Hebrews: Consider…Jesus-02/28/21

 Series Title: Jesus is GREATER than…

Message: ‘Consider… Jesus’

Text: Hebrews 3:1-6

 Introduction: I have to admit that at times I feel like a prisoner to the clock… how about you? PP:

  • We don’t seem to have enough time in the day for the things we need to do let alone for ourselves.
  • We settle for just finishing one task after another after another and we believe we’re doing ok.

But, because of the constant rush of life, because of the moving from one task to another to another… we often fail to take the time to think about the decisions we’re making each day. We fail to consider the ramifications of the choices/decisions that we make. PP:

  • How many of you have made really bad decisions because you failed to take the time to consider the possible outcomes of that particular decision?

For some there are decisions deemed important enough, to consider the possible consequences of those decisions.

According to a recent study by SWNSdigital.com, here are the top 10 decisions we think are important enough to take the time to seriously consider before we make the choice. PP:

  • #10 Quitting a job #9 Getting a divorce
  • #8 To save or spend money
  • #7 Breaking up with a boyfriend/girlfriend
  • #6 Buying property #5 When to retire
  • #4 Learning to drive #3 Relocating
  • #2 Getting married #1 Having children

I want you to notice that religion, faith… Jesus, is not in the top ten, in fact, it’s not even in the top 30 most important decisions people make regularly.

  • God… would disagree. PP:

In our text this morning we’ll see the authors’ argument to his Jewish Christian readers, to take the time needed so that they don’t  make a hasty decision they will certainly regret later.

  • To put it succinctly, he will ask them and us to… Consider… Jesus.

Transition: Open your Bibles to Hebrews 3:1.

  1. Hebrews 3:1a Remember who you are

PP: Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling

 We begin with the word, therefore. This is telling us that what we’ll read has a connection to what we’ve already read in chapter 2… particularly verse 17

Therefore He had to be made like His brothers in every respect, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God,

to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

That’s says something about us, that the writer wants us to remember. Two very important things… in fact. We are holy brethren, and we have a heavenly calling. 

  1. Holy brethren

He wants us to remember that through faith in Jesus, we are holy brethren.

  • Jesus Himself, calls us that back in chapter 2:11-12 when He says we are sanctified… declared holy by God.

So, what does that mean?

First, as Christians, we are… holy, sanctified, set apart by God and for God. It means we’re positionally, before God, free from all sin.

But it also means that positional holiness, gives us the parameters of how we live in practical holiness, that every day right living kind of thing, in a fallen world.

Second, because we’re holy, positionally free from our sin before God, Jesus is not ashamed to call us His brethren… again chapter 2:11-12.

  • In other words, Christians, through faith in Jesus, are now part of God’s family.

Being holy brethren means that as part of God’s family, God’s working in our lives

  • to make us less like the world, around us
  • and more like Jesus, in us.

Christianity is NOT a club of people with mutual interests. It’s a family with mutual responsibilities. And that has to do with our heavenly calling.

  1. Heavenly calling

The writer wants us also to remember that through faith in Jesus we have a heavenly calling. Remember he was writing to Jewish Christians who were taught in Judaism that the earth was their calling… more specifically

  • The Promised land and God’s presence with them there.

So right off the bat, they were told their calling as followers of Jesus, was much higher and more important than that of Judaism.

The writer also knew that they were being persecuted for their faith in Jesus.

  • He wanted them to be comforted with the fact that this world was not their home.
  • He wanted to assure them that what they experience here on earth will not even scratch the surface of the blessings that are ours in Heaven.

All that… still doesn’t define our heavenly calling.

First, our calling to faith in Jesus didn’t begin here on earth with a decision we made, it began in eternity past as the decree of God. Ephesians 1:4 even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love

  • God’s Word broke through our sin.
  • God’s love changed our heart.
  • God’s grace produced within us faith.
  • God’s mercy leads us to repentant of our sin and to receive God’s forgiveness. (God declares us holy)
  • At that very moment… heaven, God’s forever presence, became our destiny.

But, our heavenly calling comes with some very practical, every day applications.

  • Our heavenly calling motivates us to set our minds on things above. Colossians 3:1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
  • Our heavenly calling demands a different lifestyle than we had before coming to Jesus. Ephesians 4:1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called. Look, in Romans 6:17; Ephesians 2:3,13, Colossians 1:21; Titus 3:3 and 1 Peter 2:10 We are told over and over again… you once were…. Doing a lot of really bad things… But now… you live differently.

Christian, the writer is reminding all of us to allow our heavenly calling to have a greater pull in us, than the calling of the world around us.

  1. Hebrews 3:1b-6a Remember who Jesus is

Consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, who was faithful to Him who appointed Him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God’s house. For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses—as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a Son. 

  1. Hebrews 3:1b Consider Jesus

PP: Consider Jesus

 ILL: Did you know at during football games last year during the pandemic, those inside the stadium heard fake crowd noise from the public address system, and those watching on TV heard different fake crowd noise?

  • PP: Noise during most sporting events (pre- pandemic) was determined by the enthusiasm of the crowd.
  • This is especially true when someone on the field or court has to concentrate to make a play… like a field goal in football or a free throw in basketball.
  • Often the noise level will go off the dial in an attempt to confuse or cause the player to lose concentration so they miss.

So it’s especially important for that player to block out the excessive noise and concentrate on the shot they have to make… And in some sports venues, that’s not very easy to do. PP:

Listen, that’s the same strategy the world has for Christians to distract us from thinking about Jesus and focus more of our attention on what the world has to offer.

  • And to be truthful, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to center our thoughts on Jesus when the world shouts so loudly and persistently for our attention.

In our context, the distraction, the noise, is Judaism and all that goes with it. For us, it’s the world and all that goes… with it. Which is why the writer tells his Jewish Christian and us today, to consider Jesus.

 Consider means to contemplate, to fasten the mind on, to get focused, to ponder, to think deeply about.

  • This is more than a casual thought, more than using the ‘cliff notes’ if you remember what they are.
  • It’s diving deeply into the subject… and in this case.. the subject is Jesus.

For those reading this letter, the writer’s saying,

  • Before you make a decision, you will certainly regret later, consider, spend some time examining
  • all that you know of Jesus, all that God’s Word tells you about Jesus, all that you have experienced personally from Jesus.
  • Don’t rush it. Don’t be distracted by all the voices in your minds or on social media.

And for those Christians today who either are or have already drifted away from Jesus take the time to consider Jesus.

  • No decision is more important than who you’re going to serve… God or the world.
  • No decision is more important than who you’ll love, God or the world.
  • No decision is more important that what you’re living for; the things of God or the things of the world.

Christian… before you harden your heart to God, consider Jesus.

Transition: The writer gives us 2 truths to consider about Jesus. 

  1. Hebrews 3:1c Jesus: Apostle and High Priest

PP: the apostle and high priest of our confession,

This, I believe, is the only place in the Bible Jesus is called an apostle. Apostle means sent one. And certainly, we know that Jesus was sent by God with a message of forgiveness and reconciliation to all who place their faith in Him…  in Jesus.

The writer already addressed Jesus as our High Priest who took our sin on Himself when He died on the cross.

  • He’s also the One as High Priest, Who stands in the gap, who reveals God to us and intercedes for us to God.

Then the writer puts that all together by saying Jesus… the apostle and high priest of our confession, he’s reminding us what we all professed, what we call confessed, agreed to when we came to faith in Jesus.

  • Jesus is Lord, God in the flesh, Who came to forgive our sin and make us children of God.
  1. Hebrews 3:2 Jesus & Moses both faithful

PP: Who was faithful to Him Who appointed Him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God’s house.

The writer adds here that we should consider Jesus, who was faithful to God who appointed Him, who sent Him to be our substitute and Savior. Jesus was always faithful to the Father.

With that, the writer segues from Jesus to Israel’s BIG GUN… Moses! There’s no one in Israel’s history who held more honor than Moses.

  • I bet good money that when the Jewish Christians heard the name Moses, it got their undivided attention…

After all, they were considering returning to Judaism;  to the Law, to the rituals and festivals and to Moses.

So they wanted to not only hear what the writer had to say, but I bet, how the writer address such a revered national and religious leader.

So.. please take a moment to note; The writer doesn’t tear Moses down, criticize him or belittle him in any way. He honors Moses when he says… Moses also was faithful in all God’s house. Moses also, he was comparing Moses to Jesus.

You see, God takes great delight in the faithfulness of His people… The writer was saying that as part of God’s house (not a building but the people Israel), as part of the house of Israel, Moses was the most faithful.

If the writer was to influence these Jesus Christians to stick with Jesus, he was going to have to show how Jesus was greater than Moses. And he does just that. And he does it in a very honorable way.

  1. Hebrews 3:3-4 Jesus built God’s house

PP: For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses—as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.)

The writer continues with the building metaphor. Comparing Jesus to Moses in their relationship to the  house (Israel). And he does it using plain common sense.

ILL: I have to say with all the work Kathy and I have been doing, and still need to do at our house in Toms River, my appreciation for professional contractors has increased greatly.

  • What I can do in no way matches up to what they can do and how well they can do it.

PP: In a similar way, the writer is saying when you buy a beautiful house, who should be appreciated more?

  • The people who live in it
  • Or the one who designed and built it?

Moses was more faithful than all who lived in the house of Israel… but… he didn’t build it, he wasn’t its designer. The writer implies that Jesus, as God, was the builder of the house, the one who founded Israel, and is therefore greater than Moses.

But there’s yet another reason Jesus is greater than Moses and the writer continues with the house metaphor. 

  1. Hebrews 3:5-6a Jesus is God’s Son

PP: Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a Son.

Again, the writer uses plain common sense, something the Israelites would have clearly understood.. sonship.

  • Servants in Israel were generally treated well and shown many favors… they were not slaves as we understand it today.
  • BUT… to be a son meant to be an heir, one with all rights, responsibilities and blessings.

The big idea here is that Moses was a faithful servant of God… the most faithful servant in all of Israel. BUT… he was still just a servant. Jesus, was God’s Son and Heir to all things.

Remember, the writer already mentioned this to them in chapter 1:1-2 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, Whom He appointed the Heir of all things, through Whom also He created the world.

It’s a pretty strong argument. Wouldn’t you agree?

  1. Hebrews 3:6b Remember where you live

PP: And we are His house, if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.

The writer realizes like all pastors do in any church,

  • There are people who are saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus.
  • There are some who may be ‘churched’ but not truly saved.
  • There may be some who are interested in spiritual things, but are not yet born again.

So he ends here with And we are His house, in other words we are in God’s family, we are saved, born again.

Through faith in Jesus they are no longer seen by God as servants but sons and daughters, heirs to the kingdom of God. We have a home in heaven, in God’s Kingdom.

But… the writer adds a qualification especially for those who are seriously considering leaving Christianity and returning to Judaism… if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.

In essence what’s he’s saying is… those who preserve to the end will be saved…Jesus in Matthew 10:22 said virtually the same thing:  and you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

Look, we’re not saved by our works, we don’t lose our salvation by our lack of works. Salvation is God’s work and He promises to continue that work for us and in us, until Jesus returns…

  • Philippians 1:6 And I am sure of this, that He Who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

Christian, what God has begun in giving us new life, He will finish.

What we see here and throughout the Bible, is the idea of perseverance.

  • What I believe the Bible teaches is those who are found faithful to the end,
  • are those who have truly been saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus.

Remember when we were in 1st  John, we saw Jesus refer to those who said they were His disciples but were never saved by God’s grace.

  • 1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.

Perseverance is a sign of salvation of being born again, not the cause.

What I believe the writer is telling the Jewish Christians is this:

  • If you are seriously considering leaving Christianity.
  • If you have seriously considered Jesus and still choose to leave…
  • then it’s likely that you were never truly saved by God’s grace. Why?

Because those who are saved by God’s grace in the beginning are sustained by God’s grace until the end.

Conclusion: PP: OK, so perhaps none of us will leave Christianity for Judaism. But, some of us have already faded away from Christianity.

  • No, not to Judaism, but to whatever they thought was more fun, didn’t cost them as much, was easier to deal with, or was more enticing than Christianity.

Like the Jewish Christians in our text, perhaps you thought you could just add something to Jesus and still be a faithful Christian….

  • For the Jewish Christians in our text it was Moses, the Law and the Jewish festivals…
  • For others today, it’s leisure, money, prestige, things, comfort, perhaps a bit of peace with an unbelieving spouse,

Christian, remember, God in the book of Hebrews has already told us…

  • The lesser things that we give priority to, will eventually take priority over Jesus.
  • The more consideration we give to the lesser things in life, means the less consideration we will give to the greater things in life.. like Jesus and our heavenly calling.

The Apostle Paul finishing up his 2nd letter to young Timothy didn’t end with how many people he saved or how big the churches he started were. He ended this:

PP: I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7, ESV)

Paul was a Christian who for all of his life… considered Jesus.

  • Isn’t that something you want to be said about you?