginning with, “inasmuch as He who built the house.” God is the Builder of the House, but here Christ Jesus is said to be the One who “built the house.”

The Greek word used signifies “to prepare” or “form.” This would include everything associated with the materials, arrangement, etc. This is the job of the architect. He lays out the plans, determines how much brick, piping, wood, etc are to be used. He then shows where those things go, even to the minutest detail. The word used so far has only been found four times in the three synoptic gospels when referring to John the Baptist preparing the way for the coming of the Lord. He was setting up and arranging Israel to be ready for Christ to accomplish His mission. In the case of Christ, it is He who has done all the preparation for the building of the house. It is because he built the house that He “has more honor than the house.”

It seems (but such is not the case) that the author has confusion of thought, equating Christ Jesus with God – God built the house over which Moses presided. But Jesus is the builder of the house. There is no confusion. Rather, it is then an explicit reference to Jesus’ deity. As Vincent’s Word Studies says, “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.”

Moses was a servant in God’s house, but he was a servant to Christ Jesus, and thus Christ Jesus is worthy of more glory, because He is God. The only reason why someone would deny this obvious conclusion is that they would come to the text with a presupposition that this cannot be what the author is saying. However, the next verses will bear out that this is exactly what is being said.

Life application: There are those who hold to the Law of Moses as binding today. However, if one understands that Christ Jesus is the Author of the Old Covenant, and that He has now authored a New Covenant in His blood, thus annulling the first, then it becomes clear that we are no longer under the Old. And such is the case. However, the author of Hebrews had to first demonstrate that Jesus is the Author of both. In doing so, what He has done in no way diminishes the Law of Moses, but rather exalts it in Him and for us. He accomplished for us what we could not do ourselves. Stand firm on the idea that we are not under the Old, but under the New. To reinsert the Law of Moses is to diminish what Christ has done, and it is demeaning to Him.

Lord God, You have freed us from the bondage of the law, and You have given us freedom in a New Covenant. Thank You for our Lord Jesus through Whom You did this wonderful work. How grateful we are that we are freed from condemnation, and we are now set on a path to glory which can never be removed again. When we receive Christ Jesus, we are guaranteed eternal life! Hallelujah for what You have done! Amen.

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