March 30, 2019

Highlights in Hebrews 33

Highlights in Hebrews
Highlights in Hebrews
(with Roger Kirby)

Hebrews 11:23-28 - One like Moses

By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them.

Moses said that, “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen— just as you desired of the Lord your God .... And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him.” (Deuteronomy 18: 15, 18, 19)
On the basis of that saying there was a common expectation of a great prophet - like Moses.
Jesus was not very much like Moses! One of the defining factors about Moses was the way he was able to talk to the Pharaoh of Egypt because, in the amazing providence of God, he had been brought up as a prince of Egypt. The average, ordinary Jewish slave would have had no chance of securing an audience with the Emperor and, even if he had, would not have known what to say. The Jewish nation, the Israelites, looked back to those days as the founding events of their nation. Our writer says he preferred to suffer for the sake of Christ. Of course, he did not know who the Christ = Messiah would be. Instead he will have had a vision of an eventual Kingdom of God. That came with Jesus.

Mentions of the Passover and the sprinkled blood are interesting. Jesus chose to bring his ministry to its climax at the feast of Passover, not the Day of Atonement. He was setting his ministry firmly into a historical perspective, not one of a more doctrinal nature. It is yet another reminder that we are on a journey, a Way, as we seek to follow him. We too are bound for a promised land. We are to be careful not to ‘harden our hearts’ as they did, and suffered by so doing.

When we use the word ‘follow’ in relation to us and Jesus, we are implying that we will be on a journey. It is not the sort of ‘following’ that is implied in talking about following a sports team, which is a purely passive occupation. No, we are to up and go wherever he wants us to go. There is no greater or more exciting prospect in this life for any but to follow the Lord of Glory - wherever he may take us.

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