In our study of Hebrews chapter three, we will look at the fact that Jesus was not just a "good man" but, in fact, is the only way to a right relationship with God.
Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.
Paul, reminds these Jewish brothers of what we saw in chapter 2 which was the fact that Jesus left heaven to come and live among us as a man. He did this to share in our humanity and to overcome the power of the devil. Because of this fact, we are reminded to stay focused on Him and not be distracted by the temporary things of this world.
He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God's house.
Now, Paul begins to compare Jesus with the greatest man the Jews had known which was Moses. Moses was faithful in leading God's people to the edge of the promised land just as Jesus was faithful in showing God's people how we enter the promised land.
Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything
There are people today that believe the fact that Jesus was a "good man" and some will even say that He was a prophet. But, as we see here, He was not just a prophet sharing the words of God with us or a leader showing us where to go. He was there when the "promised land" and everything else was created. Because of that fact, He is superior to all men including Moses.
Moses was faithful as a servant in all God's house, testifying to what would be said in the future. But Christ is faithful as a son over God's house.
We have all probably heard the saying "blood is thicker than water" and that is sorta what Paul is sharing here. Moses was a loyal servant of God and was honored because of that but Jesus is God's Son and is in charge of the house (the Master).
And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.
Now, Paul gives us the transition from the physical to the spiritual house. The Jews were used to the temple (house of God) but did not understand that God was no longer going to dwell in a building that was built by man. Jesus did not come and die to build up a fancy place for God to meet with His people but to open our hearts so that God can dwell within us. The same type of thing is happening today as many jump from "church" to "church" looking for God without realizing that God wants to dwell within us 24/7 and not be put into some pretty building and visited once a week. Many have used this verse to say that we can lose our salvation as Paul said "if we hold on" but that is not what he was saying. He is reminding the Jews (and us) that we are a part of this spiritual house only because of what Jesus has done on our behalf. He was talking about the fact that there were many people that were looking for another way to be a part of this spiritual house. The same type of thing is happening today as there is a concentrated effort to deceive people into thinking that there is another way and that we are all going to get there just in different ways. My friends, that is a lie straight out of the depths of hell!
So, as the Holy Spirit says: 'Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert, where your fathers tested and tried me and for forty years saw what I did. That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, "Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways." So I declared on oath in my anger, "They shall never enter my rest."'
Paul reminds the Hebrews of the effects of doubt as their fathers had failed to believe that God had given them the land of Canaan. Because of this doubt, they wandered in the desert until that generation had perished. We, too, must believe that God has given us salvation through Jesus Christ and it is ours. If we fail to believe, we will wander this earth and then we will die without receiving what he has planned for us.
See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.
What did Paul mean by "turns away from the living God"? There are those who try to say that he is speaking of a believer losing their salvation but that is not what he was speaking of. Paul was talking about a person that has not accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. They turn away (reject) God's way of salvation and, after a period of time, their heart is so hardened that they no longer hear the call of God upon their life. Their Jewish fathers had rejected God's provision of the land of Canaan (they had not entered the land and then left it).
We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. As has just been said: 'Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.'
Paul repeats the quote from Psalms as it speaks to the issue of trusting God. Once again, there are people who misinterpret Paul's use of the phrase "hold firmly" to say that he is warning of losing our salvation but that is not what he is saying. He says that we are to hold onto the confidence that we had at first but what confidence is he talking about? He is speaking of the confidence that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. If we hold fast to that (and we will if we are in Christ) then nothing can separate us from Him. If we come to Christ trusting in Him for our righteousness, then we do not have to worry about stumbling and losing what we have been given. All the Jews had to do was to believe that God had given them the promised land and to take hold of it. It is the same with Jesus and our salvation; just grab it!
Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.
The rest that is spoken of, here, is different than the rest of salvation. This rest speaks of God's provision in the world for today. As with Israel when they refused to enter the promised land, we, as Christians, can choose to doubt God's provision for all of our needs. If we do so, we (like Israel) will get a wilderness experience where we learn that God is the provider and sustainer. We can chase around looking for the blessing or we can accept what Jesus has done and is willing to do. If we are His, then, He will allow us to rest in Him and know that He is our Sustainer. If we believe and trust in Him, then, we will be blessed (not have to worry) about our food, clothes, shelter, etc.