Christ and Moses, 3:1-6


In this section of the letter to the Hebrews, our author affirms the faithfulness of Jesus, his faithful suffering for the sake of God's people. In our particular passage for study, we are reminded that Moses was also a faithful servant of God's people, but when it come to our eternal salvation, only the faithfulness of Christ has worth.

The passage

v1-2. Addressing his readers as believers, our author encourages us to reckon with the fact that Jesus, our "apostle and high priest", was faithful in his service to God the Father. As high priest Jesus brought deliverance from sin and as apostle he leads us to eternity. In all this he was perfectly obedient to the Father. For the sake of comparison, our author draws attention to Moses who was also a faithful servant of God in his ministrations to the household of God.

v3-4. Yet, the faithfulness of Moses cannot really be compared with the faithfulness of Jesus, for "a man who builds a house receives more honor than the house itself. In the same way Jesus is worthy of greater honor than Moses", TEV. We do well to remember that God is the builder of everything, and that includes the household of God, the people of God. When God the Father creates, whether it is the universe or his household, he builds through his Son, and because Christ constructs God's household, he is worthy of greater honor than Moses.

v5-6a. Our author now explains the difference between Christ's faithfulness and the faithfulness of Moses. He does this by contrasting the two. Both Moses and Jesus were faithful to God the Father, but Moses functioned as a servant while Jesus functions as a Son. Moses was certainly a faithful minister within the household of God, but Jesus is a faithful ruler of God's household. And finally, Jesus doesn't defer to Moses, Moses defers to Jesus.

v6b. The implication of our author's argument is that believers are members of God's household and are therefore beneficiaries of Christ's faithfulness. There is though a condition for the maintenance of this status and it is that we retain our confidence and pride in Christ.

Honor resides with the builder, not the building

Christmas in Australia is a hot and steamy affair. There are probably better times to build a house, but circumstances forced me to build my holiday cottage on the Hawksburry river over the Christmas holidays. On the Friday the kit home was delivered, on the Saturday my friends helped me drag it up the hill, bit by bit, and then the work began. Ten weeks of pure pain. Of course, summer is the rainy season in Sydney, and yes, it constantly rained. Hebrews proclaims that "a man who builds a house receives more honor than the house itself." Forgetting the lunacy of tackling a project like this by myself, the cottage was completed, to the amazement of my friends, and I learnt many lessons, one being, never to do it again.

In our passage today, the writer to the Hebrews reminds us of a famous man, probably the most famous of Israel's religious leaders. Moses was indeed a wonderful leader of God's people, yet the difference between Moses and Jesus is like the difference between a house and its builder - they just don't compare. Moses was a servant to God's people, Jesus the Son of God. Moses ministered within the household of God, Jesus rules it. So, "Jesus is worthy of greater honor than Moses."

So, what's the point of this comparison? The point is, that we who are members of God's household, the people of God, the family of God, are under the authority of not just a great man like Moses, but a divine man, the faithful Son of God. So, we can be confident of our eternal security under him.

There is though, a condition. Our participation in God's household is not down to our own faithfulness, but down to our faith in the faithfulness of Christ. Our eternal security rests on Jesus' faithfulness. So, as the author of Hebrews puts it: "fix your attention on Jesus the apostle and high priest of the faith which you profess."


1. Identify the comparisons presented between Jesus and Moses in this passage.

2. Why can we be confident in Jesus' faithfulness?

3. How do we retain membership in God's household?

[Printer icon]   Print-friendly: Sermon Notes. and Technical Notes

Index of studies: Resource library
[Pumpkin Cottage]
Pumpkin Cottage Ministry Resources
Lectionary Bible Studies and Sermons