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The Supremacy of Jesus Over Moses

Heb. 3:1-6

In Chapter 1, Christ is shown as better than the Prophets. In chapter two, we see that Christ is better than the Angels. Here in chapter 3 Christ is seen as better than Moses. Moses was Israel’s greatest hero. He was the author of the first 5 books in the Old Testament. Though Moses experienced some failures in his life, he was the man who was used of God to lead the people of Israel out of Egyptian bondage. He was the man who delivered the law of God to Israel. In all of the history of Israel there was no man more admired or respected than Moses. This section shows that Christ is better than Moses.

I. Holy Brethren (Heb. 3:1)

A. Christians are holy people. The word holy means to set apart for God’s purposes. There are two ways a Christian can be holy: positionally and practically.

1. Positional Holiness – believer eternally set apart into God’s family. Every true believer is holy and blameless from the very day he is born again. How can this be? It is because the born-again person is placed into Christ, and God no longer sees that person as a condemned sinner, but as a blessed saint. God looks at the believer through the blood of His Son and sees no sin. The Christian is holy because Christ has put away his sin and declared him righteous. Positionally, every child of God is holy.

2. Practical Holiness is to be holy in daily living. Though Christians are holy in Christ positionally, the Bible teaches it is God’s will for them to be holy in practice, the way he live every day. (1 Pet. 1:15-16).

B. We are Brethren. We are family because we have been adopted into the family of God. All the saved are His children. The one who believes in Jesus Christ is born into God’s family and is a spiritual brother to every other believer.

C. We are partakers of the heavenly calling. The word partakers mean “to share in or to have a part in.” As a family we share in the same calling. Notice that our calling is described as heavenly. Since we have been adopted, we are not an earthly people. We do not identify with this world. Peter reminds us that we are strangers and pilgrims (1 Pet. 2:11), in this world. Our citizenship is in Heaven. For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. (Phil. 3:20).

Illustration 1/Application: Obedience
In the eleventh century, King Henry III of Bavaria grew tired of court life and the pressures of being a monarch. He made application to Prior Richard at a local monastery, asking to be accepted as a contemplative and spend the rest of his life in the monastery.
“Your Majesty,” said Prior Richard, “do you understand that the pledge here is one of obedience? That will be hard because you have been a king.”
“I understand,” said Henry. “The rest of my life I will be obedient to you, as Christ leads you.”
“Then I will tell you what to do,” said Prior Richard. “Go back to your throne and serve faithfully in the place where God has put you.”
When King Henry died, a statement was written: “The King learned to rule by being obedient.”
When we tire of our roles and responsibilities, it helps to remember God has planted us in a certain place and told us to be a good accountant or teacher or mother or father. Christ expects us to be faithful where he puts us, and when he returns, we’ll rule together with him.
— 10,000 Sermon Illustrations

II. Consider Christ (Heb. 3:1b)

A. We are to consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus. The word consider means “to observe fully, behold, consider, discover, perceive.” We are to fix our thoughts on Jesus. Concentrate on who Jesus is and what He has done. The person and work of the Son of God are worthy of careful consideration.

B. The Position of Christ. Jesus is…. the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; (Hebrews 3:1) Here we have two important facts concerning Jesus Christ.

1. Jesus is identified as the Apostle. This is the only time in the New Testament that Jesus is called ‘apostolos,’ though He often used ‘apostello’ of God’s sending him forth as in John 17:3. The word Apostle means “one sent with a commission.” In the New Testament the word primarily refers to one who had a direct commission from God. Jesus was commissioned and sent by the Father. As an Apostle, Jesus represented God to men.

2. Jesus is also our High Priest. Not merely a priest, but the High Priest. Every believer is a priest. (1 Pet. 2:5, 9) But Jesus is our high priest. He has made “propitiation” (an appeasing sacrifice) for our sins, through offering Himself on the cross (Heb. 7:26-27). He continues to intercede on our behalf (Heb. 7:24-25)

III. The Pre-eminence of Christ (Heb. 3:2 -6)

A. Here we have a contrast between Jesus, the Son of God, and Moses, the Servant of God. As Jesus and Moses are compared the mighty prophet Moses fades as the splendor of Christ’s glory is expounded. The contrast shows Jesus to be preeminent in every aspect.

1. In Faithfulness
a. Jesus was faithful to the One who appointed Him
b. Moses likewise was faithful.
c. Here Jesus is seen as being superior to Moses in His faithfulness to God. Moses was faithful so far as a man could be faithful. Moses sometimes fell short of God’s will. It took God forty years on the backside of a dessert to mold Moses into a man that He could use to deliver His people and even at that Moses failed to enter into the promised land.

2. Jesus is greater because He is the builder
a. Jesus is worthy of more honor than Moses just as the builder of a house has more honor than the house.
b. House is used here in the sense of family or household, not to a material building. The Israelites were known as God’s family, His people, those under His
care. This applies also to the church.
c. Jesus Christ is the son over the house, He is the heir to all and He is in a place of authority
d. Moses is part of the house itself. Moses was a servant in the house God. As servant, he owns nothing and has no right of control.
e. If God built all things, and Jesus Christ built God’s house, then Jesus Christ must be God. Also, it is written Christ created all things. (Jn. 1:3, Col. 1:16).
f. The term “servant” here does not mean “slave” but rather a position of dignity and freedom (Ex. 14:31, Josh. 1:2). However, even as the highest-ranking servant, Moses could never hold the position of Son, which belong exclusively to Christ (Jn. 8:35).

Illustration 2/Application: Willing to do Little Things

A good many are kept out of the service of Christ, deprived of the luxury of working for God, because they are trying to do some great thing. Let us be willing to do little things. And let us remember that nothing is small in which God is the source.

D. L. Moody, quoted in The Berean Call, Bend, Oregon, March, 1997

Illustration 3/Application: Do All Things Wholeheartedly

Hudson Taylor, the great missionary to China, believed that Christians should do all things wholeheartedly, not just those actions that can be seen. He reasoned, “As our Father makes many a flower to bloom unseen in the lonely desert, [let us] do all that we can do, as under His eye, though no other eye ever take note of it.”
Our Daily Bread, November 23, 1998

IV. The perseverance in Christ (Heb. 3:6)

A. Whose house are we; that is, we, the community of believers under the gospel.

B. If we hold fast – salvation is not the issue here. What this text mean is that perseverance in faith is a proof of real faith. God demands perseverance on the part of His people. If a person is saved, he will remain true, faithful, loyal and will always stay in his faith even if sometimes he falls.

C. Hope in this verse rests in Christ Himself whose redemptive work has accomplished our salvation. (Rom. 5:1,2, 1 Pet. 1:3)

Illustration 4/Application: Battle Against Slave Trade

Young William Wilberforce was discouraged one night in the early 1790s after another defeat in his 10 year battle against the slave trade in England. Tired and frustrated, he opened his Bible and began to leaf through it. A small piece of paper fell out and fluttered to the floor. It was a letter written by John Wesley shortly before his death. Wilberforce read it again:
“Unless the divine power has raised you up… I see not how you can go through your glorious enterprise in opposing that (abominable practice of slavery), which is the scandal of religion, of England, and of human nature. Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils. But if God be for you, who can be against you? Are all of them together stronger than God? Oh, be not weary of well-doing. Go on in the name of God, and in the power of His might.” Our Daily Bread, June 16, 1989

V. Conclusion:

Jesus is far superior to Moses not only in person and in service but also in faithfulness. Moses was a servant in the house of God but Jesus is the Son who has authority in all things. Our duty now is to persevere as a proof of our faith, that we are really children of God. Will you be faithful my friend?

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