Friday, May 21, 2021

Moses' and Jesus' House (Hebrews 3:1-6)

"Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself" (Hebrews 3:3).

The author of Hebrews proceeds in Hebrews 3 to provide a series of comparisons and contrasts between Moses and Jesus. First, both Moses and Jesus were faithful in administering the house of God (v. 2). Moses slipped on one occasion, but one slip in forty years of administration is an admirable record. Jesus, of course, never failed and will never fail.

Second, Jesus has greater honor because He is the builder of the house, whereas Moses is part of the house itself (v. 3). God created man in the first place. Man is made of dirt, and hard dirt is a stone. We are stones, gems, in God’s house. Moses was such a gem. He was “gold, silver, and precious stone,” not “wood, hay, and stubble” (1 Corinthians 3:12). But he was still only part of God’s universal cosmic house, not the builder of it. Jesus, the second person of the Trinity, actually built the cosmic house. Verse 4 brings out this idea, saying that God built everything. Verse 3 says that Jesus is the builder. Therefore, Jesus is God.

Third, Moses was faithful as a servant in the house, but Jesus is faithful as a Son (vv. 5–6). The servant administers the house until the Son arrives; then he turns it over to Him. Thus, the administration of Moses was a type—a prophetic parable—of the future administration of Jesus. Similarly, the tabernacle of Moses and the glorious temple of Solomon showed forth glories that the people of that time did not experience because they were not allowed to enter. These wonders “testified to what would be said in the future,” so that “we are His house” (vv. 5–6).

The servant’s administration is temporary. The Son is the heir, however, and when He takes over, His administration is permanent. The author of Hebrews wants his Jewish readers to understand this clearly, so that they will not be tempted to go back to the Mosaic system. That which is permanent has come; the shadows must depart. Moreover, he wants them to see that the Mosaic pattern was all along a prophecy of the new covenant. The purpose of Moses’ house was to display the glories that have now come in Christ. To reject Christ and go back to Moses is to reject what Moses stood for.

The tabernacle included pillars to guard the doors, boards to hold up the structure, curtains to keep out the wind and beautify the room, leather to keep out the rain, a lamp, food, and other items. These represented human functions in God’s house. What functions do you perform in your church and family?