King James Version (KJV)
Ch 4.14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
In the previous chapter of this great Epistle to the Hebrews, the writer shifts the thrust of His focus to the fact that this Jewish Assembly has a Greater High Priest in Christ Jesus. On this subject He will spend considerable time in justifying and proving this position, in fact throughout the rest of the Epistle. Not only is Jesus a more perfect High Priest, but because of His Sufferings at the hands of the Romans upon the cross, He knows and is moved by our infirmities. He is not only able to mediate at the altar of God, but can help us with all of our problems. He was, and is God! His Humanity is now Highly Exalted at the Right Hand of the Father, and further represents Humanity. Within that representation is the Glory of what God wanted for Adam and Eve, and all of Humanity from the beginning. One day it will be so, for being made a little lower than the Angels in the beginning, we will be equal to them. Both creations are dear, and special with God, we at first were made lower that He one day would say, “…Come Up Higher…!” The humble shall be exalted. Now because He can be moved to compassion for us, and He represents us, we can approach the Altar before the Father and make our petitions known before God, and all the Heavenly Hosts. He has been appointed by God a High Priest after the Order of Melchizedek, a higher Order than that of Aaron.
This was not a job you sought for, or joined up for. It was, and still is the Call of God, that normally a man wrestles with, and then surrenders to. God calls men for particular duties, and a man really doesn’t choose God. God chooses Him. God chose the lineage of Levi to serve in the matters of Tabernacle, and the Temple. The Levitical Priesthood, whose portion was the Lord God, served on the outside of the veil, or curtain. The Aaronic Priesthood could enter behind the curtain, both were Levites however.
5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.
Jesus did not make himself a High Priest, God appointed Him in the beginning within the forethought of God.
7 I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. (MT).
7 Declaring the ordinance of the Lord: the Lord said to me, Thou art my Son, to-day have I begotten thee. (LXX)
6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
God made Him a Son, and a High Priest, not by the will of Man, nor the Son of Man, but God. Not only did He make Jesus a Son, and a Priest, but declared Him so, by an Older, and Higher Order than that of Aaron.
4 The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. (MT).
4 The Lord sware, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchisedec. (LXX).
7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;
This is an example of the Infirmities that Christ Jesus our High Priest was compassed about with. These infirmities were perhaps to the extreme, but the salvation of Man came at a steep price, in order to restore Man to God, causing him to once again share in the relationship with God that Adam, and Jesus had shared and enjoyed. Jesus would restore a beautiful Communion between Man and God! The Gap was being bridged by a Sacrifice that was about to be made with reference to the verse above. His manhood was certainly unnerved, and afraid, as He groaned in the Garden. Whether or not Jesus consciously knew exactly what was going to happen to him throughout His entire life is questionable. At some point however it began to become very apparent to him, that He was going to die a cruel and shameful death. I believe that He knew quite a while before His passion in the Garden.
8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
Even though He were a Son, and was Heard by the Father, and those close to Him in the Garden, the price still had to be paid in order for Jesus to finish the Work of the Father. This next part of the verse above has a much deeper meaning than may be first apparent. Jesus knew He had passed the point of no return with respect to the fact that He was going to be killed. This Life has a certain unseen inertia that continues to push us in a certain direction. I liken it to a merry-go-round that is spinning too fast to jump off. His Learning Obedience is referring to the Will of God being made real to Jesus by the events that were happening to Him, and by this time it was too late to change this inertia that was moving in His Life. His fears, His inklings, the things that were always in the back of His mind, were now upon Him. He was and is suffering at what is coming upon Him. His arrest, having an illegal, and false trial, with false accusers, His unjust sentence, and His most terrible flogging. The will of God is being confirmed in His mind, soul, and spirit, by what is happening to Him. The inertia is continuing now to push Him even further to the Crucifixion. His body is racked with pain, His mind, soul, and spirit are being pierced through by the Mockery, of those whom He came to Heal. The spirits of darkness are mocking, and spiritually goring Him. Sin is evil, unfeeling, full of death, and arrogant. Sin is mocking Him, through their vessels, both the Jews, and the Romans. He then has the most terrible experience of His life, suddenly He cannot find that comforting gentle flow of the Holy Spirit anywhere, darkness has surrounded Him.
He then cries forth with a Loud voice “…My God, My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?…” These are the Most Heart Breaking, and Gut Wrenching Words I Have Ever Heard in my mind! He is all alone, to die alone without the One that has been His all. His suffering is Maximum, momentarily the Work of the Father will be Complete. He knows it’s almost over, death is near, moments before His Last Breath on Earth, it’s all apparent now, He has obeyed the Will of the Father. His last words with His dying breaths are “…Into thine hands I commend my spirit, IT IS FINISHED!” The Father’s Work is Finished! The Gap has been bridged. The Veil has been rent, Man can approach God directly now, a communion with Him can be engaged and enjoyed again. A Roman Soldier cries forth “…Truly this Man was the Son of God!…”
9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
Jesus was made perfect, or in other words, He successfully completed His Mission from the Father, through His suffering, and Death. His reason for coming to this earth, and becoming a Man was completely fulfilled. He truly Humbled Himself totally, and completely, costing Him everything! An innocent man’s blood was shed for the sins of many. God honored His sacrifice, and hath Highly exalted Him at His right hand, and has put everything under His feet. He that humbleth himself, shall be exalted! He as High Priest offered up himself during Passover, and thus saving God’s eldest son, Israel, but unknown to Israel at the time is that there is a Younger Brother to come into family, the Genitle:
2 Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.
He became the Author of Eternal Salvation unto ALL THEM, to include those who were out of the way, the Gentile, that obey Him.
I am reminded here of the words of Isaiah, and Zechariah as well:
16. Come near to me, hear this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, I was there: and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, has sent me.
In this beautiful text above we see The Father YHWH, The Word (the Son), and the Holy Spirit together in Unity, Purpose, and Power. YHWH, and the Holy Spirit, send the Son for His assigned mission, that of Redemption and restoration of Man to God. This allows for the New Covenant to be given when the ascended Christ, and the Father YHWH send the Holy Spirit to them in Jerusalem, awaiting the Promise of the Father. The Holy Spirit writes the New Covenant in their hearts, and in Ours.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
12:10: And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
All of these things that were to come to pass, were already a reality in the Spirit of God long before they were enacted. Jesus, who was with God, and was God, would become a man of destiny, who would change everything.
10 Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.
Called of God an High Priest, as seen in the verses above, Jesus was before the Levitical Priesthood, or an Earthly Priesthood! He was called after the Order of Melchizedek, or a Spiritual, a Heavenly Priesthood! For He was from Heaven!
11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.
Indeed the writer has many more things to say concerning Jesus, and Melchizedek! What he has to say is deep, and complicated, and further exacerbated by the fact that they had little understanding of the basics about Jesus. For almost this whole chapter, and the next few are about Melchizedek, and Jesus compared. By the time of the release, and assisted return of the captives from the Babylonian Captivity (540 BC), to the mid first century AD, there was a High amount of study, and interest in Angels. There were at least 3 or 4 traditions within different streams of Judaism at the time that speak of Michael the Archangel, and Melchizedek, as Key Instruments in service to God and His people. They are interchangeably Messiah’s of Redemption, Protection, Judgement, and Commanders of War in Heaven against Satan. Their names are interchanged within many texts, as if they are really the same being. Melchizedek, is mentioned in 3 texts within our Bibles, while Michael is mentioned by name 6 times. They are hinted at though by similar titles, many times. This is why the writer says: “…Of Whom We Have Many Things To Say, And Hard To Be Uttered…,”! Our Next Article in this series will be dedicated to Melchizedek. In it we will compare the ancient traditions, and what they say concerning Michael, Melchizedek, and Jesus.
12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
“…seeing Ye Are Dull Of Hearing…!” Or of very little understanding. By this time some 30 to 40 years after the resurrection, this assembly was still not secure on their foundation. It is quite possible that the words of Jesus are appropriate to describe the real problem this assembly is having:
And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.
They are trying to be faithful and loyal to 2 Covenants at the same time; consequently they are not able to commit, and grow in either one. As written in James, “…A Double-minded man is Unstable in All His Ways…!” They are on the fence, not knowing which side to jump off to. They are in a straight betwixt two, do they follow the Mosaic Covenant, or The New Covenant? For only One must have Priority. The writer is trying to show them, and convince them that even by their very Word of God, there is a Superior Covenant, with Superior Promises, with a Superior High Priest to officiate, in a Superior realm, that is Heavenly or Spiritual, and not Earthly or Carnal, and that one was to lead them to the Better. As a consequence of not growing much, they still need Milk, instead of Meat, for they are unskillful in the Word.
13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
A direct consequence of being double-minded. You see it was important for the early church especially to be Skillful in the Word, for they were under the Gun if you will. Most had no scriptures to carry with them at that time, but needed to be proficient, not just in quoting scriptures, but they had to make the case! Especially this Assembly, being Jewish, and in Jerusalem. They had strong, and powerful opposition to their new beliefs. It is apparent that they were not sufficient for this by the things the writer has to say. On the other hand, I wonder even today, how many Christians could sit down with someone and open the Word of God, just the Old Testament by the way, and make the case for Christ Jesus? I feel certain, Not Many! Not Many could even by using the New Testament. Two thousand years later most of the Body of Christ, still needs, and uses Milk. We have the Bible everywhere, those of the Hebrew congregation did not. My professor said something once, and I can no longer remember who He was quoting, perhaps the Great Theologian, Rudolph Bultmann, when He said: “…the Greatest Failure of the 20th century Church, is the Failure to Educate it’s People!”
14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Spiritual Growth comes by Exercising their Spiritual Beings, and Spiritual Gifts. After a little while they would become Spiritually strong, and ever growing. The former Covenant was Carnal, or concerning Fleshly things, and did not provide for Spiritual Growth. It was to guide them, and make them ready for something Greater, and New!