Better than Melchizedek, Aaron & Priests

Hebrews 4:14-7:28

414Having then a great high priest, who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold tightly to our confession. 15For we don’t have a high priest who can’t be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but one who has been in all points tempted like we are, yet without sin. 16Let us therefore draw near with boldness to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace for help in time of need.
51For every high priest, being taken from among men, is appointed for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2The high priest can deal gently with those who are ignorant and going astray, because he himself is also surrounded with weakness. 3Because of this, he must offer sacrifices for sins for the people, as well as for himself. 4Nobody takes this honor on himself, but he is called by God, just like Aaron was. 5So also Christ didn’t glorify himself to be made a high priest, but it was he who said to him,
You are my Son.
Today I have become your father.”*
6As he says also in another place,
You are a priest forever,
after the order of Melchizedek.”*
7He, in the days of his flesh, having offered up prayers and petitions with strong crying and tears to him who was able to save him from death, and having been heard for his godly fear, 8though he was a Son, yet learned obedience by the things which he suffered. 9Having been made perfect, he became to all of those who obey him the author of eternal salvation, 10named by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek. 11About him we have many words to say, and hard to interpret, seeing you have become dull of hearing. 12For although by this time you should be teachers, you again need to have someone teach you the rudiments of the first principles of the revelations of God. You have come to need milk, and not solid food. 13For everyone who lives on milk is not experienced in the word of righteousness, for he is a baby. 14But solid food is for those who are full grown, who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern good and evil.
61Therefore leaving the teaching of the first principles of Christ, let us press on to perfection—not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works, of faith toward God, 2of the teaching of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3This will we do, if God permits. 4For concerning those who were once enlightened and tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5and tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the age to come, 6and then fell away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance; seeing they crucify the Son of God for themselves again, and put him to open shame. 7For the land which has drunk the rain that comes often on it, and produces a crop suitable for them for whose sake it is also tilled, receives blessing from God; 8but if it bears thorns and thistles, it is rejected and near being cursed, whose end is to be burned.
9But, beloved, we are persuaded of better things for you, and things that accompany salvation, even though we speak like this. 10For God is not unrighteous, so as to forget your work and the labor of love which you showed toward his name, in that you served the saints, and still do serve them. 11We desire that each one of you may show the same diligence to the fullness of hope even to the end, 12that you won’t be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherited the promises. 13For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he could swear by no one greater, he swore by himself, 14saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.”* 15Thus, having patiently endured, he obtained the promise. 16For men indeed swear by a greater one, and in every dispute of theirs the oath is final for confirmation. 17In this way God, being determined to show more abundantly to the heirs of the promise the immutability of his counsel, interposed with an oath; 18that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we may have a strong encouragement, who have fled for refuge to take hold of the hope set before us. 19This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and entering into that which is within the veil; 20where as a forerunner Jesus entered for us, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
71For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of God Most High, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, 2to whom also Abraham divided a tenth part of all (being first, by interpretation, king of righteousness, and then also king of Salem, which is king of peace; 3without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God), remains a priest continually. 4Now consider how great this man was, to whom even Abraham, the patriarch, gave a tenth out of the best plunder. 5They indeed of the sons of Levi who receive the priest’s office have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brothers, though these have come out of the body of Abraham, 6but he whose genealogy is not counted from them has accepted tithes from Abraham, and has blessed him who has the promises. 7But without any dispute the lesser is blessed by the greater. 8Here people who die receive tithes, but there one receives tithes of whom it is testified that he lives. 9We can say that through Abraham even Levi, who receives tithes, has paid tithes, 10for he was yet in the body of his father when Melchizedek met him. 11Now if there were perfection through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people have received the law), what further need was there for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, and not be called after the order of Aaron? 12For the priesthood being changed, there is of necessity a change made also in the law. 13For he of whom these things are said belongs to another tribe, from which no one has officiated at the altar. 14For it is evident that our Lord has sprung out of Judah, about which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood. 15This is yet more abundantly evident, if after the likeness of Melchizedek there arises another priest, 16who has been made, not after the law of a fleshly commandment, but after the power of an endless life: 17for it is testified,
You are a priest forever,
according to the order of Melchizedek.”*
18For there is an annulling of a foregoing commandment because of its weakness and uselessness 19(for the law made nothing perfect), and a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God. 20Inasmuch as he was not made priest without the taking of an oath 21(for they indeed have been made priests without an oath), but he with an oath by him that says of him,
The Lord swore and will not change his mind,
‘You are a priest forever,
according to the order of Melchizedek.’”*
22By so much, Jesus has become the collateral of a better covenant. 23Many, indeed, have been made priests, because they are hindered from continuing by death. 24But he, because he lives forever, has his priesthood unchangeable. 25Therefore he is also able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, seeing that he lives forever to make intercession for them.
26For such a high priest was fitting for us: holy, guiltless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; 27who doesn’t need, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices daily, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. For he did this once for all, when he offered up himself. 28For the law appoints men as high priests who have weakness, but the word of the oath which came after the law appoints a Son forever who has been perfected.

*Hebrews 5:5 Psalm 2:7
*Hebrews 5:6 Psalm 110:4
*Hebrews 6:14 Genesis 22:17
*Hebrews 7:17 Psalm 110:4
*Hebrews 7:21 Psalm 110:4

LEARNING FROM THE PAST

  • With which character do you most identify in this portion of Scripture? Why?
  • What strengths and/or weaknesses do you see in this character in this portion of Scripture?
  • What do you think God was wanting accomplish through the life of your selected character?
  • What do you think God is wanting to accomplish through your life? How can you cooperate with his kind purposes in your life?
World English Bible (WEB)
a Public Domain Modern English translation
of the Holy Bible.

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