As a Son
by Mark Fulmer
"Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, who was faithful to Him who appointed Him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God's house. 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. (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) Now Moses was faithful in all God's house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, but Christ is faithful over God's house as a son. And we are His house, if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope."
We knew they meant business the day the roof came off. The plans had been reviewed and approved. The contractor had the “subs” lined up and the permit posted. But all of that seemed theoretical until the sledgehammering began, and the roof gave way. We were remodeling. There was no turning back now.
Many, many months later we moved back in. The house that had been ours was still our house. It was an old house really, built the same year I was born. But now it seemed entirely new. It was better than before, yet what it was before had allowed the newness to take shape. It was our new, old house.
The author of Hebrews is explaining how Moses was a servant of God, and a rightly revered Old Testament hero. But he was also a forerunner of something better. Moses had served in the house, but now the Son of the house had come. Something new had taken shape.
Moses followed God from the day of the burning bush to the bank of the Jordan River. He was neither a sinless nor patient man. But he was chosen as the mediator of the relationship between God and God’s people. He was a gifted but entirely human mediator. And as mediator, Moses had acted as a priest. He had brought the words of God to the people and represented the people before God. Moses also served as a prophet. He was the servant who was, “to testify to the things that were to be spoken later.” Moses was a mere man, and yet he was also a picture of Jesus.
Jesus, says Hebrews, is counted worthy of more glory than Moses. He is a Son and not just a servant. As a Son, He is over all of God’s house. Jesus is also called an apostle. It’s the only time in the New Testament that this term is applied to Jesus. But since the word means, “a person who is sent,” it applies perfectly to the Lord. An apostle does not take that title for himself but is called by God to be one who is sent. He is sent by God for God’s purpose. Jesus makes this plain as He prays for His own apostles.
"For I have given them the words that You gave Me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from You; and they have believed that You sent Me. I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours." (John 17:8-9)
Jesus is also the true high priest who has come. He is the high priest who is the very Son of God. Just as God had sent His servant Moses to His people, now God had sent His own Son. Something better has happened; someone perfect and permanent has come. Jesus is the long-awaited consummation of the promise of God to His people.
"This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant.
The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, but He holds His priesthood permanently, because He continues forever. Consequently, He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens." (Hebrews 7:22-26)
Hebrews also makes pointedly clear that the followers of Jesus are “the house” over which Jesus is the faithful Son. We often say that the Church Universal is not a building, but instead is the collection of Christ’s ones from every age and every tribe. And it is that collection, that church over which Jesus is ruling and reigning.
In Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth, he teaches about the cosmic, eternal remodel of the people of God.
"From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."
(2 Corinthians 5:16-17)