Hope from Hebrews #5 - Superior to Moses
Text: Hebrews 3:1-6
Thesis: To stress Jesus’ superiority to Moses in order to encourage us to remain faithful.
(1) Have you ever had a difficult time letting go of something?
(a) The Jews did when it came to letting go of the Old Law.
(b) In their minds, Moses was the greatest person ever to have lived.
(c) However, Jesus had come along and was/is the greatest person ever to have lived.
(2) Therefore, the author writes to encourage the readers to see Jesus’ superiority to everyone, including Moses, in order that they would remain faithful to Jesus.
I. The Appeal to Focus on Jesus (v. 1)
A. ‘Therefore’ connects this section with the previous discussion.
B. Here, the author appeals directly to Christians.
1. ‘Holy brethren’ “combines the notes of affection and consecration” (EBC).
2. ‘Heavenly calling’ “suggests the contrast … between the present, visible, material world and that of the truly real world – immaterial, eternal, and heavenly” (Lightfoot 86).
C. The author desires for Christians to focus in on Jesus.
1. ‘Consider’ (Gr. katanoeo) means “to give very careful consideration to some matter” (Louw-Nida).
2. The author specifically wants Christians to focus in on Jesus as Apostle and High Priest.
a. ‘Apostle’ (Gr. apostolos) simply means “messenger, one sent with orders” (Thayer’s) and Jesus was sent by God (cf. Luke 9:29; John 17:18).
b. ‘High Priest’ “brings before us the sacrificial nature of [Jesus’] mission” (EBC).
c. Note: “Jesus as the one sent by God represents God to humanity; Jesus as high priest represents humanity to God” (Hagner 59).
II. The Comparison of Moses with Jesus (vv. 2-6a.)
A. First, Moses and Jesus were both faithful to God.
1. In reference to Moses, the author refers to Numbers 12:7 where God stated that Moses was indeed faithful.
2. In reference to Jesus, the author has already proven his case in his previous discussion in chapters 1-2.
3. Note: ‘House’ “is the household, the people, not the building; and it is God's house, the people of God” (EBC).
B. Second, Moses was faithful in the house of God whereas Jesus was faithful over the house of God.
1. Although Moses accomplished a lot, He was “not the innovator … but simply the agent” (D. Guthrie 100).
2. For Jesus, the implication is that because He was the innovator and was/is over God’s house, then He is more glorious than Moses in all aspects.
C. Third, Moses was faithful as a servant whereas Jesus was faithful as a Son.
1. ‘Servant’ (Gr. therapon, not doulos) means “one who renders devoted service” (BDAG) and “indicates both a position of honor and a role of subservience” (Lightfoot 88).
2. ‘Son’ refers back to chapter 1 where the author quotes from the Old Testament (Psa. 2:7 & 2 Sam. 7:14) to demonstrate Jesus’ superior name as a proof for Jesus’ superiority over angels, which also now is used to prove Jesus’ superiority over Moses who was only a servant.
III. The Exhortation to remain Faithful to Jesus (v. 6b.)
A. Since Jesus is superior to Moses, then the implication is that everyone should desire to remain a part of the house of God over which Jesus is reigning.
B. In order to remain a part of the house of God, then Christians must ‘hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.’
1. ‘Hold fast’ (Gr. katacho) means “to adhere firmly to traditions, convictions” (BDAG).
2. ‘Confidence’ (Gr. parresia) means “a state of boldness […] in relation to God” (BDAG).
3. ‘Hope’ (Gr. elpis) means “the looking forward to something with some reason for confidence respecting fulfillment” (BDAG).
(1) Are you holding fast to Jesus and salvation?
(2) If not, why not change today?