A New Kind of Priest

The supernatural has always intrigued people. Intellectuals and atheists may scorn interest in spiritual or supernatural things, but the majority of people in the world are fascinated by it.

Consider what's popular in entertainment and gaming. Superheros, spirits, wizards, and various creatures from the netherworld are featured in some of the most popular TV series, movies, games, and books.

Humans are created with a spiritual capacity and longing. It's built into us. As King Solomon said, "He [God] has put eternity into man's heart" (Eccl 3:11). And yet, we live in a physical world and perceive it through our five physical senses.

God has intervened in human history at various times, especially when He sent His Son Jesus to live on the earth. By sending His Son, God made a way for us to personally connect with the eternity He put into our hearts.

Scripture

Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of the Most High God. He met Abraham and blessed him when Abraham was returning from defeating the kings. Abraham gave Melchizedek a tenth of everything he had captured.

In the first place, Melchizedek’s name means king of righteousness. He is also called king of Salem (which means king of peace). No one knows anything about Melchizedek’s father, mother, or ancestors. No one knows when he was born or when he died. Like the Son of God, Melchizedek continues to be a priest forever. [vss 1-3]

You can see how important Melchizedek was. Abraham gave him a tenth of what he had captured, even though Abraham was the father of the chosen people. Moses’ Teachings say that members of the tribe of Levi who become priests must receive a tenth of everything from the people. The priests collect it from their own people, Abraham’s descendants. Although Melchizedek was not from the tribe of Levi, he received a tenth of everything from Abraham. Then Melchizedek blessed Abraham, who had God’s promises. No one can deny that the more important person blesses the less important person. [vss 4-7]

Priests receive a tenth of everything, but they die. Melchizedek received a tenth of everything, but we are told that he lives. We could even say that when Abraham gave Melchizedek a tenth of everything, Levi was giving a tenth of everything. Levi gave, although later his descendants would receive a tenth of everything. Even though Levi had not yet been born, he was in the body of Abraham when Melchizedek met him. [vss 8-10]

(Hebrews 7:1-10 GW) [Context– Hebrews 7]

KEY PHRASE—

Like the Son of God, Melchizedek continues to be a priest forever

Digging Deeper...

Review the Scriptures above as you answer the following questions

  • What are we told about this person Melchizedek? What do his name and title mean?  [see Gen 14:18-20]

  • What is Abraham's interaction with Melchizedek and what does it tell us about his faith?

  • How is Melchizedek seen as similar to Jesus, the Son of God?

  • Why is the story of this relationship between Abraham and Melchizedek important to believers?

Reflection...

The destiny of life on earth is death. But Jesus interrupted this destiny with His life, death, and resurrection. For those of us who personally trust in the Lord, our destiny is changed. Death is no longer a barrier to eternity for us.

The old order of relationship with God through the Mosaic Law didn't fully open the door to eternity with God. It was temporary and limited by human frailty. This human weakness was overcome by Jesus who also became a new kind of priest, or bridge, between God and humanity.

Melchizedek is a mystery who reminds us of Jesus. He's a prophetic snapshot of Jesus. Because we don't know his origin, it's as if Melchizedek is eternal, and this points us to Jesus who has an eternal priesthood.

Abraham, the great patriarch of Israel, acknowledged Melchizedek as superior to him. Melchizedek blessed Abraham and Abraham gave Melchizedek a tenth of his goods.

The message of this text is that because Jesus is eternal in nature, He's an indestructible priest—a new and different kind of priest than the men under the Old Covenant who were destined to die. Though we cannot see Him now, we can trust Jesus with all that we are.

Make it personal...

Read through the Scripture text again as you consider and answer these questions

  • Have you seen limitations and even weaknesses in spiritual leaders?

  • Have you learned to accept that our human weaknesses make us all alike?

  • Do you understand that our hope and trust in Jesus is secure because He's eternal?

  • Have you learned to look past the limitations of others and yourself to trust in the Lord?

©2017—Word-Strong

Here's a free introduction for the book of Hebrews— Intro to studying Hebrews