Summary: Why Jesus is infinately better than Moses, great as he was.
Better than Moses Heb 3:2-6
It is a bit difficult for us to understand why so much space is devoted to Moses, but no one else was more revered in Judaism, and this was written to Hebrew Christians. Why was that? Consider what we know of Moses:
• His life was remarkable from beginning to end. The hand of God preserved him as a baby, and dug his grave at the end.
• He had a great revelation of God, probably greater than any man before or since – eg the burning bush, Sinai
Ex 33 20"You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live." 23 "Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen." 34:5 Now the LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. 6 And the LORD passed before him
Nu 12:6 Then He said, "Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak to him in a dream. 7 Not so with My servant Moses; He is faithful in all My house. 8 I speak with him face to face, Even plainly, and not in dark sayings; And he sees the form of the LORD.
• He was chosen to deliver God’s people from Egypt. This was done with an unparalleled display of God’s majestic power (eg plagues, red sea, manna, water, judgement).
• He became the lawgiver, declaring the Ten Commandments and all the Levitical laws.
• He built the Tabernacle with its hints of the coming gospel revelation
• He was Israel’s great historian, traditionally writing the Pentateuch.
• He was devoted to Israel and so a great intercessor eg after the golden calf Ex 32:32 if You will, forgive their sin—but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written.
• In spite of all these wonders and great events that were associated with him he was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth Numbers 12:3.
We’ll look further at Moses later on in our studies of Hebrews but, in summary, according to v2 Moses was faithful. This follows the description in Nu 12:7My servant Moses; He is faithful in all My house.
Before we move on to the main theme of this passage let’s just pause for a moment to ask ourselves how we measure up to the standard that Moses sets. We may not be able to part the Thames and lead the Church across it safely, but we can glimpse God in His glory and goodness. We may not be able to design and build a beautiful tabernacle, but we can have a hand in the building of His Church by loving, teaching and praying for our brothers and sisters. We may not call down plagues on an ungodly world, but we can be meek and faithful in all our dealings with God and man.
If we think that this is all too hard for us to achieve, then remember that Moses began his life of service reluctantly at the age of 80. Five times he tried to evade God’s call to service eg Ex 4: 13 But Moses said, "O Lord, please send someone else to do it." (NIV) 14 So the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses. From this unpromising beginning Moses went on to achieve so much.
What was the secret of Moses’ success? Ex 33:13 "Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people." 14 And He said, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest." 15 Then he said to Him, "If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.
If then the secret of Moses’ success was God’s presence and power, what is the secret of our lack of success?... How we need God’s presence and power today. Moses is dead, but Moses’ God lives on! Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Heb 13:8
"If God were to take the Holy Spirit out of our midst today, about 95 per cent of what we are doing in our churches would go on, and we would not know the difference." (Dr. Carl Bates)
Why labour the point that Jesus is better than Moses? Haven’t the graphic descriptions of Him as the pinnacle of God’s revelation, the Creator who is greater than the angles made His infinite superiority abundantly clear? Obviously not, but then some Jews even though that Moses was greater than the angels. Even Moses knew that he was not the ultimate prophet, he told them "The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear. Deut 18:15