Nov. 3, 2018

You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.

Hebrews 5 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible

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; he can deal gently with the ignorant and misguided, since he himself also is beset with weakness; and because of it he is obligated to offer sacrifices for sins, as for the people, so also for himself. And no one takes the honor to himself, but receives it when he is called by God, even as Aaron was.

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”;

just as He says also in another passage,

“You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.”

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. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. 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.

11 Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.


In today’s text it says:  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”; just as He says also in another passage, “You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.”… designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.      It is significant that Jesus is called a priest according to the order of Melchizedek. There were many great and significant priests throughout the history of the nation of Israel, God’s people. Samuel comes to mind. He oversaw the selection and anointing of Israel’s first king Saul and Saul’s replacement David. David was called by God as “a man after My own heart.” God’s promise to David was that He would always have a king from his line on the throne. Jesus, of course is that king who is forever on the throne. Why then was Jesus not named as being a priest according to the order of Samuel? In Genesis 14 we can read about Melchizedek. Verse 18 says:   Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High.   In just these few words we see the significance of Melchizedek. He was both a priest and a king, and so he had authority in both the human government, in the earthly realm and in the spiritual realm, the government of heaven.  We need to recognize that there are two separate mandates or mantles of authority. Some are given authority in natural and political, governmental things and others have authority in spiritual things. Both are important and both are ordained by God. Romans 13:1 says:  Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.    We should not expect or even want that our government would disregard or neglect its mandate of authority, to protect and defend its citizens in the earthly realm, by only doing things that are spiritual. In the same way, the church should not focus on government and politics, but should operate in its realm and mandate of authority, engaging the enemy in the heavenly realm. Jesus though was and is both a priest and a king. He has complete authority. That is why, in Matthew 28:18, Jesus says“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 

How does this affect us?  Jesus taught us that we should pray:  Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.   Do we believe that this is spiritual only? Or do we believe that it also applies to the natural physical things as well? Do we believe that we should see the realities of heaven manifested on earth?   In Matthew 11:12, Jesus says From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.   I don’t want to delve too deeply into the interpretation of who these violent people are and what type of violence the kingdom of heaven suffers. That’s for Biblical scholars to do.  Suffice it to say that there is a struggle, a violent physical, natural and spiritual struggle that exists concerning both spiritual things of heaven and natural things of earth. Jesus, as priest and king, is involved and has all authority in both the natural realm and the spiritual realm. If we are His followers, then we too should engage in both the spiritual struggles and those in the earthly realm. In Matthew 5:38-40, Jesus says:   “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.”   In John 14:27 He says:  Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.    From these and Jesus not resisting even His arrest and crucifixion, we get the doctrine of nonresistance, peace and pacifism. In Matthew 13:30 Jesus says:  “At the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, butgather the wheat into my barn.”   In Matthew 22:13 Jesus says:   "Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'”   In Matthew 25:30, He says:   "Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”   So it would seem that there is a level of physical, even violent action taken by Jesus, the King of Kings against rebellion. This is how we can reconcile the peace of God, the God of peace and the physical struggles and battles that exist. This is how we can understand what Romans 16:20 says and means:   The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.   God will fight for us. But we must be both passive toward our natural enemies and active in the struggle against our spiritual enemies. Ephesians 6:12-18 says:  Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.  We are in a battle and a struggle whether or not we acknowledge it. If we are passive in the spirit realm, we cannot stand in the natural realm.

1 Peter 2:9 says:  You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, aholy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.   As believers we are called out of darkness into His light. We are called as priests to reveal that light to the world. 2 Timothy 2:12 says:  If we endure, we will also reign with Him.   If we are followers of Christ, if we are like Him, created in His image, then we are also created to be priests and kings. In the beginning, in Genesis 1:26-28 God said:   “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth… Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit; thank You that You are King of Kings and Lord of Lords; that You have all authority in heaven and on earth. Thank You that by the cross and the power of the resurrection You have restored us to the image of Christ; that we too may be priests and kings.    Amen.