This morning I woke to some pretty cold temps outside. I am thankful for a warm home. After my prayers, I began reading Hebrews 3.
As I started into chapter 3, I was uplifted by the power of the first four verses. It is amazing how everytime I read God’s Word I see something new.
Hebrews 3:1-4 (ESV)
1 Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, 2 who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God’s house. 3 For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses—as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. 4 (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.)
The writer speaks of the blessing of Moses and Jesus but sets the distinction between the two, setting Jesus above Moses. I know we know that as believers, but I imagine that for Hebrews who knew the law of Moses from a young age, it was more challenging to get their heads around it. But this morning that was not what caught my eye. What caught my eye began in verse 5?
Hebrews 3: 5-6
The part of the verse that caught my eye was one word. One simple word that forced me to reread verse 5 and 6 several times.
Hebrews 3:5-6 (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, 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.
It is a simple two letter word. There is nothing special about it by itself, but in this context, it is a powerful word that goes far beyond its humble station.
Did you guess the word I am talking about? It is used twice in verse 6, and that is where I took my u-turn to verse 5 and reread both verses several times. The word is “we.”
Why is it So Special?
I have understood for years that, as a believer, my body is the residence of Jesus. He is in my heart. He guides and directs me if I listen and obey, but this passage added something to this idea for me. The distinction between Moses and Jesus was made clear for the Hebrew audience. Moses was a faithful servant and Christ Jesus a Son.
Verse 5 describes Moses, “5 Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later…”
Jesus, on the other hand, was a Son and dwelled in the house. “…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.”
It has always been God’s intent to dwell with Jesus and us did it with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit while Moses could only speak of the promises to come.
We are His house if we will hold fast to our hope in Jesus.
For me, this simple passage reminds me of the consistency of God. His message never changes. He desires to reunite us with Him. It reminds me of the story of Joseph in Genesis 37-50. I look at Joseph, and I see the story of salvation played out in his life. He was rejected and rebuked, and in the end, he saved his family, and they thrived.
In Hebrews God reminds us that we who believe are the house of God we are his temple and if we hold fast to our hope we will be reunited with God, just as He promised through Moses in the desert when he promised rest for the people of God. But in both cases, it requires a united faith in God and His promises. They are everywhere if we will look and they are not hard for those who believe.
1 Corinthians 3
1 Corinthians 3:16-17 (ESV)
16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.
1 Corinthians 6
1 Corinthians 6:19 (ESV)
19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,
2 Corinthians 6
2 Corinthians 6:16 (ESV)
16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,
“I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
Reflections on the Letters to the Corinthians
All three of these passages remind us that we are the temple of God. We are not our own, but as a born-again believer, we belong to God. I like how in 2 Corinthians 6 Paul reminds us that this promise is the same promise that God gave in Leviticus when in verse 16 he quotes from Leviticus 26:12
Leviticus 26:12 (ESV)
12 And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people.
It just reminds me of God’s faithfulness and His love for us; it spans the ages.
Then in the new covenant, the promises are united in the new covenant sanctified by Christ Jesus. I like the way that Paul says it in Ephesians 2.
Ephesians 2:17-22 (ESV)
17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
Through Jesus Christ, all who believe were united by one Spirit; both Jews and Gentiles.
In Romans 6 Paul reminds us all the wonder of this salvation is accomplished.
Romans 5:1-5 (ESV)
1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
We did not earn it. It was given to us as a gift, and regardless of what we might endure, it is priceless and cannot be compared to the wonder of the indwelling spirit.
It is amazing to me how the Holy Spirit can take one word and make it stand out so much to us that we may wander around the Bible seeking to understand the passage that this simple word suddenly changed for us. Our God is an awesome God.
Father, thank you for opening my eyes to Your Word this morning. Thank you for bringing emphasis to this simple two-letter word that caused me to seek a better understanding. Father God I love you and praise you in the name of your blessed Son Jesus Christ, Amen!