HEBREWS-JESUS IS BETTER: Faith Enables
HEBREWS-JESUS IS BETTER Faith Enables Pastor John Weathersby Sunday August 19, 2018 Hebrews 11:23-29 Today, we’ll see an example of faith, that if we miss it, we can wrongly read as a hero’s epic, and miss the picture of Faith we so desperately need. We can imagine Moses riding high in the saddle as a conqueror, when rather his circumstances likely felt desperate and near defeat for such a long time, even when at the height of his ministry, he was physically exhausted having to have his arms held up - the faith of Moses on display was a total trust of God with the details knowing the end was secure and so the ride could be endured. If we miss the accurate picture of Moses life, and picture him as conqueror by his own strength and might - we can start to wonder about our own lives and faith, so lets not miss this. Maybe you feel beaten up and exhausted, saddle up, and lets see where the legacy of Moses’ gaze points. Hebrews 11:23–29 (ESV) 23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. So often, it’s easy to come to a section like this and kind of, burn through it. OK, Moses check - the kid who was supposed to be killed with all the male children of a certain age, snuck in a basket to Pharaoh’s daughter, raised as one of the Egyptian’s own, who turned his back on the Egyptians even killing one of the jailers in defense of his people, who then was banished to the wilderness for 40 years before coming back an agent of God to lead his people to freedom and deliver to them the law…. Moses got it. But that would be to not fully understand the depth of this passage, and what the Author-Pastor is drawing from. I have that the Author-Pastor goes to Moses; lets see what Jesus himself had already said of Moses and believe in Moses’ legacy: John 5:45–47 (ESV) 45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?” How does Moses “accuse them”? Let me ask you a question - we’re about to see something of Moses, that he did what he did by faith (and the Author-Pastor is going to break that down some) but if Moses had faith in something and you trusted Moses not the thing he had faith in - doesn’t that seem odd? That’s what Jesus is saying in John 5:46 if you believed Moses, you would believe in me, because Moses was simply trusting God and pointing into the future. Moses was a prophet, look at: Luke 24:27 (ESV) 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. This is one of my top 15 favorite passages in the Bible (Matthew 1:21 being #1). Here is the scene - Jesus has been crucified and died, his body isn’t in the tomb. Two disciples were going to Emmaus and talking about everything that was happening around them. Jesus “drew near” and went with them, but they were kept from recognizing him. Cleopas told Jesus what they were talking about, the events of 3 days back (so far this is Luke 24:13-26 - read it it’s awesome). Jesus then, as it says in our passage told them the scriptures, interpreted by Him, as they concerned himself starting with Moses). Jesus himself pointed to Moses existence and the law Moses proclaimed as prophecy of Him. Acts 3:22 (ESV) 22 Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you. Moses pointed on past himself - to the one who would come who would pick up the mantle and should be listened to. So stopping the faith with Moses is not to believe Moses! He was a prophecy pointing on to something else - Jesus the final Priest. IN Hebrews 3:5 we read: Hebrews 3:5 (ESV) 5 Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, So the writer now of Hebrews has pointed at faith through Moses, who pointed on to the second prophet like himself (Acts 3:22) the one who spoke later, Jesus. Moses was faithful to God’s house as a servant and Jesus was faithful to God’s house as… Hebrews 3:6 (ESV) 6 but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house, if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope. So the picture we’re supposed to see of Moses, is 1. An object lesson in faith, and 2. One who points on to Jesus That said, lets continue on with the Author-Pastor: 24 By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, Why is this significant? Consider the scenario, there are dirty slave people; these folks were likely hard. Imagine it, working with their hands building and stacking bricks - bodies beaten by slave drivers “task masters” long hours, direct sun, not bathing, no medical care, no freedom, children being taken and murdered, this is absolute mystery - and Moses is outside all that, clean, well cared for, enjoying the spoils of royal living. But he rejects it; why and this is important, not because those were his kinfolk but because he believed God. Moses knew God’s promises and wanted to see that come to fruition, he wanted to be a part of God’s plan. Moses knew it wasn’t about the ride, but about God’s plan. The ride may look rough - but if you know it’s Gods plan and God’s path you know the end. And so, knowing the end means you can endure the middle by faith with total trust. You may not know all the details in between but you trust the author of the plan. 25 choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. What is the reproach of Christ, mistreatment by men, denial of what you believe, this is Jesus’ own reproach, and Moses was willing to take the ride, knowing God was faithful to his word. It’s well known in my family that I don’t ride roller coasters. There are two primary reasons for that 1) I was once puked on by one of Briana’s friends and couldn’t get away from the smell of it 2) I’ve seen the people that put those things together and I wouldn’t trust those dudes with my cellphone, much less my life. That said the joke is that I wait with the strollers, babies and purses - and that is because if you want to put yourself in that ride, I’ll wait for you at the end with purses babies and roller coasters, but I’m not getting on. I don’t trust the builder and don’t like the experience. However, if like Moses - I trust the one who puts life ride together - I’ll take the ride, irrespective of the details in the middle, I trust the builder. That was Moses’ life’s point - trusting impossible odds. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. That’s what the author of Hebrews has been communicating - faith is trusting what you’ve not yet seen, because you trust the one giving the promise, God. And what is His promise, that His Son Jesus is enough - faith in Him is enough. That’s why Abraham moved to the town that Lot didn’t pick, whatever that may have been - the details didn’t matter he had a promise from God. Moses trusted God’s plan, he’d step down from royalty, into calamity, and trust God - and we can see through the cloud of witness of faith that God delivered. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them. 29 By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned. Moses followed by faith through impossible odds - what about you? Do you trust God’s plan for your life, whatever it is. Or do you trust God’s plan to lead you to riches? The Author-Pastor has been pointing to Hebrew heroes of the scriptural narrative to call them closer to Jesus because those folks simply trusted by faith God’s plan. And Jesus is the revelation of God’s plan. The second Moses, the second Adam, the final priesthood. God is the author and deliver of our faith and Jesus is faith’s object. So what does that mean to us? Do you trust the creator of the universe? If so, act in faith to Christ. Give your life over to Him. I don’t mean simply trust that His righteousness is enough to save you (that’s important but that’s not all) trust him wholly. Church it’s not about the ride; it’s about the promise. Let’s trust God in Christ with every detail. Take the ride of faith, because you trust the one who constructed it. The details aren’t so important, the trust is. When Moses denied the pleasers of royal life for alignment to a slave people and had to flea for his life, he had to stay focused on God’s word to His people. While living for 40 years alone in the desert - he had to stay focused on God’s character. While facing the pharaoh with God’s message he had to trust God’s word and direction for his life and we too need to do the same, it’s not about the ride; it’s about God’s promise. Here is God’s promise: John 6:37–39 (ESV) 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. Church, are you Jesus’ to possess, is he Lord if so, the very will of God is that he will not lose you, come home. Find rest here. Trust in faith, just like Moses and the cloud of witness, trust not your strength, your ability, and your might - trust God in faith and bask in the future life while you live this one! Let me ask you a question, and it’s loaded. What if the Christian life, was just to trust Jesus wholly? The entirety of this chapter of Hebrews ‘the faith chapter’ is an encouragement to trust God. The need to trust stared in Chapter 10: recall the former days when after you met Christ you were faced with struggle, publicly and partnered with folks who struggled. You received it with joy and knew you had a “better possession”. And so he continues on encouraging them in their better possession, on to endure the ride, because God’s the sustainer and will see you through. The same is true with us. I don’t know what’s before you, but God does. He’s the designer and sustainer, Jesus is the treasure - trust in faith like Moses, like Sarah, like Abraham the thing that you cannot see right now, but that God promises, He is able. Lets not miss the picture of faith - and lets not miss our opportunity to trust Jesus as savior and as Lord of our lives and then we’ll be free to live as people who trust God with the details! As home groups, meet and discuss: • Read some of the Exodus passages that describe Moses circumstances How was Moses life different than the Israelites How did Moses choose to be mistreated with the people of God • How can our own daily faith be like that of Moses’ It’s Not About The Ride; It’s About The Promise!