Summary: Sermon 13 in a study in HEBREWS
“For every high priest taken from among men is appointed on behalf of men in things pertaining to God, in order to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins; 2 he can deal gently with the ignorant and misguided, since he himself also is beset with weakness; 3 and because of it he is obligated to offer sacrifices for sins, as for the people, so also for himself. 4 And no one takes the honor to himself, but receives it when he is called by God, even as Aaron was. 5 So also Christ did not glorify Himself so as to become a high priest, but He who said to Him, “YOU ARE MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU”; 6 just as He says also in another passage, “YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK.” 7 In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. 8 Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. 9 And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation, 10 being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.” NASB
“Every high priest is selected from among men and is appointed to represent them in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2 He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. 3 This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people. 4 No one takes this honor upon himself; he must be called by God, just as Aaron was. 5 So Christ also did not take upon himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.” 6 And he says in another place, “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” 7 During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him 10 and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek. NIV
In the first four verses of this chapter we are given three qualifications that must exist for a man to be a priest.
He must be appointed by God, he must be able to be sympathetic with the people he serves, and he must offer sacrifices on their behalf.
Let’s begin today by looking at how Jesus met those qualifications.
We are not going to belabor the point here that Jesus was a Man, born of a woman. There are those who would deny that, but since it is a fundamental truth that all Christians believe, we will leave it to the unbelievers to debate foolishly over things of which they are ignorant.
Here we will simply be reminded of 1 John 4:2-3 which says:
“By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.”
…and we move on.
Notice first of all that the priests were appointed by God. He assigned the first, Aaron, to serve the newly formed nation, and historically the High Priest was chosen by lot after that. Now if that sounds like gambling, you only need be aware that according to Proverb 16:33,
“The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.”
This is what they went by, and this is how the new High Priest was chosen. This is not license for you to dash off to Las Vegas with your life’s savings. It was a method God blessed for His purposes but He is not going to stand at your elbow cheering you on at the slot machines.
Verse one of our text says that the high priest is taken from among men, appointed on behalf of men, then in verse 4 the writer says, ‘no one takes the honor to himself, but receives it when he is called by God’.