Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Today, in Mercy, the writer of Hebrews continues to shine light on the superior “priesthood” of Jesus Christ – that aspect of Christ’s ministry that breaks heaven open for us and reinstates us as God’s children.
Hebrews calls Christ a priest “according to the order of Melchizedek” – an order above and beyond the priesthood of Aaron and Levi.
Although there are a few references to Melchizedek in scripture, only one narrative refers to him:
After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).
Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying,
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
Creator of heaven and earth.
And praise be to God Most High,
who delivered your enemies into your hand.”
Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
Melchizedek, whose priesthood preceded even Abraham, is offered in Hebrews as a prototype of Jesus who fulfills and perfects the Old Testament promises.
Does this matter to us modern day Christians who can barely say “Melchizedek “, let alone spell it? And if it does matter, how?
An answer may be revealed in our Gospel today.
In it, Jesus challenges the old, Pharisaical, law-bound way of thinking. As the new and perfect “priest”, Jesus breaks that way of thinking with the transformation of love.
- This man with the withered hand is more important than the law.
- This act of healing and wholeness is more important than ritual adherence.
- The priesthood of Jesus is the breakthrough revelation of what God really desires – mercy, not sacrifice.
Music: Love Broke Thru ~ Toby Mac