Thursday, October 04, 2018

05 Hebrews 5 – His Superior High Priesthood – So Learn and Grow!

The high priesthood of Jesus Christ is a prominent, recurring theme in Hebrews. To fulfill that role, he who is superior to angels (Heb 1) became for a little while lower than angels (Heb 2). He supersedes Moses because he is our apostle and high priest (Heb 3). As such he can identify and sympathize with our weaknesses and temptations, and he can come to our aid. Therefore, we can approach the throne of God with boldness and confidence (Heb 4).
Hebrews 5 now draws comparisons and contrasts between Jesus and the high priests (like Aaron) who preceded him. Both he and they were taken from among men, dealt gently with people, knew human weaknesses, offered sacrifices for sin, and were appointed by God.
Yet Jesus Christ is infinitely superior to all others! In fact his priesthood is not based on Aaron or taken from the tribe of Levi. His perfect, eternal role as high priest is connected with one named Melchizedek, who was a priest of God in the days of Abraham. The writer of Hebrews will explain more about all this, but first he exhorts his readers to mature and sharpen their dull hearing skills!
5:1-10 Jesus Our Qualified High Priest
          5:1-4 What are the Criteria?
          5:5-10 How did Jesus Meet Them?
5:11-14 So Learn and Grow!
These are lesson notes, not written in a polished or finished manuscript form.  
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5:1-10 Jesus Our Qualified High Priest
5:1-4 What are the Criteria?
A man … from among men … on behalf of men.
In things pertaining to God. 
Brings God to man … and brings man to God.
To offer gifts and sacrifices.
Able to deal gently with ignorant and misguided …
Neither too lenient nor too harsh.
Obligated to sacrifice for others and himself (first) …
Because he is beset with weakness.
Not self-appointed, but called.
As Aaron (Moses’ brother, the first high priest).
5:5-10 How did Jesus Meet the Criteria?
Not self-appointed, but called.  Ps 2:7; 110:4
Offered up prayers and supplications.
Beset with weakness: loud crying and tears.
He was heard, but His life was not spared.  Why?
Does His suffering contradict His sonship … or confirm it?
Should a son be forced to suffer?
How does a son learn obedience?
How does a perfect son “become perfect?”
How does this idea prepare for Heb 12?
“All who obey Him (who act upon what they hear) …”
Source, author = the origin of, the cause of, the one responsible for.
“The order of Melchizedek”
To be developed further in Heb 7.
Melchizedek (Gen 14:18-20):
A contemporary (not a descendant) of Abraham.
A priest by divine decree
Many generations before Moses, Aaron, and the Law
God promised that the Christ would also be a priest …
         By divine decree. Ps 110:4
         Not by Aaronic descent.
         After the order (nature, type) of Melchizedek.
Much more to say …
But … the hearers are dull of hearing! (Note: It’s not only preachers who can be dull!)
So, Heb 5:11 – 6:20 is a parenthesis on maturity.
5:11-14 So Learn and Grow!
We might also title this section, “For Mature Audiences Only!”
How do people become “dull of hearing?”
Why “ought” we to be teachers “by this time?”
If we ought to, but are not … why not?
Why not just stay on an all-milk diet?
What are the benefits of teaching the Word to others?
How do Christians become mature?
         By adding meat to our diet, one bite at a time.
         By exercising – teaching what we do know.
         By learning to discern; training our senses.
         By constantly practicing what we profess.
Result: the ability to distinguish good from evil.
Note Jas 3:1 – Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.
Putting the two together (Heb 5:12 and Jas 3:1) we see that those who teach are to be mature and aware of a stricter level of accountability. All may agree that those who teach must know the Word sufficiently and approach teaching seriously. Such Christians then have a responsibility to become teachers. And what a privilege that is! Those who diligently teach God’s Word treasure every opportunity they are given.

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