Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest. He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. “Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house,” bearing witness to what would be spoken by God in the future. But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.”

Jesus Greater Than Moses

When we first began the book of Hebrews, the author made the claim that Jesus is the exact representation of God. If we long to know God, we can look to Jesus. Only through Jesus can we have any access to God, the Father. The author of Hebrews began by proving that Jesus was superior to the prophets and the angels, and now he continues on in chapter three, proving that Jesus is superior to Moses.

To the Jew, Moses held a unique place in Israelite history. God had spoken to Moses directly, face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. It would have been impossible for the Jew to think of anyone closer to God than Moses. And yet, the writer of Hebrews is setting out to prove that Jesus is greater than even Moses.

My favorite phrase he uses is, “Fix your thoughts on Jesus” (3:1). The Greek word here is “katanoein.” This word does not mean to just look at something or notice it. We can notice many things in a day but not really pay close attention to them. The word means to fix the attention on something in such a way as to learn the inner meaning, or the lesson that it is designed to teach.

In Luke 12:24, Jesus uses this same word when he says, “Consider the ravens…” He does not mean to just look at the ravens, but to understand and learn the lesson that God is seeking to teach through them. “If we are ever to learn Christian truth, a detached glance is never enough; there must be a concentrated gaze in which we gird up the loins of the mind in a determined effort to see its meaning for us.” -William Barclay

When we fix our eyes on Jesus, what do we see?

  1. We see the great apostle. No one else in the New Testament ever calls Jesus an apostle. Why does he use this word for Jesus? The word “apostle” means “one who is sent forth.” In the Greek word it meant ambassador. Jesus is the supreme ambassador, the One who was sent forth of God.
    • An ambassador is clothed with all the authority of the king who sent him. An ambassador carries the power and authority of the king with him. He is the representative of the king and can accomplish the purposes and will of the king on his behalf. Jesus came from God and all God’s grace and mercy and love and power were available in his role as apostle.
    • The voice of the ambassador is the voice of the king or country who sent him. An ambassador has the authority in his word and when he speaks, he speaks the words of the king. Jesus came with the voice of God.
  1. We see the great high priest. The Latin word for priest is “Pontifex” which means bridge-builder. The priest is the person who builds a bridge between God and man. The priest must know both God and man. He must be able to speak to God for men and speak to men for God. Jesus is the perfect high priest because he is perfectly man and perfectly God; he can represent man to God and God to man. He is the one person by which man can come to God and God comes to man.

Jesus is superior to Moses because not only is he the great apostle and the great high priest, he is the head of the house. Moses was only a part of the house, or family of God. He mediated the law, he did not create it. Moses did not create the house, or family of God, he served in it. Jesus, as creator of the house, stands above the house itself. As the head of the house, as creator and Lord, he deserves all of our worship and adoration. As we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, he will be to us all that we need. He came to build a bridge, that we might know God and be known by him. As we learned in the last chapter, because Jesus has met our sorrows and faced our temptations, he not only knows what help we need; he can give it. He is willing to do so as we come to him and surrender our hearts to him.