Summary: Sermon 8 in a study in HEBREWS
”Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession; 2 He was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was in all His house. 3 For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house. 4 For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God. 5 Now Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later; 6 but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house—whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.” NASB
“Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. 2 He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. 3 Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. 4 For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. 5 Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house, testifying to what would be said in the future. 6 But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.” NIV
The veneration of Moses by the Jewish people is not unfounded. Moses was declared at the end of Deuteronomy to be the greatest of the prophets, when it is written there that since him no prophet has arisen in Israel greater than Moses.
But I would like to read a passage to you from Numbers as we begin, because there, in chapter 12, we see the account of the rebellion of Aaron and Miriam against God’s anointed one, and God’s dealing with them over the event.
However, rather than focusing on the rebellion itself, what I want you to observe is that God Himself is speaking, and these are His own words about His man.
“Then the LORD came down in a pillar of cloud and stood at the doorway of the tent, and He called Aaron and Miriam. When they had both come forward, 6 He said, “Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, shall make Myself known to him in a vision. I shall speak with him in a dream. 7 “Not so, with My servant Moses, He is faithful in all My household; 8 With him I speak mouth to mouth, even openly, and not in dark sayings, and he beholds the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against My servant, against Moses?” Numbers 12:5-8
Of course there is a great deal to learn from these verses. If we had included the opening verses of the chapter, for instance, we would see that Aaron and Miriam had reasoned with one another that the Lord could speak and had spoken through them as well, yet when God begins His pronouncement against them and His defense of Moses, He contradicts their claim saying, ‘If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord shall make Myself known to him in a vision, I shall speak with him in a dream’. This was apparently not true of these rebels and God put them down before He lifted Moses up.
Do we perchance find a word of rebuke here for modern day pulpiteers who would claim a special word from the Lord for the people?
Nevertheless, if from God’s own mouth we find Moses highly esteemed, referred to twice in as many verses as ‘My servant’, and called ‘faithful in all My household’, then we can hardly criticize the Jews for holding the prophet in the highest regard. Moses is certainly to the Jews as Mohammed is to the Muslims, and even greater.
Moses was divinely singled out to be the deliverer of God’s people from slavery, amid displays of great power. Moses communicated directly with God and from Him received the Law. Acting as a great historian he faithfully recorded the history of the children of Israel in the first five books of the Bible. And despite all of this glory and grandeur, someone added a parenthesis to Moses’ own record, in Numbers 12:3 – which we bypassed earlier – saying “(Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth)” What a testimony!
It should come as no surprise then, as we come to these verses of our text that the writer to the HEBREWS needed to set right the minds of these Jewish believers.