THEREFORE HOLY BRETHREN: Hothen adelphoi hagioi: (Colossians 1:22; 3:12; 1Thessalonians 5:27; 2Timothy 1:9; 1Peter 2:9; 3:5; 2Peter 1:3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10; Revelation 18:20)
Meditations on "Consider Jesus" by Octavius Winslow…
Therefore is literally "from which", meaning that the following arguments could be deduced from the conclusions the writer had reached in the preceding passages.
Wuest - By the use of the word “wherefore,” the writer draws a conclusion from the preceding argument. Having shown that Messiah is better than the prophets and the angels, he asks his readers to consider Him in relation to Moses. He calls them “holy brethren.” (Hebrews - Wuest's word studies from the Greek New Testament)
Spurgeon - Luther says, "When I think of what Christ suffered, I am ashamed to call anything that I have endured, suffering for His sake." He carried His heavy cross, but we only carry a sliver or two of it; He drank His cup to the dregs, and we do but sip a drop or two at the very most. “Consider him.” Consider how He suffered far more than you can ever suffer, and how He is now crowned with glory and honor; and so you are to be like Him, descend like Him into the depths of agony, that with Him you may rise to the heights of glory.
F B Meyer writes that "The contrast between the third and fourth chapters of this epistle is very marked. The former is like a drear November day, when all the landscape is drenched by sweeping rain, and the rotting leaves fall in showers to find a grave upon the damp and muddy soil. The latter is like a still clear day in midsummer, when nature revels in reposeful bliss beneath the unstinted caresses of the sun. There is as much difference between them as between the seventh and eighth chapters of the Epistle to the Romans. But each chapter represents an experience of the inner Christian life. Perhaps the majority of Christians live and die in the third chapter, to their infinite loss. Comparatively few pass over into the fourth. Yet why, reader, should you not pass the boundary line today, and leave behind forever the bitter, unsatisfactory experiences which have become the normal rule of your existence? Come up out of the wilderness, in which you have wandered so long. Your sojourn there has been due, not to any desire on the part of God, or to any arbitrary appointment of his, or to any natural disability of your temperament; but to certain grave failures on your part, in the regimen of the inner life. The antipodes of your hitherto dreary experiences is Christ, the unsearchable riches of Christ; to be made a partaker of Christ: for Christ is the Promised Land that flows with milk and honey, in which we eat bread without scarceness, and gather the grapes and pomegranates and olives of rare spiritual blessedness.
Holy brethren - This phrase occurs only here in NT. This use would seem to indicate that the author regards his Jewish readers as believers.
Wuest - The word “holy” here does not have particular reference to a quality of life but to a position in salvation. The Greek word means “set apart for God.” Thus, the basic idea of the word is that of a set-apart, a separated position with reference to God. The term “holy brethren” here refers to the New Testament believers, the saints, set-apart ones. We must remember in this connection that this epistle is addressed to the professing Church, made up of real believers and also of those who gave only an intellectual assent to the Word. The writer, knowing in his heart that some were not saved, yet addresses them upon the basis of their profession, not upon that of his own estimation of their spiritual status. But the words “holy brethren” could be used of the Old Testament saints. Therefore, to distinguish these from the former, the writer adds the words “partakers of the heavenly calling.”
Holy (for more in depth discussion click hagios) describes every saint's position in Christ. We are set apart from the secular, profane, evil and dedicated to the worship and service of God.
The fundamental idea of "holy" is separation from sin, consecration to God, devotion to service of Deity, sharing in God’s purity and abstaining from earth’s defilement.
Even among the pagans the idea of hagios was one dedicated to the gods and the worshipper of the pagan god acquired the character of that pagan god and the religious ceremonies connected with its worship. For example, the Greek temple at Corinth housed a large number of harlots who were connected with the "worship" of the Greek god. It is not surprising that the "set-apartness" of the Greek worshipper was licentious and totally depraved.
The believer in the Lord Jesus is set apart for God by the Holy Spirit, out of the First Adam with the latter’s sin and condemnation, into the Last Adam with the latter’s righteousness and life. Thus, the worshipper of the God of the Bible partakes of the character of the God for whom he is set apart. This is positional sanctification, an act of God performed at the moment a sinner puts his faith in the Lord Jesus (1Cor 1:2). The work of the Holy Spirit in the yielded saint, in which He sets the believer apart for God in his experience, by eliminating sin from his life and producing His fruit, a process which goes on throughout the believer’s life, is called progressive sanctification (1Thes 5:23) (Click for a discussion of the Three Tenses of Salvation). Although the saint lives in the world, the man who is hagios must always in one sense be different from the world and separate from the world. His standards are not the world's standards
Spurgeon - What wonderful titles! “Holy brothers,” made brothers in holiness and made holy in our brotherhood—“sharers in a heavenly calling”—called of God from among the worlds. Our occupation and our calling henceforth is to serve the Lord. Heavenly calling means a call from heaven. If man alone call you, you are uncalled. Is your calling of God? Is it a call to heaven as well as from heaven? Unless you are a stranger here, and heaven is your home, you have not been called with a heavenly calling. For those who have been so called declare that they look for a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God, and they themselves are strangers and pilgrims upon the earth.
Brethren (adelphós from a = denoting unity + delphús = womb) is literally those born from same womb and figuratively generally denotes a fellowship of life based on identity of origin, e.g., members of the same family (the same "delphus" or womb so to speak.
So the writer appeals to his readers as those who have been separated from the mass of humanity by the new birth and who are thus blood bought and heaven bound and owing an allegiance to the One they had confessed.
PARTAKERS: metochoi: (Hebrews 3:14; Romans 11:17; 15:27; 1Corinthians 9:23; 10:17; 2Corinthians 1:7; Ephesians 3:6; Colossians 1:12; 1Timothy 6:2; 1Peter 5:1; 2Peter 1:4; 1John 1:3)
Partakers (3353) (metochos from metecho = have with, describing participation with another in common blessings from metá = with, denoting association + écho = have) describes one who shares with someone else as an associate in an enterprise or undertaking. It speaks of those who are participators in something. Business partner, companion. Participating in. Accomplice in. Comrade. It means to be one who has a share in the possession of something. Here it describes those who share in a Heavenly calling or have held, or will hold, a regal position in relation to the earthly, Messianic Kingdom.
Wuest says metochos "speaks of one who is associated with others in a common task or condition. Here the word designates the saints as those who are associated with one another in a heavenly calling." (Ibid)
Metochos is used 6 times in the NT…
It is notable that although metochos is used to describe believers in Hebrews 3:14 it explains that these are those who hold fast to the end, the point being that one proves he is a true partaker by holding fast to the end!
In Hebrews 3:6 and Hebrews 3:14 the writer describes perseverance in the faith as proof that one has become a partaker of true salvation. What would be the opposite of persevering? In Hebrews 6:6 (note) it would be falling away from the faith which would equate with no evidence of salvation. Stated another way, the one who does not persevere in the faith, does not show that they have fallen out of partaking in Christ, but that they had never become a partaker of the free gift of salvation in Christ Jesus. It seems clear that the writer does not believe one can be in Christ and then out of Christ at a later time.
OF A HEAVENLY CALLING: klêseôs epouraniou: (Romans 1:6,7 - Romans 1:6-7 The Called of Christ; 8:28-30; 9:24; 1Corinthians 1:2; Ephesians 4:1,4; Philippians 3:14; 1Thessalonians 2:12; 2Thessalonians 1:11; 2:14; 1Timothy 6:12; 2Timothy 1:9; 1Peter 5:10; 2Peter 1:10; Jude 1:1; Revelation 17:14)
Wuest on heavenly calling - Paul speaks of the “calling from above,” that effectual call into salvation which comes from heaven and is to heaven (Phil. 3:14-note). This expression in Hebrews 3:1 speaks therefore of the Church. Israel has an earthly calling and an earthly destiny. The Church has a heavenly calling and a heavenly destiny. Thus does the writer mark the Jews to whom he was writing, as belonging to the Church and as distinct from Israel. (Ibidi)
This phrase ("heavenly calling") is found only here in the NT. The writer alludes to this "heavenly calling" later in this epistle writing that Jesus "is the mediator of a new covenant, in order that since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance." (Hebrews 9:15-note)
Calling (2821) (klesis - word study) means a call and was used for an invitation to a banquet. In the NT the word is used metaphorically of the call or invitation to come into the kingdom of God with all its privileges. Here "klesis" refers to the divine call by which Christians are introduced into the privileges of the gospel. God’s invitation (klesis) to man to accept the benefits of His salvation is what this calling is all about, particularly in the gospels. It is God’s first act in the application of redemption according to His eternal purpose (Ro 8:28). A distinction is made between God’s calling and men’s acceptance of it (Mt 20:16).
Klesis - 11x in the NT - Rom. 11:29; 1 Co. 1:26; 7:20; Eph. 1:18; 4:1, 4; Phil. 3:14; 2 Thess. 1:11; 2 Tim. 1:9; Heb. 3:1; 2 Pet. 1:10
The called are those who have been summoned by God… called… (the following phrases are meant to be read as one long sentence which gives a Biblical statement regarding calling)…
The called are those who have been summoned by God… called…
according to His purpose (Romans 8:28-note)
to salvation (Romans 8:30-note)
saints by calling (1Cor 1:2)
both Jews and Greeks (1Cor 1:24)
having been called "with a holy" (2 Timothy 1:9-note)
heavenly calling (Hebrews 3:1-note)
out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9-note)
to walk worthy (Ephesians 4:1- note)
by grace (Gal 1:6)
not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles (Romans 9:24-note)
through the "gospel" that we "may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2Th 2:14)
and be brought "into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord" (1Cor 1:9)
and return in triumph "with Him" at the end of this age (Revelation 17:14-note).
The call comes from heaven and is to heaven in its appeal. This world is not our home and dearly beloved, we need to quit acting like it is! Peter says clearly that we are "aliens and strangers" (1Pe 2:11, 12-note)
In the hall of faith chapter the writer describes those who by faith pleased God and who…
"desire a better country, that is a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them." (Hebrews 11:16)
And again the writer explains their "heavenly calling" declaring to his readers that…
"you have not come to a mountain that may be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind… But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel." (Hebrews 12:18-24)
The writer thus demonstrates clearly the superiority of Christianity to Judaism. Judaism was an earthly calling with an earthly inheritance. Christianity is a spiritual and heavenly calling with a spiritual and heavenly inheritance. It is, therefore, far superior.
Paul alludes to this "heavenly calling" writing to the saints at Philippi…
“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus… For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (click exposition of Philippians 3:14 Philippians 3:20).
Our true home is in heaven and we live spiritually right now in heavenly places (Ep 1:3-note; Ep 2:6-note). As true believers we are brothers of Jesus by position and are thereby holy. We are only strangers and pilgrims on earth. Our bodies are in this world but we do not really belong here.
The writer is saying in essence to his Christian Jewish readers some of whom are being tempted to fall back into Judaism…
You are citizens of the heavenlies, so why don’t you let go of the earthly things? Why do you want to hang on to the earthly rituals, the earthly symbols, when you have the heavenly reality?”
How liberating is the truth that we as Christians do not need religious ritual because we have spiritual reality.
Jesus said that now since He had come anyone who wanted to truly worship the Father truly, must do so in spirit and in truth, not in rituals and ceremonies (John 4:23). There is no place in biblical Christianity for externalism because Christians have continual access to unseen but unchanging spiritual reality.
CONSIDER: katanoêsate (2PAAM): (Isaiah 1:3; 5:12; 41:20; Ezekiel 12:3; 18:28; Haggai 1:5; 2:15; John 20:27; 2Timothy 2:7)
Spurgeon - Oh, that He had more consideration at our hands! Consider Him; you cannot know all His excellence, all His value to you, except He is the subject of your constant meditation. Consider Him; think of His nature, His offices, His work, His promises, his relation to you: “Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus”
Consider (behold) (2657) (katanoeo from kata = down [kata can be used to intensify the meaning] + noéo = to perceive or think) means literally to put the mind down on something and so to observe or consider carefully and attentively. The idea is to think about something very carefully or consider closely which denotes the action of one's mind apprehending certain facts about a thing so as to give one the proper and decisive thought about the thing considered. To consider attentively denotes the action of mind apprehending certain facts about a thing = give proper and decisive thought about something. Here it denotes the action of the mind in apprehending certain facts about JESUS. Put the mind down on Jesus. Expresses attention & continuous observation and regard. Consider Jesus closely and carefully.
Wuest - The readers of this letter needed just that exhortation. They were allowing their attention to relax so far as Messiah and the New Testament were concerned, and their gaze was slowly turning back upon the First Testament sacrifices. (Ibid)
Katanoeo - 14x in NT - Matt. 7:3; Lk. 6:41; 12:24, 27; 20:23; Acts 7:31, 32; 11:6; 27:39; Ro 4:19; Heb. 3:1; 10:24; Jas. 1:23, 24
Vine writes that katanoeo "denotes the action of the mind in apprehending certain facts about a thing."
TDNT writes that katanoeo "is closely related to the simple noeo, whose literal meaning is intensified, “to direct one’s whole mind to an object,” also from a higher standpoint to immerse oneself in it and hence to apprehend it in its whole compass… It can also denote 2. critical observation of an object: “to consider reflectively,” “to study,” “to examine,”… 3. In literary Greek katanoeo… means especially apprehension of a subject by intellectual absorption in it: “to consider,” “to ponder,” “to come to know,” “to grasp,” “to understand”… The emphasis in NT usage lies in the visual sphere. As a verb of seeing… especially in Luke… denotes perception by the eyes (Mt 7:3 = Lk 6:41, here paradoxically impossible; Acts 27:39), attentive scrutiny of an object (James 1:23, 24), the observation or consideration of a fact or process, whether natural or miraculous (Lk. 12:24, 27; Ro 4:19; Acts 7:31, 32; 11:6). (Kittel, G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Eerdmans)
One might paraphrase it “Bring your mind down on this Jesus.” Concentrate on Him. Focus on Him
John MacArthur - Some may wonder why the writer tells Christians to consider Christ, since we already know Him. But we are a long way from understanding all that He is. Even the apostle Paul, the greatest Christian who ever lived, did not know all about Christ that he wanted to (see note Philippians 3:10). When trials or temptations come into our lives, we need to focus our attention on Jesus and keep it there until all that He is begins to unfold for us. Many Christians are spiritually weak and struggle with worry and anxiety because they don't know the depths and the riches of Christ. Jesus promised rest for our souls when we learn of Him (Matt. 11:29). Do you really enjoy your Christian life? Is it so exciting you can hardly stand it? That's how it ought to be. Does the fellowship and presence of Jesus Christ thrill you? If not, perhaps you don't know Him as well as you might. (Ref)
Note Jesus' use of katanoeo in His warning
"And why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?" (see note Matthew 7:3)
Some other uses of katanoeo…
Moses saw the burning thorn bush and approached it "to look more closely" (Acts 7:31,32)
Carefully consider the ravens (Luke 12:24)… the lilies (Luke 12:27)
Abraham's careful consideration of his own body and Sarah's "dead" womb, yet accepting by faith God's promise (Ro 4:19-note)
Of thoughtfully considering one another to provoke unto love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24)
Of the one who looks at his natural face in a mirror (James 1:23, 24)
For Christians to hang on to earthly religious trappings not only is unnecessary and pointless but also spiritually harmful. To do so keeps us from experiencing the fullness of our new relationship with God and from being able to follow Him as faithfully as we ought. These things are barriers, not means, to blessing. Since believers share in the righteous nature of Christ and in His heavenly calling, they live in a heavenly existence. They ought to concentrate on that heavenly existence, not the earthly. It is not just the unsaved who need to consider Jesus. Believers also, no matter how mature, need to consider Him in everything they do
Consider Jesus and keep our eyes of faith fixed on Him. Whenever you are tempted to look at your circumstances or at yourself, look to Jesus by faith and rejoice in His faithfulness.
When life gets rough and problems seem to have no solution and everything goes bad and disappointment and depression become “normal” and temptations seem impossible to resist ---put your gaze on Jesus and keep it there intently until He begins to unfold before your very eyes in all His glorious power.
Jesus said, “Learn from Me” (Matthew 11:29). He did not say, “Learn about Me”!
Do you really enjoy your Christian life? Do you get up in the morning and say, “Lord, I just can’t wait to see what You’re going to do today?” Do you go through the day and say, “Lord, Your fellowship and Your presence are thrilling?” Do you enjoy Jesus Christ? Do you sometimes want to stand up and shout?
You ought to enjoy Jesus like that. But many Christians do not enjoy Jesus. They appear to be miserable and unhappy, and they do not know anything about His joy. They may think the only thing the Lord does for us is to give an occasional rebuke. They see Him this way because they do not walk and talk with Him day by day. They do not know Him richly and deeply and intimately. They need to consider Jesus and learn from Him.
Steven Cole writes that…
If you want to enjoy Jesus you have to stay with Him until you learn to enjoy Him. Stay there until your Christian life is one thrill after another. Until every waking moment of every day is joy upon joy upon joy. Consider Him. Focus your attention on Him.
Alexander Maclaren wrote that considering Jesus is…
When the storm is raging high,
So help me God
“I will be Christian. Like a crimson line running through my life, let the covenant bind me to the will and way of Jesus.
“I will be Christian. My body, mind, and spirit Christ-centered, that I may learn His will; that I may walk His way; that I may win my associates; and that ‘in all things He might have the preeminence.’
“I will be Christian. My voice of passion in an age grown cold and cynical because of faltering faith and shrinking deeds; my answer to the Macedonian call of spiritual continents unpossessed and unexplored.
“I will be Christian. In my heart, in my home, in my group, in my country—now, to help save America that America may serve the world.
“I will be Christian. Across all lines of color and class, into every human relationship, without respect for temporal circumstance, in spite of threat and with no thought of reward.
“I will be Christian. That Christianity may become as militant as Fascism; as terrible toward wrong as God’s hatred of sin; as tender with the weak as His love for little children; as powerful as the prayer of the righteous, and as sacrificial as Calvary’s Cross.
“I will be Christian …
So help me God.”—Daniel A. Poling
JESUS, THE APOSTLE: ton apostolon kai archierea tes homologias emon Iesoun:
Spurgeon - He is supremely worthy of our perpetual consideration from all points of view. And the more you consider Him the more you may, for there is a depth and breadth about His wondrous personality, His work, and His offices well worthy of our deepest thought and admiring worship. Holy brothers, sharers in a heavenly calling, we may well consider him. If you think little of your Leader you will live but poor lives. Consider Him, often think of Him, try to copy Him. With such a Leader what manner of people ought we to be?
This is the only time Christ is called an Apostle. He had to be an "Apostle" (flesh & blood… tasted death 2:9-10, 14) before He could become our High Priest. He was sent with a message from His Father… in the last days (God) has spoken in His Son! The message is Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Apostle (652) (apostolos from apo = from + stello = send forth) (Click discussion of apostle) means one sent forth from by another, often with a special commission to represent another and to accomplish his work. It can be a delegate, commissioner, ambassador sent out on a mission or orders or commission and with the authority of the one who sent him.
Wuest - The word “apostle” is the English spelling of the Greek word apostolos which in turn comes from the verb apostello, the latter speaking of the act of sending someone off on a commission to do something, the person sent having been furnished with credentials. This verb is often used in the LXX of God sending Moses on a commission for Him (Ex. 3:-7:), and is used of God sending the Lord Jesus on a commission (Luke 10:16; John 3:17, 5:36, 6:29).
A "sent one" conveys the basic idea of mission, one who is sent to do a job and associates authority with assignment.
Secular Greek writer Demosthenes gives a picture of the meaning of "apostolos" which he used to describe a cargo ship sent out with a load. He also spoke of a naval fleet as "apostles" sent out to accomplish a mission.
The ‘apostle’ was invested with the complete trust and authority of the person who sent him. He spoke for his master. To receive him was to receive his master, and in the same manner, to abuse or reject the apostle was to insult and reject the master.
Testifying to His apostolic authority, "Jesus therefore said to his disciples,
"Peace be with you; as the Father has sent (verb form = apostello) Me, I also send you." (John 20:21)
AND HIGH PRIEST OF OUR CONFESSION: kai archierea tes homologias hemon: (Christ, the High Priest)
High priest (749) (archiereus from arche = first in a series, the leader or ruler + hiereus = priest) (Dictionary articles - Easton's; ISBE) refers to the priest that was chief over all the other priests in Israel. This office was established by God through Moses instructions in the Pentateuch. The high priest functioned as the mediator between Jehovah and Israel performing sacrifices and rituals like other priests, but in addition acting to expiate the sins of the nation on the annual Day of Atonement.
The irony is that the high priest Caiaphas was residing over the Sanhedrin during trial of Jesus, the trial which would lead to His death and pave the way for His eternal High Priesthood!
Eerdman's Bible Dictionary explains that "The high priest descended from Eleazar, the son of Aaron. The office was normally hereditary and was conferred upon an individual for life (Nu 25:10-13). The candidate was consecrated in a seven-day ceremony which included investiture with the special clothing of his office as well as anointments and sacrifices (Ex 29:1-37; Lev 8:5-35). The high priest was bound to a higher degree of ritual purity than ordinary Levitical priests. He could have no contact with dead bodies, including those of his parents. Nor could he rend his clothing or allow his hair to grow out as signs of mourning. He could not marry a widow, divorced woman, or harlot, but only an Israelite virgin (Lev. 21:10-15). Any sin committed by the high priest brought guilt upon the entire nation and had to be countered by special sacrifice (Lev 4:1-12). Upon a high priest’s death manslayers were released from the cities of refuge (Nu 35:25, 28, 32).
Archiereus occurs only in the Gospels and Hebrews. The references to the high priests in the Gospels and Acts refers primarily to their bitter opposition to Jesus Who the writer of Hebrews identifies as our everlasting High Priest.
Clearly archiereus is a key word in the book of Hebrews, and a review of these 17 verses reveals various characteristics (see underlined sections) of Jesus role as the great High Priest (some of the uses of high priest obviously do not refer to Jesus but to the Jewish high priests).
Hebrews 2:17 (note) Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
Hebrews 3:1 (note) Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession.
Hebrews 4:14 (note) Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
Hebrews 4:15 (note) For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.
Hebrews 5:1 (note) For every high priest taken from among men is appointed on behalf of men in things pertaining to God, in order to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins;
Hebrews 5:5 (note) So also Christ did not glorify Himself so as to become a high priest, but He who said to Him, "Thou art My Son, Today I have begotten Thee";
Hebrews 5:10 (note) being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.
Hebrews 6:20 (note) where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
Hebrews 7:26 (note) For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens;
Hebrews 7:27 (note) who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins, and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.
Hebrews 7:28 (note) For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever.
Hebrews 8:1 (note) Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens,
Hebrews 8:3 (note) For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices; hence it is necessary that this high priest also have something to offer.
Hebrews 9:7 (note) but into the second only the high priest enters, once a year, not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance.
Hebrews 9:11 (note) But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation;
Hebrews 9:25 (note) nor was it that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood not his own.
Hebrews 13:11 (note) For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy place by the high priest as an offering for sin, are burned outside the camp.
Wuest - The idea here is that of the believer agreeing with God as to the report He gives in the Bible of His Son. That is the believer’s confession. The word “profession” while including within itself the idea of bearing testimony to what one believes, does not have in it the idea of agreeing with someone else on something and then testifying to one’s faith in that thing. (Ibid)
All true Christians “say the same thing” when it comes to their experience of salvation. These Hebrew Christians had confessed Jesus as their Apostle and High Priest. They do not begin to understand Who Jesus is and means if they are tempted to give Him up.
Homologia has strong legal connotations. A person can confess to a charge in court and thus openly acknowledge guilt. Or one may agree with a court order and thus make a legally binding commitment to abide by it. This last sense is implied in passages that call on us to acknowledge Jesus. We are to express our binding commitment to Jesus publicly and thus acknowledge our relationship to him as our Lord.
The apostle John puts the importance of this issue succinctly writing that
"No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also" (1John 2:23).
Commitment to Jesus brings us into full relationship with God.
Homologia is a key word in Hebrews (see below) with an urgent appeal to HOLD FAST.
In 2Cor 9:13, Paul says to the Corinthians that
Paul uses this same word to encourage his young protégée Timothy to
The related verb is homologeo which means to declare openly by way of speaking out freely, such confession being the effect of deep conviction of facts ("I will declare to them, 'I never knew you" Mt 7:23-note , cf Mt 10:32)
Jesus declared that
Genuine confession is "costly" John recording that the parents of the blind man Jesus healed
Similarly John records that
As Henry Morris comments - A mental belief in the facts concerning Christ is not sufficient for salvation. Open confession is an evidence of saving faith. (Bolding added)
Paul affirms this thought reminding the Romans
Paul's use in Titus shows that confession must be matched by possession of fruit that is in keeping with repentance, describing men in Crete who continually
John amplifies the importance of a proper understanding of genuine confession writing that
In his second letter John records that
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F B Meyer - Our Daily Homily - Consider … Jesus -
Who are to consider Him? — “Holy brethren.” Because we are the brethren of Jesus, we must consider our Brother. Because we are brethren with all, whom He brothers, we should emulate the saints of all ages in their eager gaze at Christ. We must possess the holiness without which none can see the Lord, and we must live in holy love with all who bear the name of Christ. Do you lack either of these? This is the reason why your eyes are blinded. Step out of the mist into the clear prospect:—
What right have they to consider Him? — Because they are “partakers of a heavenly calling.” They have turned from the world, from the fascinations of the sin and the flesh; they are seeking the heavenly city, the New Jerusalem. Surely such have a right, given them of grace, to live in daily personal vision of their King!
In what aspects should they consider Him? — As Apostle, whom God has sent out of his bosom to man, and whom man sends back to God. As Priest, who was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin, who bears our needs and sins and sorrows on his heart. As the Son, compared with whom Moses was but a servant. As Creator, by whom all things were made, and without whom was not anything made. As the Head of the household of those who believe. As the All-faithful One, who will never resign his charge. Consider Jesus in each of these aspects, and rejoice in Him. (Meyer, F. B. Our Daily Homily)
Steven Cole sums up this verse with the following conclusion…
HE WAS FAITHFUL: piston onta (PAPMSA): (He 2:17; John 6:38, 39, 40; 7:18; 8:29; 15:10; 17:4)
Faithful (4103) (pistos from peítho = to persuade) means trustworthy, dependable, reliable. Pistos is something or someone who is worthy of faith or keeps promises and is applied to God, humans, His Word, etc
Wuest notes that "is" (onta) is in the present tense "not the past. It is “Who is faithful.” It is a general designation of inherent character. Thus, Messiah is faithful as He always has been faithful. He is compared to Moses, who was the highest example of human fidelity known to the Jewish readers of this epistle. God Himself bears testimony to the fidelity of His servant Moses in the words, “My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house” (Num. 12:7).
Vincent gives a nice summary of the meaning of pistos, faithful, writing that it is used "(1), of one who shows Himself faithful in the discharge of a duty or the administration of a trust (Mt 24:45). Hence, trustworthy (2Ti 2:2). Of things that can be relied upon (2Ti 2:11). (2), Confiding; trusting; a believer (Gal 3:9; Acts 16:1; 2Cor 6:15; 1Ti 5:16)" (Word Studies in the New Testament)
Webster says that Faithful means firm in adherence to whatever one owes allegiance and implies unswerving adherence to a person or thing or to the oath or promise by which a tie was contracted.
Pistos is used in this verse in its passive sense, meaning trustworthy or faithful describing our Great High Priest, Christ Jesus.
Marvin Vincent adds that pistos used of God describes Him as "True to his own nature and promises; keeping faith with Himself and with man.
Paul affirms that even "if we are faithless, He remains faithful; for He cannot deny Himself." (2Ti 2:13-note)
In this passive sense of trustworthy or faithful, pistos is applied to God as fulfilling His own promises (see notes Hebrews 10:23; Hebrews 11:11), as fulfilling the purpose for which He called men (see note 1Thessalonians 5:24; 1Cor 1:9), as responding with guardianship to the trust reposed in Him by men (1Cor 10:13; see note 1 Peter 4:19). Christ is faithful (2Thes 3:3; see notes Hebrews 3:2; Hebrews 2:17 Revelation 19:11) Christ as the faithful witness (Rev 1:5; 3:14).
In this passive sense of trustworthy or faithful, pistos is applied to God as fulfilling His own promises (He 10:23-note; He 10:23-note), as fulfilling the purpose for which He called men (1Th 5:24-note; 1Co 1:9), as responding with guardianship to the trust reposed in Him by men (1Co 10:13-note; 1Pe 4:19-note). Christ is faithful (2Thes 3:3; He 3:2-note; He 2:17-note Re 19:11-note) Christ as the faithful witness (Rev 1:5-note; Re 3:14-note). God’s and Christ's faithfulness in these verses speak not only of His essential being (faithful is Who He is), but also of His faithfulness toward us, as shown for example in the famous verse
In the papyri, we find the following illustrations of the use of pistos -- "Whom no one would trust even if they were willing to work" = confidence in the person’s character and motives. "I have trusted no one to take it to her" = confidence in the ability of another to perform a certain task.
Moses in turn records the following of God writing - Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful (Lxx = pistos) God, Who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments. (Dt 7:9)
Christ's trustworthiness or faithfulness is reiterated throughout the New Testament…
God’s and Christ's faithfulness in these verses speak not only of His essential being (faithful is Who He is), but also of His faithfulness toward us, as shown for example in the famous verse
There is an emphasis on God's faithfulness in Hebrews…
In Hebrews 2 we come to understand that Jesus…
In Hebrews 10 the author exhorts his readers…
In Hebrews 11 he writes…
Marvin Vincent comments that here we have "A general designation of inherent character. He is faithful as He ever was."
TO HIM WHO APPOINTED HIM: tôi poiêsanti auton (AAPMSD):
Wuest - The subject of the comparison of Messiah with Moses, was a most delicate one. Moses was the object of deepest veneration to these Jewish readers. The writer displays great tact by showing that both Messiah and Moses were faithful, before showing that while Moses was faithful as a servant, Messiah was faithful as the Son. The reader will notice that the present author uses the name Messiah where the name Christ appears in the translation. The name Christ is the English spelling of the Greek word Christos, and this Greek word is the translation of the Hebrew word which is by transliteration brought over into the English language, Messiah. The name Christ has no meaning except that which the English reader puts upon it. The Greek word means “the anointed,” as does the Hebrew word. But the name Messiah has a definite content of meaning, even though it is but the transliteration of the Hebrew word. It refers to the anointed King of Israel. In that sense it is used here. (Ibid)
Marvin Vincent translates it "Constituted him apostle and high priest."
The word appointed (poieo) could be translated made. Indeed, centuries ago the Arians used this text to support their teaching that God made Christ. Likewise, centuries ago Chrysostom properly responded by asking what God made Him.
AS MOSES ALSO WAS IN ALL HIS HOUSE: hôs kai Môusês en holo to oiko autou: (He 3:5; Numbers 12:7; Deuteronomy 4:5; 1Timothy 1:12) (He 3:6; Ephesians 2:22; 1Timothy 3:15)
House (oikos) in this context means “household” and refers to people, not a building or dwelling. Old Testament Israelites and also proselytes were God’s household.
God describes Moses as "My servant Moses, He is faithful in all My household." (Nu 12:7)
Albert Barnes notes "Fidelity to God was remarkable in Moses. In all the provocations and rebellions of the Jews, he was firm and unwavering."
Marvin Vincent adds that Moses was "The highest example of human fidelity known to the readers."
Moses performed with fidelity all the functions entrusted to him. The author makes no deprecatory remarks about Moses… just as he did not deprecate the prophets or the angels. He cheerfully admits that Moses was faithful or worthy of trust and confidence "in all his house", alluding to (Numbers 12:7) Yes, Moses erred when he struck the rock twice with his rod instead of speaking to it as God had commanded (see Numbers 20:11), but for the most part Moses was faithful. And it is his faithfulness that the Holy Spirit is emphasizing.
Just as Moses was faithful to accomplish the work the Father had appointed him, so too was Jesus—only much more so.
In John Jesus testified - He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him. (John 8:29)
In another episode in John Jesus explained to his disciples what was His "food" declaring that "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work. (John 4:34)
And then in His high priestly prayer, Jesus testified to His faithfulness to fulfill His Father's mission declaring "I glorified Thee on the earth, having accomplished the work which Thou hast given Me to do. (John 17:4)
Marvin Vincent - The subject of the high-priesthood of Christ, introduced in this verse, is not carried out in detail by showing the superiority of Jesus to earthly high priests. This is reserved for Hebrews 5-7. Instead, the writer proceeds to show that Christ is superior to Moses, as he has already shown his superiority to angels. He will thus have shown Christ's superiority to both the agencies by which the old covenant was mediated. The subject is a delicate one to treat for Jewish readers to whom Moses was the object of the deepest veneration; but the treatment displays tact by placing Moses in the foreground beside Christ as an example of fidelity to his commission. Justice is thus done to the familiar historical record, and to God's own testimony, Nu 12:7. The general sense of the comparison is that Moses was as faithful as any servant in a house can be, while Christ was not a servant in the house, but a son, and displayed his fidelity in that capacity
FOR HE HAS BEEN COUNTED WORTHY OF MORE GLORY THAN MOSES: pleionos gar houtos doxes para Mousen exiota (3SRPI): (Heb 3:6; 1:2, 3, 4; 2:9; Colossians 1:18)
The verb counted worthy is perfect tense, speaking of the permanent state of Jesus being counted worthy.
And so John records that in heaven "thousands of thousands" are "saying with a loud voice, "Worthy (corresponding adjective form axios) is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing. (Rev 5:12-note)
Moses was only a part of God’s household of faith, whereas Jesus was the Creator of that household and, therefore, is greater than Moses and equal to God.
Spurgeon - See the superiority of Christ to Moses; Moses is honored by being called the servant of God, but Jesus is the Son of God, and as Son, Master over His own house.
BY JUST SO MUCH AS THE BUILDER OF THE HOUSE: kath' hoson ho kataskeuasas (AAP):(Zechariah 4:9; 6:12,13; Matthew 16:18; 1Corinthians 3:9; 1Peter 2:5, 6, 7)
By just so much - A proportionate measurement.
Vincent - The argument is based on the general principle that the founder of a house is entitled to more honor than the house and its individual servants. There is an apparent confusion in the working out, since both God and Christ appear as builders, and Moses figures both as the house and as a servant in the house. The point of the whole, however, is that Moses was a part of the OT system - a servant in the house; while Christ, as one with God who established all things, was the founder and establisher of both the Old and the New Testament economies.
Builder of the house (2680) (kataskeuazo) means to equip, make ready, construct, furnish. This verb expresses more that mere construction of the house. It includes the supply of all necessary furniture and equipment. It's the idea of adorning and equipping with all things necessary.
HAS MORE HONOR THAN THE HOUSE: kath oson pleiona timen echei (PAI) tou oikou :
Simply stated, the architect is superior to the house.
Albert Barnes - Michelangelo was worthy of more honor than “St. Peter’s Cathedral” at Rome; and Sir Christopher Wren worthy of more than “St. Paul’s Cathedral” at London. Galileo is worthy of more praise than the telescope, and Fulton more than a steam-engine. All the evidence of skill… that there is in the invention had its origin in the inventor all the beauty of the statue or the temple had its origin in the mind of him that designed it. An author is worthy of more honor than a book; and he that forms a work of art is worthy of more respect than the work itself. This is the idea here.
Jesus is counted as worthy of more glory on the basis of the truth that the one who builds a house has more honor than the house. Who built the house? Messiah built the house of Israel and Moses is but a member of that house. Since Jesus has more honor than the house of Israel, it follows that He is worthy of more honor than Moses, for Moses is a member of the house of Israel.
Kenneth Wuest - now, having prepared the ground, the writer comes out boldly with the assertion that Messiah was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, on the basis of and measured by the principle that the one who builds a house has more honor than the house. Messiah built the house of Israel. Moses is a member of that house. Since Messiah has more honor than the house of Israel, it follows that He is worthy of more honor than Moses, for Moses is a member of the house of Israel. Since Messiah is better than Moses, the Testament which He inaugurated must be better than the one Moses was instrumental in bringing in, and for the reason that a superior workman turns out a superior product. (Ibid)
Spurgeon - And Moses was but one stone in the house. Though in a certain sense he was a servant in it, yet in another, and, for him, a happier sense, he was only a stone in the house which the Lord Jesus Christ had built. Let us think of our Lord as the Architect and Builder of His own Church, and let our hearts count Him worthy of more glory than Moses; let us give Him glory in the highest. However highly a Jew may think of Moses—and he ought to think highly of him, and so ought we—yet infinitely higher than Moses must ever rise the incarnate Son of God.
FOR EVERY HOUSE IS BUILT BY SOMEONE: pas gar oikos kataskeuazetai (3SPPI) hupo tinos:
For - term of explanation
Is built and completely, fully prepared. The verb means to be put in readiness and includes the idea of adorning and equipping with all things necessary.
BUT THE BUILDER OF ALL THINGS IS GOD: o de panta kataskeuasas (AAPMSN) theos: (He 3:3; 1:2; Esther 2:10; 3:9)
But - term of contrast
The truth in these verses is a powerful argument for the deity of Jesus Christ. If God built all things, and Jesus Christ built God’s house, then Jesus Christ must be God.
Wuest - In Heb 3:3, Messiah is seen as the Builder of the house of Israel. In this verse, the writer guards that fact against any possible misunderstanding on the part of his readers. Messiah is the Builder of the house of Israel, but not by any independent will or agency of His own. He as the Son built the house, but it was as one with God who built all things, that He built the house of Israel. The special foundership of Messiah does not exclude the general foundership of God. (ibid)
Spurgeon - And Christ is God. And He is the Builder of all things in the spiritual realm—yes, and in the natural kingdom, too, for “apart from him not one thing came into being that has come into being” (John 1:3). So He is to have eternal honor and glory as the one great Master-builder.
John MacArthur explains that "Before any of us became Christians, and thereby parts of Christ’s house, the church, someone introduced us to the gospel. That person was responsible in a human sense for part of God’s house—just as we are responsible for part of the house when we lead others to Christ. But on the divine side, God alone creates the house and continues building it as new believers are added. Human witnesses are but the instruments He uses. He is the Builder. The Builder is greater than any of His tools. Moses was part of the house of Israel and an instrument God used in building it. To hold on to the forms of Judaism or to its greatest leader is to hold on only to the symbol of reality or to an instrument of reality. To hold on to Jesus is to hold on to reality itself. (MacArthur, John: Hebrews. Moody Press)