Christ is Superior to Moses
Hebrews 3:1-6 (Pastor Heo)
1 Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, *fix your thoughts on Jesus*, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. 2 He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. 3 Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. 4 For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. 5 Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house, testifying to what would be said in the future. 6 But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.
Theme of Hebrews: Superiority of Christ
We have studied:
- Jesus over angels
- Jesus over Moses (today)
Jesus is much superior to Moses – we all agree, I think. If this is true, we may think, “Why we need to review and study this topic. This point is so obvious and natural. We don’t need to study this I guess.”
We know Jesus is God, Savior, Lord, Creator. Moses is a creation – a servant of God (one of the great ones, but not worthy to be compared to Christ).
Then, why do we need to study this topic?
To understand this, we need to understand the background – esp Jewish background. If we are unfamiliar with Jewish history, it is difficult to appreciate Moses’ high standing in their culture.
At that time he was the GREATEST of all men. At that time, some thought he was superior to Jesus, in fact.
In John 9, one day Jesus healed a man born blind. He spit on the ground and made mud with his saliva and put it on his eyes and told him to go wash. He did, and immediately, he could see.
After doing this, the people around him asked, “Who opened your eyes?” He said, “The man they called Jesus.” They asked again and again. He said again, “I answered clearly. Do you want to become his disciple?” They then insulted him. “YOU! You are the disciple of that fellow! But we are disciples of Moses!” (They thought Moses was superior to Jesus.)
According to Jewish history, there are 6 reasons why Moses is so highly exalted.
(But this is not the main topic – only to understand the background.)
- He was an inconquerable deliverable
- (divinely chosen for his task – his life was miraculously preserved even under the sentence of death as a baby – plucked from the Nile river. God ordained him at the burning bush.)
- He performed the most miracles
- (at least 10 plagues over Egypt – Nile -> blood, frogs & gnats, flies, the death of livestock, boils, hail, darkness over Egypt, death of the firstborn – after the plagues, he parted the Red Sea with his staff and passed through on foot – he smote the rock and released mineral water in the desert. In the battle against the Amalakites, when his hands were up, the Jews were winning).
- He was the greatest prophet
- (God communicated to other prophets through visions, dreams, symbols, revelation – but to Moses directly. God said, “Listen to my words” (Numbers 6:12) “with Moses, I speak face to face.”)
- He was the Law Giver
- (The Law was the greatest thing in all the world at that time – 10 commandments, etc – When he received the 10 commandments, his face shown and radiated. He received laws about the tabernacle, the levitical law, etc. The first 5 books of the Bible are the Law of Moses).
- He was the greatest historian
- (The Pentatuch – the first 5 books in the OT – these are still the most important historical and religious books to the Jews today. Moses wrote them all.)
- Moses was meeker and gentler than all others
- (God said, “My servant Moses is meeker than all others on the face of the earth.” He was the MOST “gentle”man.)
The first recipients of the book of Hebrews were the Jews. So, it was important to make it clear that Jesus is superior to Moses.
How about today? Yes, we still need to know that Jesus is much MORE important than the most important thing or person you have in your mind. Are you clear in this matter?
Challenge: If Jesus is NOT #1 in your life, Jesus is not your Lord / Savior.
Please take this and think on it seriously.
Today, who is Moses to you? What is your “Moses”? (The most important other thing / person in your life.) Jesus is much more superior to this.
“1 Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.”
- Set apart FROM something
- TO something
- From Satan, sin, the world
- To God, holiness, service
We are set apart to service to God. Salvation is a heavenly calling. Someday, God will bring us to his home – heaven – and go to live with Christ forever and ever. If we are called, we must fix our thoughts on Jesus. This is the key message.
“Fix our thoughts on Jesus.”
Hebrews 12:2 “Fix your eyes on Jesus who is the author and perfecter of our faith.” (repeated idea)
Are you doing this?
Let me ask this question: What / who are you becoming?
Consciously or unconsciously, we are BECOMING whatever we are looking at and looking for. We are becoming what we are focusing on and seeking and worshiping. What / who are you worshiping? We are becoming what we are worshiping.
Yes, no we are worshiping Christ – but “to fix on” means to “give diligent and continual observation and mind to”. Continually contemplate on these things.
What do we need to fixate on Christ? Let me share 4 things.
#1 Desire (zeal / passion / enthusiasm)
This is the beginning point. No desire? No fixation.
David showed his desire to see God. Ps 27:4 “One thing I ask of the Lord, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.”
Ps 42:1 “As the deer pants for the water, so my soul thirsts for God. My tears have been my food day and night.”
NT: Apostle Paul in Phi 3:8-10 “What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing my Lord Jesus – for whose sake I’ve lost all things – I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ and be found in him. I want to know Christ and his resurrection, becoming like him in his death.”
Do you have desire?
Without desire, it is impossible.
If you have no desire, pray for it. “God, give me passion to know you and make you known to others.”
We must put Jesus first in our lives and keep him before us at all times in order to fix our thoughts and minds on him.
Concentration is power.
This comes from “disciple” – we want to be disciples and disciple-makers.
Without discipline, disciples cannot be made fully.
Discipline = “self-training”
Hebrews 12:1-2 “Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw of everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…”
I need discipline. I know that. And so do you.
This worship service is 11-12:20 or so. “We need time.”
But we know today that people are losing patience – becoming more and more impatient. They like “microwave – culture”. Quick service, “Rocket delivery”, fast food.
But, especially in the spiritual life, we need patience, perseverance, endurance. We need time to meditate, to think, to grow, to heal, to recover, to fix our thoughts on Christ. We need MORE time.
For example: We cannot enjoy the beauty of this country without time.
Please spend more time, much time with him in your devotional time.
Who is Jesus in this verse one?
“…the apostle and high priest…”
This is very interesting. This is the ONLY place in the whole 66-book Bible where he is referred to as this “apostle.”
As “high priest” he is introduced about 12 times. This is one of the themes of Hebrews.
What does this mean?
- “Apostle” = “the one who is sent”
- Apostolos = Greek = he who is sent
Jesus explained that he was “sent” by his Father God – more than 10 times in John. This means that Jesus is the FIRST, greatest apostle. He is the source and foundational of ALL following apostles. His apostleship means “Mission Accomplished.” (He shouted this on the cross ‘it is finished.’)
He is also the High Priest (par excellence) – he was fully God and fully Man.
Jesus is the ONLY person through whom God speaks to man; and man can approach God (Jesus is the bridge / mediator).
Hebrews 7:25 “Therefore, Jesus is able to save completely those who come to God through him because he is always interceding for them.”
Jesus is the representative of the Trinity God in meeting man. Also, he is the representative of ALL human beings in meeting God.
He is the bridge between God and man.
“2 He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. 3 Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. 4 For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. 5 Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house, *testifying* [this is the real reason Moses was considered a great man before God] to what would be said in the future. 6 But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.”
- Moses is a house? Jesus is the builder.
- Moses is a servant? Jesus is the son.
What a difference.
The real spiritual, eternal reason why Moses was accepted by God as “great” was that he was faithful to his task – given by God.
The reality of Moses was that he was faithful in his mission – to testify about Jesus. What a great secret / mystery from the perspective of God.
In John, Jesus evangelized a man named Philip and when he met him he said, “Follow me.” After being evangelized, the first thing Philip did was to evangelize others. Immediately, he met his friend Nathaniel and said, “Come and see! I have found the One whom Moses wrote about in the Law! He is Jesus of Nazareth, son of Joseph.”
That’s why Jesus said, “If you believed Moses, you would believe me.” – because Moses wrote about Jesus.
Jesus himself testified that Moses wrote the 5 books about him.
That’s why, whenever I preach, I should focus on Jesus. If you believe my sermon, you will believe in Christ as Savior and Lord because I focus on Christ.
We are called as heavenly, holy people and someday we will leave this world and live with him.
The greatest and eternal legacy we can leave behind on earth is to testify about Christ.
Last sentence: are you saved?
Remember, very practically,
To BE saved, yet NOT to proclaim Christ as Savior is impossible – because salvation has such a powerful power.
God bless your thoughts, mouth, hands, feet, interests, purpose in this world.