Hebrewsby Robert M. Solomon
Jesus is far superior not only to the angels, but also to Moses, who was highly revered by the Jews. While Jews honoured their forefathers such as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, they gave Moses a special place as the one who was given God's law for His people. As the author of the first five books of the Bible (the Book of the Law), he is recognised as the bringer of God's law to the Jews. Jesus is the prophet greater than Moses, whom Moses foretold in Deuteronomy 18:15 (Acts 3:22; John 1:45; 5:46; 6:14; 7:40). At the transfiguration, Moses appeared together with Elijah to talk with Jesus, and then disappeared. Jesus was left standing alone, peerless and unique (Matthew 17:1-8).
The point is emphasised in this passage. Jesus is ″worthy of greater honour than Moses″ (Hebrews 3:3). Moses was a highly respected servant of God whom God used to lead His people away from slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land and to bring them His law. But Moses was just a man; Jesus is more than that. Moses was faithful as a servant (v. 5; see Numbers 12:7-8), but Jesus claims authority as the faithful Son of God (Hebrews 3:6). Jesus is the divine lawgiver and the divine Deliverer who leads His people to freedom. Moses was part of God's fallen creation; part of the cosmic house, but Jesus is the creator and builder of that house (vv. 3-4). Thus, the difference between Moses and Jesus is the difference between a part of the house (say a pillar or beam) and the builder himself. While the Jews can give Moses honour and respect, their response to Jesus must be entirely different. Moses is part of God's house, just as we are (v. 6), but Christ has authority over Moses and us as the unique Son of God (v. 6) and builder of God's house (v. 3).
All this means that Christians must learn how to ″fix [our] thoughts on Jesus″ (Hebrews 3:1). Jesus is the ″apostle″, literally the One who was sent by the Father, and the ″high priest″, a theme that will be explained later in the book. For now, we simply note that being fully God and fully man, He is the perfect ″bridge-builder″ between righteous God and sinful man.11 We are to fix our thoughts on Him (katonoein in Greek), meaning we are to consider everything carefully to discover the deep truth about Jesus.
11Barclay, ″The Letter to the Hebrews″, 31.
What does this passage say about the danger of elevating a Christian leader, institution, or programme above Christ?
How can you fix your thoughts on Jesus? What would it involve and why is it necessary to grow in our ″heavenly calling″ (Christian discipleship)?