that the King of Glory may come in."
3:5 “And truly Moses was faithful in all His house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken of after.
v.6. But Christ as a Son over His own house; whose house we are, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of hope firm to the end.”
In the preceding verses, the writer has shown that Christ is greater than Moses in the same way that the builder of a house is greater than the house itself. Now he comes from a different angle, presenting Christ as greater than Moses in the same way as the son in a household is greater than a servant.
None of those to whom the book of Hebrews was originally addressed would have had any problem in seeing Moses as a servant of the Lord. He is referred to in those terms constantly throughout the Old Testament.
They knew also that he was faithful. He had carried out all that God required him to do – albeit sometimes with hesitation and trepidation. He had not backed down or backed off when faced with Pharaoh’s constant reneging, nor when the Egyptian army was bearing down on the tribes of Israel as they stood on the shores of the Red Sea, nor when confronted with the continual griping of the people. He had been faithful both to receive the Law from the Lord, and then to administer it. He had faithfully overseen the construction of the Tabernacle, making sure at every step that it was exactly as he had been shown on the mountain. Faithfully he had instituted the priesthood and sacrificial system as he had been told by God, and faithfully he had stood against those who would challenge his authority.
Yet in all this he had only been a servant. He went to Pharaoh not with his own demands, but with the demands of God. His duty was not to make the law, but merely to receive and enforce it. He led the people not where he wanted, but where God directed. In everything he did, he did not act out of his own authority, but according to the purposes of God.
…for a testimony of those things that were to be spoken of after.
Not only did Moses act according to God’s direction, not his own; he also acted as a witness to God, not to himself. Moses’ life and ministry were not to bring glory to Moses, but to point both Israel and the surrounding nations to the reality of the One True God.
but Christ as a Son over His own house.
Even in human terms, the difference between a son and a servant is immense. The son owns the estate: everything in it is his, or will be by inheritance. The servant owns nothing of it; he is simply one who is employed to care for the house on behalf of the owner. Whilst the servant may have some authority to carry out the tasks that have been entrusted to him, he has no authority over the general running of the household. The son has all authority. Particularly this is the case here, as it is emphasized that the Son is not merely in the house, as would be a small child, but over the house; and what’s more, that it is His own house. The servant is in the house only because of the Master’s choosing; the Son is there because of His relationship with the Father.
… whose house we are …
The house of God is not a building, but a people. In the Old Testament, it was the people of Israel; in the New it is the church, the Body of Christ. In relation to the Church, Christ is greater than Moses as the builder is greater than the house, and as the Son is greater than the servant. That is why Christ was able to say, speaking of the Law as given through Moses, “You have heard it said … but I say unto you …” (Matt 5: 21,27,31, 33,38,43). The authority of the Son was greater than the authority of the servant.
… if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of hope firm to the end.
Throughout the book of Hebrews, the writer uses the superiority of Christ as a reason for his readers to remain firm in their faith, and not to backslide. He is about to move into one of those passages that warn of the dangers of letting go of the truths that he is teaching, and as an introduction to this he reminds them – and us – that the reality of our relationship with God will be evidenced by our ongoing faithfulness. If we are truly part of the household of God, we will hold on to the hope we have in Him. If we do not, then we could well question whether we were ever really part of God’s house.
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