Chosen High Priest

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters. I’d like to ask for your continued prayers, especially wisdom in a certain area that the right decisions will be made in the search for truth. I am looking at a controversial topic and I want to make sure I make the right decision. For now however, let’s continue our Trinitarian commentary. We’re going to be looking at Hebrews 5:1-6.

 1Every high priest is selected from among men and is appointed to represent them in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. 3This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people.

 4No one takes this honor upon himself; he must be called by God, just as Aaron was. 5So Christ also did not take upon himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him,
   “You are my Son;
      today I have become your Father.” 6And he says in another place,
   “You are a priest forever,
      in the order of Melchizedek.”

The writer is continuing the point about the high priest that he introduced in his last section. The high priest is appointed from among men and represents them in matters relating to God. The high priest is able to be gentle with them and help those who are going astray. He is not ignorant. He himself has the same struggles that they have. However, he must offer up a sacrifice for his own sins as well as the sins of the people.

Does this mean Jesus isn’t able to empathize with us however since he doesn’t have to offer sins? Not at all. Jesus knows the temptation even if he doesn’t have the experience of giving in to the temptation. There will be more on this point as we go through this chapter.

The main point that is brought about by the writer however is that no one takes this honor upon themselves. The high priest is rather called by God to that position. This was the way that it began back in the book of Exodus with the Aaronic priesthood through the tribe of Levi. (And in saying that, let me be clear I do not mean different kinds of priesthood in the way the Mormons do.)

Christ didn’t take that honor upon himself either. He was called by God. The Son submitted to the will of the Father to come to the people and live among them. In doing so, he was chosen by God to be the high priest and thus it follows that the time came when he was vindicated as the Son of God.

He was also given a greater priesthood in that he is a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek. We’ll be looking more at this figure in particular in chapter 7, but already, we have the last of the great mediators being brought up for the Hebrews writer to deal with.

Our point is that Jesus is chosen as the high priest. Now there’s nothing specifically involving him being deity in that, but we will see as we go through the book that this is a vital role for Jesus to play in relation to who he is. This is simply laying the groundwork.

We shall continue tomorrow.


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