Greater than Moses (Hebrews 3:1-6)Related Media
1 Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, partners in a heavenly calling, take note of Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess, 2 who is faithful to the one who appointed him, as Moses was also in God’s house. 3 For he has come to deserve greater glory than Moses, just as the builder of a house deserves greater honor than the house itself! 4 For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God. 5 Now Moses was faithful in all God’shouse as a servant, to testify to the things that would be spoken. 6 But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. We are of his house, if in fact we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope we take pride in (Hebrews 3:1-6)1
My friend Fred grew up as a pastor’s son – one of several children born into a family with a limited income. Since he was interested in music, he purchased a beat-up old trombone at a pawn shop and taught himself to play it. He reached a level of accomplishment that prompted an invitation for him to play a special number at church. Afterwards, a man came up to him and began asking him some questions about playing the trombone. Fred felt quite skilled (and maybe even a little smug) until he sensed that his interested questioner was somebody he should know. He was – someone he should know. He was a professional musician, on the trombone.
I like to think of this humbling incident in terms of the book title, Good to Great. Fred seemed to be good, but not when compared to someone who was truly great. That’s really the way it was with Moses. I would not debate with anyone who wished to think of Moses as “great,”2 rather than merely “good.” But when our author compares Moses to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, there is a vast difference between the greatness of Moses and the infinitely greater supremacy of the Son. This comparison of Moses to Jesus is the author’s focus in Hebrews 3:1-6.
We will begin this message by reviewing some of the reasons why Moses was considered by some Jews to be the greatest man in the Old Testament (or at least one of the greatest).3 We will look at Moses in the Old Testament and in the New. Then we will see how our author compares and contrasts Moses and the Lord Jesus Christ. Finally, we will address the problem of the “if” passage in the second half of verse 6, and consider how we should understand and apply it.
The Importance of Moses in the Old Testament
Few people compare favorably with Moses. How many men have been a “basket-case,” put out to die in a pitch-covered basket, set afloat in the Nile River? How many have been rescued by Pharaoh’s daughter, and then raised as the son of the most powerful ruler on earth? How many have been called to confront Pharaoh, years later, as the result of a conversation with a burning bush?
When Moses confronted Pharaoh, he did so as God’s prophet. In response to his words, plagues came upon Egypt and were later removed. When Pharaoh finally released the Israelites, it was Moses who led them through the midst of the Red Sea, on dry ground!
Moses was a great mediator. When God revealed His glory at Mount Sinai, the people were terrified and asked Moses to be their mediator, between them and God:
25 But now, why should we die, because this intense fire will consume us! If we keep hearing the voice of the Lord our God we will die! 26 Who is there from the entire human race who has heard the voice of the living God speaking from the middle of the fire as we have, and has lived? 27 You go near so that you can hear everything the Lord our God is saying and then you can tell us whatever he says to you; then we will pay attention and do it” (Deuteronomy 5:25-27).
Closely related to his role as mediator was Moses’ function as an intercessor. Humanly speaking, the nation Israel would have been wiped out had it not been for Moses:
11 The Lord said to Moses, “How long will this people despise me, and how long will they not believe in me, in spite of the signs that I have done among them? 12 I will strike them with the pestilence, and I will disinherit them; I will make you into a nation that is greater and mightier than they!” 13 Moses said to the Lord, “When the Egyptians hear it – for you brought up this people by your power from among them – 14 then they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that you, Lord, are among this people, that you, Lord, are seen face to face, that your cloud stands over them, and that you go before them by day in a pillar of cloud and in a pillar of fire by night. 15 If you kill this entire people at once, then the nations that have heard of your fame will say, 16 ‘Because the Lord was not able to bring this people into the land that he swore to them, he killed them in the wilderness.’ 17 So now, let the power of my Lord be great, just as you have said, 18 ‘The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in loyal love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children until the third and fourth generations.’ 19 Please forgive the iniquity of this people according to your great loyal love, just as you have forgiven this people from Egypt even until now.” 20 Then the Lord said, “I have forgiven them as you asked” (Numbers 14:11-20).
This incident where Moses mediated on behalf of the nation Israel took place at Kadesh, and God makes it clear that this was the last of many similar interventions on Moses’ part:
22 For all the people have seen my glory and my signs that I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and yet have tempted me now these ten times, and have not obeyed me, 23 they will by no means see the land that I swore to their fathers, nor will any of them who despised me see it” (Numbers 14:22-23).
Moses was especially esteemed for his role in the reception of the Law of Moses. In addition to this, he was a great military leader. Under Moses’ leadership, the nation defeated the armies of those who opposed them,4 beginning with Pharaoh’s army. Moses was also a judge and arbitrator for the nation Israel:
13 On the next day Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood around Moses from morning until evening. 14 When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What is this that you are doing for the people? Why are you sitting by yourself, and all the people stand around you from morning until evening?” 15 Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God. 16 When they have a dispute, it comes to me and I decide between a man and his neighbor, and I make known the decrees of God and his laws” (Exodus 18:13-16).
Let us not forget Moses the author. It is he who penned the first five books of the Old Testament. And finally, there is Moses the prototype Prophet:
“The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you – from your fellow Israelites; you must listen to him” (Deuteronomy 18:15).
God Himself testifies to the greatness of this man Moses:
6 The Lord said, “Hear now my words: If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known to him in a vision; I will speak with him in a dream. 7 My servant Moses is not like this; he is faithful in all my house.5 8 With him I will speak face to face, openly, and not in riddles; and he will see the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?” (Numbers 12:6-8)
(Now the man Moses was very humble, more so than any man on the face of the earth.) (Numbers 12:3)
10 No prophet ever again arose in Israel like Moses, who knew the Lord face to face. 11 He did all the signs and wonders the Lord had sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh, all his servants, and the whole land, 12 and he displayed great power and awesome might in view of all Israel (Deuteronomy 34:10-12).
The Greatness of Moses in the New Testament
Moses even appears in the New Testament at the transfiguration of our Lord.6 He was especially popular with the Jews of Jesus’ day, especially among the religious leaders, who loved and took advantage of his authority:
Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 “The experts in the law and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat” (Matthew 23:1-2).
The fact is that they were too devoted to Moses:
45 “Do not suppose that I will accuse you before the Father. The one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have placed your hope. 46 If you believed Moses, you would believe me, because he wrote about me” (John 5:45-46).
28 They heaped insults on him, saying, “You are his disciple! We are disciples of Moses! 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses! We do not know where this man comes from!” (John 9:28-29)
They gave Moses credit for that which God did through Him:
Then Jesus told them, “I tell you the solemn truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but my Father is giving you the true bread from heaven (John 6:32).
Moses was a great man, but a bit too great in the minds of many of the Jews. He serves well the purpose of the author of Hebrews because Moses is the “high water mark” for men in the Old Testament. If our author can prove Jesus to be superior – vastly superior – to Moses, then Jesus must truly be great.
The Author’s Exhortation
Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, partners in a heavenly calling, take note of Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess (Hebrews 3:1)
“Therefore” informs us that our author is linking our text with what has been said earlier. Chapter 1 speaks of Jesus as the Son, God’s full and final revelation to man, Who has supremacy over all creation, particularly the angels. Chapter 2 then begins with an exhortation to listen more carefully to what God has spoken through Him:
1 Therefore we must pay closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. 2 For if the message spoken through angels proved to be so firm that every violation or disobedience received its just penalty, 3 how will we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was first communicated through the Lord and was confirmed to us by those who heard him, 4 while God confirmed their witness with signs and wonders and various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will (Hebrews 2:1-4).
The remainder of chapter 2 speaks of the incarnation of the Son and its impact on man. The Son added sinless humanity to His undiminished deity and for a little while lived and suffered among men, culminating in His sacrificial death, burial, resurrection, and ascension to the right hand of the Father. His incarnation, accompanied by sufferings, qualified the Son to identify with mankind, so that He could restore man to his former glory and authority that was lost at the fall of man, by His experiencing the death that sin brought into the world (Hebrews 2:5-9). Our Lord’s incarnation equipped the Son to produce a new family through His sacrificial death at Calvary, a family that is sanctified – set apart from the rest of humanity (2:11-13). So, too, our Lord’s incarnation made Him one of us (man) so that He could bear the death penalty we deserve, thus bringing death to death, and thereby stripping Satan of the power he held over men (2:14-15).
The impact of His incarnation does not stop here. Our Lord’s identification with mankind – and specifically with Abraham – qualified Him to be the One through whom the Abrahamic Covenant would be fulfilled. In Him, “theseed” of Abraham, all of the nations of the earth, are blessed, and all those who trust in Him become “sons of Abraham,” the special object of God’s affection and blessing (2:16). Finally (so far as our author is concerned at the moment), the identification of the Son with man has qualified Him to become a merciful and faithful High Priest, whose atoning death satisfied the Father’s righteous wrath toward sin and whose empathy with man enables Him to come to the aid of all who need help (2:17-18).
Thus, the One who was described as “higher than the angels” in chapter 1 became “lower than the angels” (as described) in chapter 2, so that He could raise fallen men up with Him in His exaltation, glory, and power.
In the light of chapter 2, we have even greater reason to pay attention to Jesus, and thus the author commences an extended exhortation which will extend through Hebrews 4. While there is still a strong emphasis on the Word of God which our Lord has revealed (see 4:12-13), it seems as though the author wants us to fix our attention on Jesus Himself:
Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, partners in a heavenly calling, take note of Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess (Hebrews 3:1).
It is important that we understand to whom this exhortation is addressed. Without looking beyond chapter 3, we can see from verse 1 that the recipients are addressed as . . .
. . . holy brethren
. . . partners in a heavenly call
. . . those who confess Jesus as Apostle and High Priest.
By these designations, we are informed that the author is addressing fellow believers.
The exhortation is a simple one, “take note of Jesus.” The NASB simply renders, “consider Jesus,” and the NIV more fully renders “fix your thoughts on Jesus” (I think I like this one best). This sounds a great deal like the exhortation we will find later in Hebrews 12:
Keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set out for him he endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2, emphasis mine).
What is it, in particular, that the author wants us to take note of regarding Jesus? He tells us in this verse – we are to take note of Jesus as the “apostle and high priest” whom we confess as such. In other words, we are to give considerable thought to the Jesus in whom we have put our trust, concerning Him in whom we profess to believe. We are not just to “practice what we preach;” we are to “ponder what we proclaim.”
“Take note of Jesus” – as others have noted, this could not only serve as the summation of this lengthy exhortation, it could very well capsulize the message of the entire Book of Hebrews. It might even be a summary of the message of the Bible. Where else should we look?
The author is about to compare (and then contrast) Jesus with the much revered Moses. These two areas – apostle and high priest – are those areas which our author has chosen to demonstrate the superiority of the Lord Jesus to Moses. That comparison is about to begin in the next verse.
Moses and Jesus: Faithful in their Responsibilities
Who is faithful to the one who appointed him, as Moses was also in God’s house (Hebrews 3:2).
Moses and Jesus shared much in common. In a sense, both had roles which involved priestly duties and a kind of apostleship.7 We know that Aaron, Moses’ brother, was the high priest, but it was Moses who sprinkled the blood of the covenant on the altar and on the people in Exodus 24:1-8. Later, Moses consecrated Aaron and his sons by offering sacrifices and applying the blood to (or around) the altar and to Aaron and his sons. He then anointed them with oil (Leviticus 8:18-36). Before long, our author will go into great detail concerning our Lord’s priestly ministry.
Moses was a kind of apostle as well. If an apostle is a “sent one,” then Moses was clearly sent by God to Egypt, where he would speak to men for God. Jesus was also an apostle in the sense that He was sent to earth by the Father8 to lead men from captivity to freedom. As Moses was the one through whom the Law was given, Jesus was the One through whom God finally and fully spoke (Hebrews 1:1-3). Both Moses and Jesus, our author tells us, were faithful to their divine calling. But having briefly noted their similarities, the author will now move to his real interest – their differences, which demonstrate that Jesus is vastly superior to Moses.
Moses and Jesus Contrasted
3 For he has come to deserve greater glory than Moses, just as the builder of a house deserves greater honor than the house itself! 4 For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God 5 Now Moses was faithful in all God’shouseas a servant, to testify to the things that would be spoken. 6 But Christ is faithful as a sonover God’s house (Hebrews 3:5-6a, emphasis mine).
Just as Jesus is “higher than the angels” (1:1—2:18), He is also greater than Moses (3:1-6). Our Lord was faithful “to the one who appointed him” (3:2). Moses was faithful “in God’s house” (3:5), and thus he is viewed as being a part of the house in verses 3 and 4. What is this “house”? The “house” is My house(3:5), that is, God’s house. This is a term that is often used in reference to the nation Israel,9 and then also to the temple.10 No doubt here “house” means that Moses was faithful in (or among) the people of God, the Israelites. I say among because the author’s point here is that Moses is a part of the house; the Son, however, is greater than the house. He is the builder of the house. The Creator is always greater than the creation.
Let’s not miss the subtlety of the author here. In verse 1, the reader is exhorted to “take note of Jesus.” In verse 2, Jesus and Moses are compared. In verses 3-6a, Jesus and Moses are contrasted, showing Jesus to be greater than Moses. But in verses 3 and 4, if Jesus is being shown to be Moses, then He is greater because He is the “builder of the house,” but the “builder of the house” is said here to be “God.”Let us not miss the fact that our author is saying that Jesus is the Son, and Jesus is God. He is proclaiming the deity of the Lord Jesus.
Two more elements of contrast are introduced in verses 5 and 6. First, we see that Moses was faithful “as a servant,”while “Christ” was faithful “as a son.” Second, this contrast between “servant” and “son” is underscored by the fact that Moses was a servant “in”all God’s house (verse 5), while Christ is the Son “over”God’s house. I love the story Bible teacher Ray Stedman told about visiting a ranch in Montana. At first, Ray knew only the son of one of the ranch hands. When he visited, they were restricted from the main house, and they rode the old “nags” when they went horseback riding. Then, Ray says, he became friends with the owner’s son. Now it was a whole new experience. They had free run of the ranch and could go wherever they pleased. When they rode horses, they rode the best horses. That’s the difference between a servant and a son.
There is one more observation that I would point out to you. The author began by referring to “Jesus,” then to Him as “God” (verse 4). In verse 6, He is the “Son” and “Christ.” Jesus is the Son, God, and the Christ, that is, the Messiah. Some Jews tended to understand these (and other) titles as referring to different persons. Such is not the case with the author of Hebrews.
How Iffy is Our Faith?
We are of his house, if in fact we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope we take pride in (3:6b, emphasis mine).
So the author has shown us that the Lord Jesus Christ is vastly superior to Moses, as great a man as he was. Moses was part of God’s “house,” and he was faithful. And now we are told that we, likewise, are of God’s house, “if we hold firmly to our confidence. . . .” How do we deal with this “if”? Our answer has several parts:
1. “If” statements are not restricted to the Book of Hebrews.The fact is that we find similar statements in many places in the New Testament:
You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, this person does not belong to him (Romans 8:9, emphasis mine).
And if children, then heirs (namely, heirs of God and also fellow heirs with Christ) – if indeed we suffer with him so we may also be glorified with him (Romans 8:17, emphasis mine).
Notice therefore the kindness and harshness of God – harshness toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness toward you, provided you continue in his kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off (Romans 11:22, emphasis mine).
Put yourselves to the test to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize regarding yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you – unless, indeed, you fail the test! (2 Corinthians 13:5, emphasis mine)
22 But now he has reconciled you by his physical body through death to present you holy, without blemish, and blameless before him – 23 if indeed you remain in the faith, established and firm, without shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard. This gospel has also been preached in all creation under heaven, and I, Paul, have become its servant (Colossians 1:22-23, emphasis mine).
1 So get rid of all evil and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. 2 And yearn like newborn infants for pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up to salvation, 3 if you have experienced the Lord’s kindness (1 Peter 2:1-3, emphasis mine).
3 Now by this we know that we have come to know God: if we keep his commandments (1 John 2:3, emphasis mine).
Our problem, then, is not unique to Hebrews. If we don’t deal with it here, we will face it elsewhere.
2. The author assumes the best about his readers. That is to say, the author assumes that his readers are fellow believers in Jesus Christ. We saw this by his statements in the first verse of chapter 3. His readers are holy brothers, partners in the heavenly calling, and those who confess Jesus as apostle and high priest. The author’s statements in the rest of the book only confirm the conclusion that he assumes most of his readers are saved.
3. The author does not look at the world through rose-colored glasses.He does assume that most of his readers are believers in Jesus Christ. He does not believe them to be infallible. He understands that the danger of “drifting” is very real and that drawing near is not the path of least resistance. Thus, failure is dealt with as a real possibility.
4. This epistle is written to a church. It may not be a large church, but virtually all the commentators agree that it is written to a church (even if we are not certain where it may be). Whenever a church is addressed, the assumption is made that most of the recipients have a genuine faith in Jesus Christ. But it also means that it is very possible that one or more members of the church addressed may not be saved. Thus the qualifications and the “ifs” that we find in the epistles.
5. The “if texts” are not intended to teach or imply that salvation is by works.The author is simply telling us that those who are truly saved are those who will also persevere to the end. Their faith and trust in Jesus will not fail under pressure. We are encouraged to draw near because we are saved, not to work harder in order to be saved. It is Christ who saves us,11 it is Christ through His Spirit who sanctifies us,12 and it is Christ who keeps us.13 This is precisely why we need to draw near (and stay near) to Him.
6. The “if statements” assume human weaknesses. Only God knows the hearts of men. We know that there will be some who assume that they have gained entrance into heaven who will not be admitted:
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven – only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 22 On that day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons and do many powerful deeds?’ 23 Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you. Go away from me, you lawbreakers!’” (Matthew 7:21-23)
Jesus’ story of the rich man and Lazarus must have been a great shock to the Pharisees who heard it.14 They assumed the rich man would make it to heaven and that the poor man would join others like him in hell. Just the reverse occurred. Our consolation is that God knows His own:
19 However, God’s solid foundation remains standing, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from evil” (2 Timothy 2:19).15
We do not know with absolute certainty those who are saved and those who are not. Some folks make their relationship with Jesus pretty plain, both by their profession and by their practice. But others leave us scratching our heads. My point here is to say that because we cannot know the hearts of men, we dare not assume all to be saved, even those who are fairly regular attendees at church. Thus, we must always leave room for the possibility that some who hear us may be unsaved and outside the faith. And because of this, it is only proper to include an “if” here and there, to address such folks. That is why I attempt, in nearly every sermon, to give the gospel to my audience. I assume that someone listening to or reading my sermon may be lost and in need of salvation. That is what our author is doing with his “ifs.”
7. The purpose of this epistle is not to create doubt, but to turn our attention to Jesus. Let’s not lose sight of what the Book of Hebrews is all about. It is an epistle that is addressed to a church, made up mainly of true believers. Over time, these believers, like us, can grow cold in their walk with the Lord, cold in their love for Christ and for men, much like the saints in Laodicea:
14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write the following: “This is the solemn pronouncement of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the originator of God’s creation: 15 ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot! 16 So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of my mouth! 17 Because you say, “I am rich and have acquired great wealth, and need nothing,” but do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked, 18 take my advice and buy gold from me refined by fire so you can become rich! Buy from me white clothing so you can be clothed and your shameful nakedness will not be exposed, and buy eye salve to put on your eyes so you can see! 19 All those I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent! 20 Listen! I am standing at the door and knocking! If anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come into his home and share a meal with him, and he with me. 21 I will grant the one who conquers permission to sit with me on my throne, just as I too conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches’” (Revelation 3:14-22, emphasis mine).
As our Lord invites the lukewarm Laodiceans to repent and return to intimate fellowship with Him (as symbolized by eating a meal with Him), so the writer to the Book of Hebrews warns his readers of the dangers of drifting, and exhorts them to draw near to Jesus.
The Hebrews were not to look back to Judaism, nor to the Old Covenant, nor even to great men like Moses. They were to look to Jesus, the author and finisher of the faith (Hebrews 3:1; 12:2). The last thing our author wants is for us to look to ourselves; his goal is to get us to look to Jesus. The “if passages” are intended to call our attention to our spiritual condition. And, whether good or bad, the exhortation is the same.
Are you lost in sin, under divine condemnation, and headed for an eternity in hell? Look to Jesus! He is the only solution. He is not only God; He also took on humanity, so that He could die in the sinner’s place, bearing his (or her) punishment. He rose from the dead and is ascended to the right hand of the Father, and in so doing, He restores all who are in Him, by faith, to the glory and dignity that was once ours, before the fall.
Are you drifting from God, negligent about studying His Word, spasmodic about your church attendance and fellowship with the saints, apathetic about the peril of those who are without Jesus? Look to Jesus! He is the One who saves, sanctifies, and keeps. It is abiding in Him that we need.16
Are you troubled, in need, fearful, discouraged? Look to Jesus!
Our author does not want us to look to mere men, even those as great as Moses. And he certainly doesn’t want us looking to ourselves, as though we are able to keep our souls. We are to look to Jesus.
The Lord will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul (Psalm 121:7, NASB95).
1 Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from the NET Bible. The NEW ENGLISH TRANSLATION, also known as THE NET BIBLE, is a completely new translation of the Bible, not a revision or an update of a previous English version. It was completed by more than twenty biblical scholars who worked directly from the best currently available Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts. The translation project originally started as an attempt to provide an electronic version of a modern translation for electronic distribution over the Internet and on CD (compact disk). Anyone anywhere in the world with an Internet connection will be able to use and print out the NET Bible without cost for personal study. In addition, anyone who wants to share the Bible with others can print unlimited copies and give them away free to others. It is available on the Internet at: www.netbible.org.
Copyright © 2008 by Robert L. Deffinbaugh. This is the edited manuscript of Lesson 7 in the series, Near to the Heart of God – A Study of the Book of Hebrews, prepared by Robert L. Deffinbaugh on August 24, 2008. Anyone is at liberty to use this lesson for educational purposes only, with or without credit.
2 “Moses held a special place in the hearts of the Jews of the first century. He was considered to be the greatest person in history in certain strands of Jewish tradition, and in some, the Messiah was expected to be a ‘new Moses’ (cf. Deut. 189:15-18): ‘The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers . . .’).” George H. Guthrie, Hebrews – The NIV Application Commentary (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1998), p. 127, citing Paul Ellingworth, The Epistle to the Hebrews (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1993), p. 194.
3 “He was considered to be the greatest person in history in certain strands of Jewish tradition, and in some, the Messiah was expected to be a ‘new Moses’ (cf. Deut. 18:15-18). . . . Other evidence suggests that Moses held an even higher status than the angels because of his special intimacy with God.” George H. Guthrie, Hebrews – The NIV Application Commentary (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1998), p. 127, footnoting Paul Ellingworth, The Epistle to the Hebrews (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1993), p. 194 and Mary Rose D’Angelo, Moses in the Letter to the Hebrews, SBLDS (Missoula, Mont.: Scholars, 1979), 91-131.
4 See, for example, Exodus 17:8-13.
5 Note: This statement is picked up by the author of Hebrews in Hebrews 3:5.
6 Matthew 17:3.
7 “That Moses was an apostle of God to his people does not call for demonstration; it is equally true that he was his people’s most effective intercessor with God. It was his brother Aaron, and not he, who was high priest of Israel as far as title and investiture were concerned; but it was Moses, and not Aaron, who was Israel’s true advocate with God.” F. F. Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, revised edition (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1990), pp. 91-92.
8 The Gospel of John has many references to our Lord as having been sent by the Father. A few of these texts would be 3:34; 4:35; 5:22-24, 30, 36-38; 6:29, 38-39.
9 See Exodus 16:31; Leviticus 10:6; 17:3, 8, 10; 22:18; Numbers 20:29; Joshua 21:45; Ruth 4:11; 1 Samuel 7:3.
10 For example, see 1 Chronicles 28:6; Isaiah 56:5, 7; Jeremiah 11:15; 23:11; Ezekiel 23:39; 44:7; Haggai 1:9.
11 Ephesians 2:1-10; Titus 3:5-7.
12 Romans 8:28-30; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Galatians 3:1-7; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2.
13 John 10:27-28.
14 Luke 16:19-31.
15 See also John 10:14; 1 Corinthians 8:3.
16 See John 15:1-10.
Related Topics: Christology