Read Hebrews 3
Jesus Greater Than Moses
1 Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest. 2 He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. 3 Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. 4 For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. 5 “Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house,” bearing witness to what would be spoken by God in the future. 6 But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.
Warning Against Unbelief
7 So, as the Holy Spirit says:
“Today, if you hear his voice,
8 do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion,
during the time of testing in the wilderness,
9 where your ancestors tested and tried me,
though for forty years they saw what I did.
10 That is why I was angry with that generation;
I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray,
and they have not known my ways.’
11 So I declared on oath in my anger,
‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ”
12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. 15 As has just been said:
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion.”
16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.
This chapter starts out with a pretty blatant command: “consider Jesus.” Other translations interpret this action step as “fix your eyes on Jesus” or “think about Jesus.” The Hebrews were in the midst of some distressing days and were more than likely being tempted to return to the Levitical system. The author knows that the first step in encouraging these Christians in their faith is to remind them to take their eyes off of their circumstances and consider Jesus. Consider who He is. Consider what He has done for them. Consider what He has promised them.
In verse 12, we learn that the reason we need to take this step to set our minds on Jesus is to protect our hearts from unbelief. Sin breeds evil and unbelief in our hearts. Then verse 13 goes on to say that the deceitfulness of sin can literally harden our hearts. We also need to pay attention to the fact that sin is described as deceitful (misleading, fraudulent, tricky), because this may mean that our hearts are becoming hardened and we might not even realize it!
This may seem like all bad news, but take heart because these warnings come with a solution! Verse 13 states “But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” God knows we need help. We were not meant to bear burdens by ourselves or walk roads alone. God wants us to truly live in community with other believers who will know us so well that they will recognize when our hearts are starting to get calloused. They will not only tell us about it, but they will encourage us away from sin and back to focusing on Jesus.
We need to be reminded, just as the Hebrews did, that sin is powerful and through lies that can lead to unbelief, sin has the ability to change the state of our hearts. The graciousness of God can be seen and felt by the fact that God doesn’t leave us on our own to let our hearts continue to harden. Instead, He surrounds us with a community of believers who can advise us, encourage us, and admonish us to seek Truth and consider Jesus in all that we do. May we seek to constantly encourage those around us to consider who Jesus is, consider what He has done for us, and consider what He has promised us for our future.
- How often do you consider Jesus in your day to day affairs?
- Would you describe the condition of your heart as soft or hard? Why?
- Do you allow others to speak into the state of your heart?
Did You Know?
Verses 16-18 are a callback to Israel’s sinfulness resulting in them wandering in the desert for 40 years, causing an entire generation to miss out on the Promised Land.