Why, holy brothers, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;
I. THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE JEWISH AND CHRISTIAN DISPENSATIONS IN RESPECT TO THEIR NATURE.
1. This distinction of nature is set forth in the word by which the apostle designates the Christian's vocation. He terms it "the heavenly calling."(1) The word rendered here "calling" must not be confounded with the gospel's general invitation to salvation, but refers to that to which believers are entitled through Christ Jesus.
(2) It is termed "heavenly," not in respect to its source, for Judaism and Christianity have a common origin. Both are of God, in respect to the nature of the blessings proffered and the sphere where the blessings are to be enjoyed.
(3) The intimate and exalted fellowship of those united under the banner of this "heavenly calling" is here noticeable: " Holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling."(a) "Brethren" by kinship closer and more enduring than that formed by natural bonds.
(b) "Holy," in the sense of being set apart by God the Father, through Christ His Son. by the Holy Spirit, to one heavenly and sacred aim — the service of God alone.
(c) "Partakers"; literally, "holding things in common." Sharers together of the privileges of the "heavenly calling."(4) Noticeable also are the terms applied to the Lord in connection with the heavenly calling, and the earnest exhortation of the apostle to due consideration of Christ in these offices. "Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus."(a) The word rendered " consider " means to observe well, to consider attentively, to ponder thoughtfully.
(b) The word "apostle" (literally, "one sent"), as applied to our Lord here, is peculiar, this being the only place where this special term is applied to Him. We may regard the word "apostle" as used to avoid ambiguity, and also at the same time to set forth our Lord as having been "sent" of God, and therefore divinely authorised, as was Moses.
(c) The expression "the High Priest of our profession," suggestively represents the Divine authority, and also the redemptive feature so prominent in the Christian system.
II. THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN CHRIST AND MOSES IN THE RELATION THEY SUSTAINED TO THEIR RESPECTIVE DISPENSATIONS.
I. Christ is here represented as being the owner of the "house" He served, Moses being only servant of the "house" he served.
(1) Notice the significance of the term "house." Its meaning, as applied to Christ's house, is given in ver. 6.
(2) The sense in which Christ is, and Moses was not, owner of the "house" each respectively served thus becomes obvious. The apostle, however, even here, holds still prominently before us that it was in His capacity as " Son " He also redeemed.
2. This ownership in the "household of faith" sustains the apostle in his next position — that Christ has a higher claim to homage and honour than Moses.
3. The prominent and practical characteristic here mentioned should not be lost sight of in connection with Christ's superiority to Moses, namely, His faithfulness.
III. PRACTICAL AND SOLEMN INFERENCES FROM THE PRECEDING POSITIONS.
1. An earnest lesson from the history of the past (vers. 7-12).
2. Practical counsel as to what they should do (ver. 13).
3. The only reliable evidence of our union with Christ (ver. 14).
4. The essential importance of every-day religion (vers. 15-18).
(1) To prevent hardness of heart. Heedlessness is the beginning and the sure evidence of hardness (ver. 15).
(2) To avoid that grieving of the Holy Spirit which is inevitably followed by Divine judgment (vers. 16, 17).
5. The fearful cause of all defection from God and of all sin against God — "unbelief" (ver. 19).
(1) It was the cause of the first sin of our first parents in Eden.
(2) It was the cause of the first murder on record.
(3) It was the prolific cause of all those terrible effects which culminated in the destruction of all religious life in the antediluvians, with the exception of one man, and led to the destruction of the whole race of mankind save Noah and his family. Oh, what a hydra-headed, destructive monster is unbelief!
(D. C. Hughes, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;