Hebrews 3: Listen
September 5, 2019
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
The Book of Hebrews is making the argument to Hebrew Christians facing persecution for following Christ that to go back to Judaism was unacceptable. Why? Because Christ is better than the great Old Testament heroes, even greater than angels. Going back to Judaism was not a safe option, for Christ is the fulfillment of all that God has planned and is indeed his last Word.
In this passage, we see that Christ is better even than the great Old Testament leader of God’s people, Moses. In the same way that a builder of the house is greater than the one who serves in the house, so Christ (the builder of God’s house) is better than Moses (the one who served faithfully in the house).
What that means is that the warnings in the Bible about refusing the God who spoke through Moses are even more substantial and serious to those who refuse to listen now to God speak in Christ.
“So, as the Holy Spirit says: ‘Today, if you hear his voice’”
This is not just saying “if you are sensing a feeling of God speaking to you, make sure you listen” – though if that feeling is accompanied by biblical truth, then you must most assuredly listen. This is saying that “because Christ is God’s last Word, to reject Christ is to be in as serious a situation as those people who rejected going into the Promised Land and so perished in the wilderness.”
The author of Hebrews is saying to these Hebrew Christians that while it might seem safer – and more politically acceptable – to forget Jesus and go back to Judaism, actually it is much less safe. That is because rejecting Jesus means rejecting God!
The application, then, for us today is to ensure that we listen to God speak to us in Christ. That we do not reject Christ. That we hold on to Christ. That when someone at school or work mocks, ridicules, or even persecutes us, that we are wise to still hold on to Christ.
The Hebrew Christians were being tempted to go back to Judaism. Many people today who grew up in Christian homes or going to Christian schools are being tempted to go forward to a post-Christian way of life. But in either case (whether being tempted to go back or to go forward), abandoning Christ is the path of disaster.
Stick to Christ! And, “Today if you hear his voice,” listen!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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