Summary: Many of us are exposed to the gospel, but as the Israelites had a choice to go into the Promised Land, we have a choice whether to believe God when He says salvation is through Jesus Christ. Do you have a hard or soft heart to the Lord?
I grew up in the 60’s when rebellion against authority was turned into an art form. Rebellion says: I don’t like someone taking authority over me. I don’t want you telling me what’s wrong with me, and I certainly don’t want you telling me what to do because what I think is the most important thing there is.
Rebellion is a faith killer. There are great parallels between where we are in Exodus and where we are in Hebrews. Moses had lots of rebellion to deal with on both sides. Pharaoh was rebellious and it turned his heart into stone. But then later on the people would rebel and it’s just as bad.
Moses has been accorded high honor among many peoples throughout the millennia. To many Jews, giving their faith and allegiance to Jesus could be seen as a slap in the face to Moses. But just as angels are servants of God, so too was Moses - and to give him undue honor or even worship would be the same as worshiping angels - it won’t do you any good. The author explains that Moses had a job to do - point the way to Jesus - and he was faithful in that job. Our job is to follow his lead and not get our gaze stuck on the servant.
In a way - the rescue of the Israelites from Egypt is like Jesus dying for the sins of the world. But like the Children of Israel, we enter the wilderness where we must make a choice. If we long for the Promised Land and believe God can get us there, we put our faith in Him. But if we, like that first generation, reject God and long to go back to the world - we will not enter into the Promised Land of Heaven.
The point in Chapter 3 is that as following Moses out of Egypt didn’t guarantee a spot in the Promised Land - going to church doesn’t guarantee you a spot in heaven - you’ve got to have faith, which means diligent focus on Jesus Christ as Lord. The difference is whether you believe what God said - that Jesus is enough - or whether you don’t believe and rebel.
Verses 1 - 2
Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession,
(1) Even as all of Israel was called to enter the Promised Land, we are called to enter heaven - but we’ve got to answer that call - and our way in is Jesus Christ.
"Consider" means to "give thoughtful and diligent reflection." This is important stuff to pay attention to. The NIV renders is: "Fix your thoughts."
Jesus is both apostle ("sent one") who was sent with a message of salvation to the earth, and "high priest" in that He went back into the presence of God (like the high priest), opening up the way for us to follow.
2 who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God’s house.
(2) The author is going to compare Jesus and Moses in several important ways. The first is faithfulness. Moses, though a reluctant hero, believed God when He spoke to him out of the bush, and as a result of that faith, followed God’s instructions exactly in leading the children of Israel out of Egypt. In the same way Jesus was faithful to lead His children out of the bondage of sin. Laying that groundwork, now he shows us how much more important Jesus is, without denigrating Moses. And it’s all about faith.
Verses 3 - 6
3 For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses - as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. 4(For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.)
(3 - 4) We don’t walk into a house and say "my, what a beautiful place you’ve constructed, house." The house doesn’t build itself - but it has an architect and builder. A side light here - we do say this very thing, though, when we claim that the universe basically created itself and morphed into all of its complexity by itself through mutations and accidents over time. It’s like saying given enough time a mansion will appear out of nothing but dirt without any intervention from a designer. God did build all things. No wonder Jesus came as a carpenter.
5 Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later,
(5) Moses had a role - that of a servant in the house that God built. And Moses’ job was to speak of Jesus - though not by name, of course. Moses brought the Law which was designed to bring us to our knees before the Messiah - to show our rebellious hearts for what they are.