Moses, as great as he was, is no match for Jesus.
Consider Jesus. He is the living Word of God and epitome of the gospel message. To experience transformational power, you have to fix yourself to Him. To be transformed from slavery to freedom, from bondage to promise, from sinner to saint, you have to fasten your life to His. He liberates the mind. He illuminates the heart. He sanctifies the soul. Moses was great, but Jesus is greater.
This is where the writer of Hebrews is taking us. From Jesus’ superiority over the angels to His superiority over the greatest man in Jewish history.
“[Consider Jesus] who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God’s house. For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses—as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope” (Heb. 3:2-6).
Moses was strikingly similar to Jesus. He was a faithful mediator. He was born as a Hebrew, chosen by God to be a leader, born while his people were suffering, hid as a child, and died on a hill. He even founded a new people and religion. The list goes on. Moses prefigures the future Messiah.
Jesus, on the other hand, was the faithful and final mediator. Instead of foretelling the Passover Lamb, He was the Passover Lamb. He was everything Moses was and aspired to be, and then some. Moses was a kind of an apostle to the Hebrews and a kind of priest who stood before the presence of God. Jesus, on the other hand, was “the apostle and high priest” who stood in the presence of God — and is God. He is most high, most superior. There is none higher, not even Moses.
Hebrews makes a number of comparisons that are worth mentioning. He uses the word “house” seven times in this passage. This is a reference to a people, not a building. In each use, it speaks to the superiority of Jesus’ position. Jesus has a superior job, superior function, superior role, and a superior duty. All of which relate to His work in redemption.
Jesus was faithful to God. Moses was faithful to God’s house. Jesus had a superior job in redemption. It was to glorify God, first. That is to say, Jesus was sent by God for God primarily (Rom. 3:25-31). Moses, on the other hand, was sent to God’s people for God’s people as one of God’s people (Heb. 3:2).
Jesus was the architect. Moses was the superintendent. Borrowing the language of home building (as employed by Hebrews), Jesus had a superior function because he was the builder of the house (Heb. 3:3-4). Moreover, the house that Jesus built was an eternal house, an eternal people, whereas Moses only supervised an ethnic people.
Jesus was the son. Moses was the servant. Jesus had a superior role in the work of redemption. Moses was faithful as as servant of God, but Christ was faithful as the Son of God (Heb. 3:5-6). The idea of servanthood in this passage is not that of slavery, but of a high-ranking servant. But, a servant, no matter how high, could never hold the position of son, which is Christ’s alone (Jn. 8:35).
Jesus was over the house. Moses was in the house. Jesus had a superior responsibility to the house. He was over the house as the builder and chief shepherd. Moses was in the house as a member. He was an undershepherd who managed as an equal (Heb. 3:5-6).
We would be remiss to skip the final point in this passage. The writer concludes with, “And, we are his house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting our hope.” Again, the message of anchoring ourselves to Christ, holding fast to Him. We are to put our confidence in His work. We need to boast of our hope in Him.
Moses exemplified faithfulness. Jesus objectifies faithfulness. As members of God’s house, we are to be faithful as they were faithful. Trust in the Superior One. Be faithful to Him alone.
This article was adapted from the study guide, Jesus: The Superior One, written by Jacob Abshire, Laura Jackson, Curtis Riddle, and Katie Van Dyke, and based on sermons by Nathan Lino, pastor of Northeast Houston Baptist Church.