5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.
6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
There are some things that I just don’t understand. Well, to be honest, there are many things I don’t understand. I am a simple lay person whom God has given the gift to write, both these studies and poetry/songs. He can craft a sermon using my mouth, but most of it comes from Him, not me. I learned at one point in my life to listen to His voice and that is where the words come from. People ask me all the time how I can write such beautiful poetry, and I ay that I don’t. he speaks it to me and I just put it on paper (Or type it on my computer). It flows like a brook that flows down a mountain after a rain. I certainly don’t understand why He chose me to write these words, but He did. By the way, if you are not familiar with my poetry blog, you can find it HERE (psalmistpetegardner.com)
I don’t understand why everyone did not follow Jesus and leave John the Baptist the day Jesus was baptized. After all, an audible voice came out of the heavens saying “This I my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17, Mark 1:11). If I heard that voice from heaven, I would have followed Him right into the wilderness and been there for Him when He needed something. I doubt I would have left His side for anything. But He went into the wilderness alone right after that proclamation. I don’t understand that.
Imagine if you will if that would happen today and you were present. You see a man come forward to the altar in your church. You’ve never laid eyes on him and you know he is a visitor here that day. But your Pastor looks at Him and sees something special about him. Maybe he feels the anointing on the man – that is definitely possible. Maybe there is some thing in the way he looks at the Pastor that grabs his attention. Whatever the case, the Pastor believes something special is happening. All of a sudden. A voice booms out of heaven and says “This is my anointed messenger, in whom I am well pleased.” What would you do? Me – I would be skeptical. In todays’ society, with the high-tech sound systems we have, this could come from a sound system. But you know the sound system, and this voice definitely did not sound like it came from there. My tendency would be to listen to the man if my Pastor allows him to speak. Hopefully, the pastor has enough discernment to now be distracted by the voice. Hopefully, he will ask the man what he wants to say and weigh it against scripture. And hopefully, I will weigh my response by that same standard. If the words spent by any man do not line up with the scripture, it should be rejected. In these times especially, we must be vigilant and know the word of God well enough to judge sound doctrine.
That is why Paul uses scripture to back up the claim that Christ is our high priest. This was difficult for the Jews (Hebrews) to comprehend. After all, Jesus never served in the temple as a priest. He was not in the Levitical line, but the line of Judah. He had no right to be a priest according to the literal translation of Old Testament law. Paul has to build His case that Jesus came as our high priest. Jesus never claimed this position. Jesus never claimed He would take away sin either. But the scripture tells us these things about Jesus. They tell us who He was and why He came. They tell us the ministry that He represented. He did not glorify himself. He let His Father do that. Even on holy week, he asked the father to glorify His name and God said (again in an audible voice) “I have bopth glorified it and will glorify it again” (John 12:28)
So, to help the people understand how Jesus could be a high priest, he draws back into the Old Testament and a man named Melchizedek. This goes way back to Abraham’s time, before the law, before the priesthood was even thought of. The story is in Genesis 14:18-20. Melchizedek was the king of Salem, but it also says he was the priest of the most High God. The Levitical priesthood was not even established yet, so the priesthood of Melchizedek was directly from God, not from a human perspective. Abraham, the Father of the nation of Israel, and the father in faith of all who claim to be Christians, paid tithes to this Melchizedek. And Melchizedek blessed Abraham in return. Paul equates the priesthood of Jesus to that of Melchizedek, and uses the prophetic words of Psalm 110:4 to make his case. This verse would be familiar with the Jews, as they had all been taught from their youth that this verse was about the Messiah. He would be their high priest forever. But still to this day many do not believe. Paul gives us a great example here of backing up His preaching with the scripture. We should always make sure what we written, say or do lines up with scripture. That is the purpose of Gods word – to teach us and train us in God’s ways. It escapes my why so many can be drawn away from the word be the deceitfulness of a false prophet or false teaching. It has to be that they do not know the scripture well enough to discern the truth. Don’t let that be you! Know the truth of scripture, and the truth shall set you free!