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Hebrews 3:1-6 You are God’s house through Christ’s faithfulness!

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When a child brings you a picture or playdough creation to look at, you tell them how good it is, and you may even put it on a prominent display in your home. Those creations come and go, but not your child because your child is more valuable than anything they create.

When I say the words, “Magnolia, Waco and silos,” you know who I am talking about. And as impressive as their creative designs and builds are, if I offered you the choice between touring one of their homes for a few hours or getting to spend a few hours visiting with them, you would pick them, or at least you know your spouse would. There is a big difference between the builder of a house and the house itself. This is one of the illustrations the writer to the Hebrews used in our New Testament reading from Hebrews 3, to show how Jesus is superior to all, even Moses.

The letter to the Hebrews encourages believers to hold on to Christ. The letter was written first to encourage Jewish Christians who were tempted to return to old Jewish ways. The temptation for Jewish Christians was to mix Christ with following God’s Old Testament laws given through Moses or turn completely back to them abandoning Christ. To the Jews at that time, Moses was not only the greatest of men, but he even ranked above the angels.

The problem with turning to Moses meaning turning to the Old Testament laws and away from Christ was that perfect obedience to the Old Testament laws was never possible which Paul, who refers to himself as “a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law,” in Philippians 3:5, explained in detail in his letter to the Romans. Paul wrote in Romans 3, 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law… 21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 … There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith.

The writer to the Hebrews followed the same line of thought as in Romans showing the superiority of Jesus, so that none of the Jewish Christians nor any Gentile would lose the righteousness, grace, redemption, forgiveness and sacrifice of atonement through Jesus. The book of Hebrews begins with the words, 1 In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. No prophet, angel or even Moses could claim themselves heir to ruling over all things or take credit for making the universe, only the Son of God, Jesus. Therefore, we are to fix our eyes on Jesus because he is superior to all.

But since we have a sinful nature, we do not fix our eyes on Jesus. As with the early Christians who were tempted to abandon Jesus, we fix our eyes on other people and paths to feel right with God. Fixating on someone or something other than God is a sin against the first commandment, which God communicated through Moses in Exodus 20, 3 “You shall have no other gods before me.” To put this in terms of the house and builder picture, we are guilty of focusing on the building, not the builder. We fixate on living the right way by loving our families, caring for our friends, treating people well, going to school, working, voting the right way, supporting good causes, etc.

In fact, we are so focused on those things that we worry because we are not doing enough good. Or we worry about the time wasted not doing more good and all the times we have let others down, and let our ugly, selfish, impatient, etc. side hurt someone. We are consumed by progress and achievement, or we are consumed by disappointment and failure. We go so far in this focus that we lose sight of Christ. This is worship of inferior created gods, gods of our own design, and they all let us down. There is no redemption through them from death.

Jesus is superior because he saved us. Hebrews 3 begins with the words, 1 Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest. The writer addresses believers as holy meaning they have no sin, they have kept the law and are right with God. Two words reveal how Jesus made you holy.

First, he is our apostle, the one sent to teach us that he is the way to eternal life. Second, Jesus is our High Priest, who gave his life as an atoning sacrifice for us and is continually praying to God on our behalf. Atonement brings two groups together or ‘at one’ with one another. Jesus’ faithfulness as apostle and high priest made you right with God so that you have been saved from death, sin and hell.

The writer to the Hebrews points out Moses’ faithfulness too, but not in a way that saved anyone. Instead, he was a faithful servant, but Jesus was the faithful Son as we read in Hebrews 3, 3 Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. 4 For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. 5 “Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house,” bearing witness to what would be spoken by God in the future.

Moses bore witness to Christ. Moses pointed at the builder, not the building. At the end of his life, Moses died on a mountain looking at the earthly promised land. On the other hand, Jesus died on a mountain and was raised to life on the third day. Jesus saved us from death and sin. He was the greater prophet the Lord spoke of through Moses in our Old Testament reading from Deuteronomy 18, 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him.

Jesus proved himself as a prophet speaking words of God because what he said about the future came true as we hear in Mark 10, 32 … Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him. 33 “We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, 34 who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.”

That was the third time he told his disciples what would happen to him. Through Jesus’ faithfulness to die and rise, he changed the world. Through his faithfulness, he saved you. He remains faithful because as we repeat each Sunday, he lives and rules all things with the Father and the Holy Spirit.

Jesus’ superiority endures so that you can be confident and hopeful. We look at the builder, not the house. God is the builder; he designed, chose and made you into a piece of his house. This is what we read in Hebrews 3, 6 But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory. Here the title Christ is used for the first time in Hebrews pointing to Jesus as the chosen one, the Son over God’s house. He owns the house, which is us, believers as described in Ephesians 2, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.

Share Jesus with your kids. Fix their eyes on Jesus by reading the Bible to them. Share Jesus with a Christian friend in a tough spot, even with someone facing death. Fix their eyes on the one who made them holy, part of his house and sacrificed himself to save them. Put all your anxious worried thoughts into the hands of the One who created everything. Fix your eyes on Christ’s faithfulness who freed you from sin and the fear of death to be part of God’s house and look forward to living in your forever home, heaven.

A child’s picture or playdough creation will come and go, but not your child. Your child is more valuable than anything they create. If given the chance, you would rather spend a few hours with Chip and Jo, rather than in one of their homes. God has made amazing things, but he is worthy of the highest honor. Fix your eyes on Jesus the faithful Christ, the apostle and high priest. You will not come and go like a picture or renovated home. You will serve God here and will go on to be with him forever in heaven. Your confidence and hope come from Jesus who is superior to all others. You are God’s house through Christ’s faithfulness. Amen.

Gunnar Ledermann, Pastor Divine Peace Church

Gunnar Ledermann

I’m passionate about Rockwall’s vibrant community and actively engage with local non-profits and community organizations, including the Rockwall Chamber of Commerce, the City of Rockwall, and the Downtown Rockwall Association. My background includes a bachelor’s degree in Classical Languages and a master’s degree in divinity. Currently serving as a pastor at Divine Peace Church in Rockwall, I also enjoy spending time with my wife, Marinda, and our three children.

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