Summary: An exegetical sermon on Hebrews 3 which examines exhortations to cling to God's grace in Jesus Christ.
We all have had our heroes growing up. Im not talking about fictional characters…superheroes with powers and capes. No, I am talking about real life heroes. People who inspired you to dream and strive and hope. Maybe it was a sports star that you had posters of hanging in your room and you practiced harder and longer, perhaps even mimicking their demeanor on the court or field. I remember watching kids playing basketball sticking out their tongues like Michael Jordan as they pulled up for jumpshots or soared to the rim for layups. Maybe it was a singer that styled their hair a certain way and wore a certain style of clothing and you would stand in front of the mirror with your brush in hand, singing out their latest song like Jeff, dreaming he was a rock star. Perhaps a movie star, or even one of your parents. You probably remember kids arguing at school about whose dad was better, stronger , smarter, etc. Not so with my daughter, she feels embarrassed by me up here preaching with my bald head! We are working on that! Yet for Jewish children, especially in the first century, Moses would have been at the top of their hero charts, and rightly so. Just think of all the incredible things Moses accomplished and experienced.
• Turned from the luxury of Egypt because of his love for his own countrymen.
• Spoke to God in a burning bush – selected to be the deliverer of Israel.
• Looked the tyrant Pharoah in the eye and said, “You let my people go or else…” (They probably longed for a hero like that as they saw their parents scraping together all they had to pay the Roman taxes).
• He called down plagues by the power of God on the enslaving nation of Egypt. Incredible plagues, plagues of blood, locusts, hail, boils, frogs, darkness, etc.
• In the face of Egypts fierce army, he was bold and called the people to be strong. He was used by God to split the Red Sea so the people could pass on dry land and it was closed and washed away their pursuers.
• He went up on the mountain and spoke with God, he saw part of the glory of God which left his face shining brilliantly, so much so they had to cover his face because people were frightened by its brilliance.
• He interceded for Israel, when God wanted to wipe them out and start over, he pleaded with God and changed his mind.
• He spoke with God face to face as a man speaks with a friend.
• He received the Law from God and delivered it to the people.
You can imagine how shocking it must have been for the Israelite to hear exhortations such as those written in Hebrews 3. We are going to look focus on three of them:
Fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. Jesus is not only greater than angels, God’s messengers, Jesus is greater than their hero of messengers, Moses, the one who brought down the holy Law of God to the people. Jesus is worthy of greater honor than Moses. Moses as great as he was, was just a servant, a worker, a slave…a faithful one….in God’s household, but Jesus….Jesus is the Son over God’s household. Moses served God’s people, Jesus is Lord over God’s people. And you, are part of that people…part of God’s household…IF you hold on to your courage and hope of which you boast.
It is clear from the book of Hebrews that those who are being warned and are in danger of falling. Some may say that those being warned are not actual Christians (although calling them "brothers who share in the heavenly calling" leave little room for doubt in my mind) we can at least say they are closely knit with the fellowship of believers. They those who are very near. The word used for describing those who “turn away” from the living God is a word which indicates one who was at one point very close. Someone who deserts. Such as John Mark who deserted Paul on their missionary journey, this same Greek word is used in both instances. The author warns the reader, “See to it that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. “ Guard your heart. Watch your faith and your doctrine closely. Be careful of the hardening power of sin and its deceitfulness. Many times I have seen those who have started on the right track and then end up turning away, following their lusts or being deceived by worldly philosophies. I recall attending a service at a church with my wife. Many of these people were passionate, committed church-goers. Years later, after losing contact with many of them due to our marriage and moving from place to place, my wife went on Facebook to reconnect with these friends. She was shocked at what many had written as their "Religious preferences." Words like Buddhism, New Age, Athiest, etc...appeared on many of their profiles. It looked as though things had started well for them, they seemed to be on the right track…but somewhere along the line they opted out of the race and took their focus off of Jesus. We are exhorted to fix our thoughts on Jesus above all.