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Bible Commentaries

Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the Bible

Hebrews 3


The Hebrew writer appealed to his readers to seriously consider Jesus Christ as faithful High Priest. Christianity was founded by one superior to Moses. Moses was only a servant in the house. Jesus is the Son over the house. Jesus Christ, as high priest, was likewise superior to the high priest of the Jews.

Much of this section of scripture is occupied with showing the superiority of the Christ over Moses. If we accept the fact that Jesus is superior to Moses certain consequences will result.

Moses was faithful as a servant of God. Christ was faithful as God's only begotten Son. Jesus is greater than Moses just as the builder is greater than the house he built. This being true there would be serious and grave danger to any who turned away from Christ. Those Israelites who were disobedient to Moses suffered severe consequences. What of those who in unbelief and rebellion have turned away from the Son of God?

Verses 1-6

Christ is to be preferred to Moses -- Heb_3:1-6 : The "partakers of the heavenly calling," must seriously consider Jesus, "the Apostle and High Priest of our profession." Those that “partake of the heavenly calling” are called "Holy Brethren." The heavenly calling is extended to man by gospel preaching. Paul wrote, "Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ." ( 2Th_2:14 )

The "partakers of the heavenly calling," must consider Christ Jesus. Jesus Christ is Lord over His church. He is the king, priest, prophet, and apostle of all. God appointed Him as Mediator. He is faithful to that appointment. Moses was faithful in the discharge of his office to the Jewish nation in the Old Testament. His faithfulness was typical of Christ's faithfulness to those under the New Covenant.

The Hebrew writer did not attempt in any way to undervalue Moses. But, he did say that Jesus, "was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house." ( Heb_3:3 ) Jesus Christ, the builder of the church, the house of God, is worthy of all glory and honour .

Every house has a builder. Every family has a founder; every age or dispensation has someone responsible for it. Someone had to be over the old and the new dispensations --- Moses was over the Jewish age and Jesus Christ is over the Christian age. Christ is the Son and we are His house. We are the temple of the Holy Ghost ( 1Co_6:19-20 ), and Christ dwells in us by faith ( Eph_3:17 ).

God expects us to maintain a bold and open profession of the truths of the gospel firm unto the end. "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved." ( Mat_10:22 )

Verses 7-11

Christ desires hearts that are not hardened -- Heb_3:7-11 : It is our duty to hear the voice of Jesus, our great High Priest, speaking in the gospel. We must hear and obey the voice of Christ "Today." All of God's commandments relate to the present. "For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." ( 2Co_6:2 ) Our obligation to God is to turn from sin, and to love Him NOW.

We must be careful not to allow our heart to be hardened by sin. The hardening of our heart to one sin may open the door for many other sins.

The sins of others should serve as an example to us. God used the "provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness" when Israel provoked God as an example of this truth. ( Exo_17:2-7 ) In the wilderness Israel tempted and provoked God. They did not trust Him as they should. They also murmured against Moses, God's appointed leader. They would not listen to the voice of God.

The source of their sins was they "erred in their heart." The result of their sin was that God said, "They shall not enter into my rest." The result of sin is always great loss. The worst result of all concerning their sin was when God said, "Wherefore I was grieved with that generation." How sad it would be to face God in judgment having been a grief to Him in our lifetime.

Verses 12-15

Christ demands that we hold on to our faith -- Heb_3:12-15 : Christians must be careful that they do not sin. Sin is a departure from God. Unbelief, in particular, is the root of all such departures. Unbelief makes the soul negligent and careless in opposing sin. We must be extremely careful that an "evil heart of unbelief" does not give birth to the sin of backsliding.

While it is called "Today" much encouragement to faithfulness should be given. Close friends in the church should admonish and encourage one another. Parents should daily encourage their children to faithful service to God. Bible School teachers should encourage those in their class to more dedication to God. Older Christians could do much for the growth of Christianity by exhorting young Christians to faithful service to God. Fellow Christians must encourage all those that you sit down at the same Supper of the Lord with to serve God faithfully.

The need for this encouragement is seen in that, "we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end." ( Heb_3:14 ) We have been spiritually united with Jesus the Saviour. Our goal now should be to become like Him and one with Him. "For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work. Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways: Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest." ( Psa_95:7-11 )

Verses 16-19

Christ expects steadfastness to the end -- Heb_3:16-19 : It was not all of those who came out of Egypt that rebelled against God. The great majority of them rebelled against Him. They fell in the wilderness. A small minority stayed faithful to God. Christians should be admonished by their example. God is not at all grieved by the faithful. He is grieved only with those who sin against Him, and continue in sin.

Unbelief, resulting in rebellion against the will of God is the great, damning sin of the world. This sin shuts up the heart of God against the rebellious. It also shuts up the gate of heaven against them. It puts them under the wrath of God forever. No unbeliever or unfaithful soul shall enter into the rest of God!

Through obedient faith you should become a Christian now. ( Mat_28:18-20 ) Our love for God should then lead us to persevere till death. ( Rev_2:10 )

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at Public Domain.
Bibliographical Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on Hebrews 3". "Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". 2014.