CHAPTER SHIFT - This is the last day where the chapter breaks don't line up well with the actual passage. Today's text begins in 6:13 and runs to the end of chapter 7.
6:13-19 - The passage begins with a reminder that God was faithful to Abraham because God had 'swore by himself' that He would be faithful. The next long paragraph introduces the concept that when a solemn promise is made, the one who promises appeals to someone greater than himself. We do this often. We buy a particular piece of equipment because we know a respected farmer who uses it, so we trust if it works well for that farmer it certainly will work for us. When we swear to tell the truth in court, or promise in church to help raise a covenant child, we say I will, so help me God. We appeal to a power greater than us when making the promise.
6:20-7:10 - The point of this passage is that the Jewish person's greatest hope was that they belonged to the line of Abraham. But Hebrews points us back to one of the most mysterious characters in all of history: a man named Melchizedek (mel-ˈki-zə-ˌdek), someone who was clearly greater than Abraham. Genesis doesn't tell us very much at all about him (see the Old Testament Reference below), but the author of Hebrews drops a bomb in v3. Melchizedek:
Has no father or mother or any other genealogy;
Has no beginning of days or end of life;
He resembles (literally: is made like) the Son of God;
He remains a priest forever.
These are all massively amazing claims that theologians would love to know much more about, but the author's point here is not to teach us more about Melchizedek, but rather to make two key points:
Melchizedek is greater than Abraham;
Therefore, as great as the Jewish religion is, there's something greater than it.
As we'll see in the last passage of this chapter, Jesus is greater than both Abraham and Melchizedek.
7:11-21 - Once again the priesthood of Jesus is being emphasized, so we need to be reminded that a priest is a mediator that stands between God and God's people. The Old Testament priests descended from the tribe of Levi, but the Psalms prophesied of an even greater priest that would come who was in the order of Melchizedek - that is, one who is different than the Levitical order. Verse 16 sums it up: Jesus -
is not our priest because of his ancestry,
but on the basis of His indestructible life (v16).
7:22-28 - This all may (or may not!) seem fascinating to you, but it's a fair question to ask what this has to do with you! This passage has massive implication for you. First, because Jesus lives forever and is a permanent priest,
He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them (v25).
Second, because Jesus was "holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners and exalted above the heavens (v26)," the sacrifice He made on the cross was not for His own benefit, but was for your benefit.
Old Testament Reference(s) -
Read the brief story of Melchizedek's encounter with Abraham in Genesis 14:18-20.
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions:
EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: Which of the following pairs of Old Testament characters is not mentioned in this chapter? Abraham and Melchizedek; Levi and Judah; Moses and Aaron; David and Solomon.
Now that you’re halfway through Hebrews, how would you summarize the most important lessons to learn in this book?
Questions taken from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament.
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: The unchangeable God (6:17), who is the greatest of all that is (6:13).
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Draw near to God through your eternal priest & mediator, Jesus Christ (v19).
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: