Notes on Hebrews 3:1-6


Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling1, consider the Apostle2 and High Priest3 of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses4, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God5. And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we6, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

  • 1 2 Tim 1:9
  • 2 John 5:23, 30, 36-37; 6:39, 44, 57; 8:16, 18, 29, 42; 10:36; 12:49; 14:24; 17:3, 21, 25; 20:21
  • 3 Heb 2:17, 4:14-15, 5:6, 10, 6:20, 7:1-8:4, 9:11-25, 10:21
  • 4 John 1:17
  • 5 Jn 1:3, Heb 1:2
  • 6 Eph 2:19, Gal 6:10, 1 Pt 2:5

III. Introduction: Superiority of Christ Over Moses

These verses form the third major section of the Epistle to the Hebrews. The focus of these verses is on the Superiority of Christ over Moses. From this, we may infer the superiority of the New Covenant (Covenant of Grace) over the old (called Mosaic or Siniatic).

The contents of this section may be stated briefly thus: That the Lord Jesus Christ, the mediator of the new covenant, is high above Moses, the mediator of the old dispensation, inasmuch as Jesus is the Son of God, and Lord over the house; whereas Moses is the servant of God, who is faithful in the house.
(Saphir, as quoted by AW Pink)

Moses

Christ

God spoke His Word to/through Moses as a prophet Christ Himself is “the Truth” and incarnate “Word of God”
Moses reflected the light of God’s glory Christ is the manifest image of God’s glory
Moses executed priestly functions Christ is The Great High Priest
Moses was “king in Jeshurun” Christ is the King of Kings
Moses built the Levitical tabernacle Christ IS the tabernacle of God
Moses delivered Israel (according to the flesh) from Egypt Christ delivers “true Israel” from slavery to sin, death, and everlasting damnation

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

  • These verses are addressed to “Holy Brethren” -> the partakers of the Heavenly calling (effectual calling – see 2 Tim 1:9)
    • see Heb 2:11 – Christ is not ashamed to be called our Brother
    • “Holy” may be here to distinguish between the fleshly Jewish brothers and the true believing brothers – those who have been sanctified
    • Heavenly calling shows the nature of our calling – it is not Earthly like the promises under the Mosaic Covenant
  • “Wherefore” – connecting link to the preceding chapters. In other words, here is a conclusion based on the fact that Christ is far superior to all angelic beings:
  • What are the brothers encouraged to do? “consider Christ
    • consider – “signifies to thoroughly think of the matter, so as to arrive at a fuller knowledge of it. It was the word used by our Lord in His “consider the ravens, consider the lilies” (Luke 12:24, 27).” – (AW Pink)
    • “…if we render obedience to this precept, then we shall be preserved from …hardening of the heart, grieving the Lord, missing our ‘rest’.” (AW Pink)
    • We are to consider that Christ is an apostle and prophet, greater even that Moses
  • Apostle (ἀπόστολος) – “a messenger sent forth“. Pink believes this emphasizes Christ’s Prophetic role
        • Christ was sent to do the Father’s will:

    Bible Gateway: John 5:23, 30, 36-37; 6:39, 44, 57; 8:16, 18, 29, 42; 10:36; 12:49; 14:24; 17:3, 21, 25; 20:21

  • High Priest – see Heb 2:7
  • Much more will be said of Christ’s priestly office in this epistle
  • The writer here emphasizes two of Christ’s offices: As the sent one (Apostle), Christ represents the Father to us. As a priest, Christ represents us before the Father
  • …our profession… (ὁμολογία) – means profession (1 Tim 6:12-13) or confession (Thayer).
    • Confessing Christ as Lord is our salvation – Rom 10:9-10, 1 Jn 4:2-3,15
    • We must “hold fast” to our profession – Heb 4:14, 10:23

Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.

  • For the Jews, to whom this letter was addressed, every religious thought or action is tied to Moses, so it is no light thing to say that Christ excelled him in greatness
  • Appoint (ποιέω) – This verb means literally ‘to make’. I can’t find a Bible dictionary that has the definition of ποιέω to mean ‘appoint’, not even secular LSJ. All translations I can find use ‘appoint’, except Darby.
    • This making (ποιέω) is not into man (as in the incarnation), but rather being made ‘High Priest’ (continuing the argument from verse 1). All Bible versions seem to be interpreting this phrase, rather than translating it.
  • Christ was a ‘faithful’ High Priest – “I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do…” (John 17:4)
  • House here refers to the ‘household of God’ (Eph 2:19). Confer usages in the Bible like ‘House of Israel’, etc.
  • “it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” (1 Cor 4:2)

For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.

  • The author now proceeds to show how why Christ is worthy of more honor than Moses
  • For – The author is demonstrating ‘why’ we should “consider … Christ Jesus
  • Moses was a member of the household of Israel, but Christ was the Lord of the house of Israel
  • Moses was a mere man, but Christ was God: “every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God

And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we…

  • Further explanation of how Christ, as son of God, is greater than Moses, mediator of Israel
  • Moses was a faithful servant (vs 5), but Christ is a faithful Son (vs 6)
  • whose house are we – a Spiritual house:
    • “household of faith (Gal 6:10)
    • “household of God (Eph 2:19)
    • “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house” (1 Pet 2:5)

…, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

  • We are truly of the household of faith if we hold the faith firm to the end.
  • vss 3:7 – 4:16 expand on holding firm to the faith and preserving to the end in order to enter into God’s rest.

“If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed”
(John 8:31)

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