Even Greater Than Moses
We have seen that Jesus is greater than the angels because he is the Son, “The radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature, [who] upholds the universe by the word of his power.” The angels are beings who were created through, by, and for him. And yet, though he surpasses the angels as the Creator is greater than that which he creates, he humbled himself to be made “a little while lower than the angels,” that he may assume our humanity, suffer, die, rise, and ascend, that he may be our faithful High Priest at the Right Hand of God.
Now, the Preacher turns from the angels to compare the Son with Moses—the greatest of all of Israel’s prophets, who was faithful in all God’s house, for “the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend” and Moses’ face would even shine after their meeting (Exodus 33:11; 34:29-35). And yet, even Moses cannot compare to our Lord. Moses was faithful in God’s house as a steward, as one who had been given a task and fulfilled that task as well as any man ever could. But the Son’s faithfulness is not that of a steward but as one who builds the house, as one who rules the house, as one who not only lays the foundation of the house but IS the foundation of the house, that house being the people of God.
Now why is the Preacher going to such lengths to show the superiority of Christ over men and angels? As one reads Hebrews, one senses that these people were struggling in the midst of persecution and tempted to renounce Christ and return to their former way of life—perhaps to Judaism which was a legal religion in the empire, whereas Christianity was not (10:32-39). Or perhaps they planned to return to the synagogue and use the camouflage of Judaism to hide their true identity as Christians. Whatever the case, they were being tempted by hostile outside forces to do something that would ultimately compromise their faith, and the Preacher is trying to keep that from happening. And his greatest argument is just what we have seen: The surpassing greatness of the Son who gave himself for them to become their faithful High Priest who will never leave them nor forsake them (13:5). He spends this entire sermon showing how the Son is the fulfillment of all the Old Testament ever spoke of—all the prophecies, promises, laws, psalms—it was always all about the Son. Why trade the fulfillment of the promise for the hope of the promise? And the same may be asked of us. You will be tempted to turn back. But look to the Son. He far surpasses everything anyone could ever offer you or any trial you shall ever have to endure.