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Tuesday, May 28th, 2024
the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
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Bible Commentaries
Hebrews 5

Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the BibleBox on Selected Books

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Let us rejoice in that we have a High Priest who is called by God. He was not a descendant of Aaron; He is the Son of God.

The writer of Hebrews had introduced Jesus as our "merciful and faithful high priest." In Heb_2:17 he said, "Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people." He had also admonished Christians to, "consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus." ( Heb_3:1 )

Not many passages in our Bible encourage us more than Heb_4:14-16 , "Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."

In this chapter the writer continues his discourse upon the priesthood of Christ. Here he: (1) Explains the nature of the priestly office, Heb_5:1-3 , (2) Explains how priest are called to this office, Heb_5:4-6 , (3) Explains the qualifications for their work, Heb_5:7-9 , (4) Explains the order of the priesthood of Christ, Heb_5:10 , (5) Explains the failure of the Hebrews in living for Christ, their High Priest. ( Heb_5:11-14 )

The priesthood was a very essential part of the Jews religion. Those who have become Christians have lost nothing concerning the priesthood. In fact they have gained, because in every way, Christians have a High Priest that is equal to or great than the high priest of the Jews.

Verses 1-6

The nature and call of Christ's priesthood -- Heb_5:1-6 : The Jewish priest was "taken from among men." This same nature allowed them to practice true compassion. Christ can be tender and compassionate toward because He took our nature. The writer gave this simple definition of the priesthood -- he is "ordained for men in things pertaining to God." The priest was to deal with Almighty God on behalf of sinful man.

Had it not been for sin, everyone might have gone to God in his own person. But now our only way to God is through our High priest, Jesus Christ. The sacrifices were offered by the priest to clear the way to God for sinful man. Gifts to God involved many things, but sacrifices were bloody offerings for sin. Our High Priest offered Himself for our sins.

The Old Testament priest had to have compassion for the sinful and concern for their own personal sins. They were chosen by God. It was an act of the sovereignty of God to call whom He pleased to His priesthood. "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." ( Heb_5:5 ) Christ's priesthood was not after the order of Aaron. He was a priest "after the order of Melchizedek." ( Heb_5:6 )

Verses 7-9

The qualifications for Christ's priesthood -- Heb_5:7-9 : Jesus Christ, while in the flesh subjected Himself to hunger, temptation, bleeding and dying Jesus. God could have saved Jesus from dying. But, what would have become of us if He had. In the days of His flesh Christ offered up prayers to God, joined with strong crying and tear .

Christ was God's Son and by His suffering He learned obedience. There are two ways of learning obedience: (1) You learn it by comprehension of mind, and (2) You learn it by experience. Christ has now been "made perfect, and he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him." ( Heb_5:9 )

God's desire is for every person to obey Him and become Christians. Let all come to Jesus in faith ( Heb_11:6 ), repentance ( Act_17:30-31 ), confession ( Mat_10:32-33 ), baptism for forgiveness of sins ( Act_2:38 ) and then live a Christian life ( 1Pe_2:9 ). If you are not yet a Christian, it is my earnest prayer that you will heed the call of our risen Lord thought His glorious and powerful gospel while you still have life and opportunity. Christ gave His blood to make your salvation possible. Lean obedience NOW before it is too late!

Verse 10

The order of Christ's priesthood -- Heb_5:10 : Jesus Christ is, "Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchizedek." ( Heb_5:10 ) His priesthood is eternal. It is a special priesthood. Jesus was like Melchizedek in his designation to the office. The arrangement of His priesthood was like that of Melchizedek.

We have a more detailed account of this Melchizedek in Heb_7:1-28 . He was both a priest and a king. None of the kings of the Jews were priests; nor were any of the priests ever elevated to the office of king. But in Melchizedek these offices were united. Melchizedek was a powerful type of Christ Jesus who is prophet, priest and king.

Christ is a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. The priesthood of Christ is an eternal priesthood; He ever lives to make intercession for us

Verses 11-14

The priesthood of Christ was unappreciated -- Heb_5:11-14 : The Hebrew writer had many "things to say" concerning Christ and Melchizedek. Sadly the Christians were "dull of hearing" and could not receive theses sayings. The problem was the incapacity of the hearers, their dullness and slothfulness.

Enough time had elapsed since these Hebrew Christians were converted that they should be teaching God's word. They had been Christians long enough to be expected to understand such doctrines. Now they should be able to instruct others. Instead they needed someone to teach them again the very first lessons of Christianity.

It is reasonably expected by God that His people should thrive spiritually and grow in their knowledge and godliness. Proportionally to the time they have been Christians they have personal responsibility for growth. Sadly, many, after thousands of sermons and Bible classes, are still ignorant of even simple Bible lessons, and need to be taught again the same things which they heard so long ago.

May we all diligently seek to grow in the word of righteousness? The process of learning and obeying the doctrine of Christ is how men become righteous and find the way of salvation offered by our Redeemer. Habit or practice in the word of God allows Christians to be in the position of being able to "discern both good and evil." The Christians grow in the word of God will appreciate and understand that which is true. They will likewise reject that which is false.

Bibliographical Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on Hebrews 5". "Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/box/hebrews-5.html. 2014.
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