6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Jesus makes the grade. He is the ultimate high priest, the ultimate in compassion, and has the ultimate endorsement.

Does Jesus Make the Grade?

(Hebrews 5:1-10)

1. A lot of serious and not-so-serious problems come our way when texting.

Today, I was walking whilst texting. I thought I was going in a straight line but I ended up walking right into an open phone booth. A woman was inside making a phone call. I lost my balance, pinning her up against the wall. She thought I was attacking her and clobbered me with the receiver.

Today, as I was yelled at by a middle school teacher in front of 30 6th graders for breaking the rule of "no cell phones in school." Luckily, I escaped being sent to the office after explaining I'm a 21 year old college student doing student teaching observations, not a middle schooler.

2. This college student was on her way toward being a qualified teacher. Although young looking and embarrassed, hopefully she will succeed.

3. Some people, however, want to serve in ways they are not qualified. In many senses, we all do. We are called to represent Jesus Christ as his priests, mediators that represent Him to a lost world.

4. We are each God’s priest. We have no ordained “priesthood” today for precisely that reason. WE may have pastors and elders, but you and I are the priests.

Revelation 1:5b-6, “To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

I Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”

dI Timothy 2:5, “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus…”

Writer to the Hebrews (IMO Apollos) is trying to keep Hebrew Christians from defecting back into mainstream Judaism. Throughout this book, he presents a series of Midrash-like teaching to convince them that Christ is better than even the Torah.

The themes he begins in this chapter are developed in greater detail a little later.

Main Idea: Jesus makes the grade. He is the ultimate high priest, the ultimate in compassion, and has the ultimate endorsement.

I. Jesus Can SYMPATHIZE With Our Human Condition (1-3, 7-8).

A. A high priest (and all priests) must be able to relate to BOTH God and man.

1. In OT times, a priest was a connector and a mediator (and a listener)

2. Role of the believer in Jesus. We are to connect lost people to God, help our brothers and sisters to stay connected, and to intercede in prayer for others.

3. Christian life is not about God & you. It is about God, you, & others. Some-times we forget others, sometimes we forget God. But we don’t forget us!

B. The ability to SYMPATHIZE is crucial when ministering to people.

1. Some people are stern. If you share your innermost heart with them, they will trample all over it.

2. Eli the high priest misunderstood Hannah, and it hurt her.

3. Some people do not care enough for their own selves, but if you care, they might begin. Esp. when you care about their souls.

C. Aaron can sympathize because he is a fellow SINNER.

1. Typical sinners tend to be compassionate toward the sins of others

2. Sometimes worse sinners tend to be less compassionate (abusers), hiding their sin by forcefully condemning others. Strict does not mean godly.

D. Jesus’ can sympathize because He learned OBEDIENCE through suffering.

1. Just because Jesus is not a sinner does not handicap Him.

2. It is an advantage, because his sinlessness is coupled with a compassionate and obedient heart; He is not snobby, cold, or arrogant (which would be sins)

3. He suffered the pulls of temptation and stresses of the cross; He experienced the extremes of spiritual, emotional, social and physical suffering.

E. He UNDERSTANDS everything about us.

• When it comes to compassion, sympathy, empathy, & patience, Jesus is best.

II. Jesus is Endorsed by the FATHER Himself (4-6).

John 8:54, “Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’”

• Most pastors share 3 things: (1) a sense of being called by God, (2) a willingness to be equipped /trained, and (3) a desire for personal godliness.

• Ordination’s purpose. My council. Recognizing God’s call, not creating it.

Ministry is both a calling & a profession; qualified; Jesus is ultimately qualified. The OT priests were to be those same three.

A. How AARON was appointed.

Exodus 28:1, “Then bring near to you Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the people of Israel, to serve me as priests—Aaron and Aaron's sons, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.”

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