Read: Hebrews 7
In Hebrews 7, we focus on a somewhat “under the radar” character in the person of Melchizedek. Moses Y. Lee says that he “is foundational for understanding how Jesus occupies the offices of king and priest—a dual honor that finds little to no precedent among Israelite kings.”
One of the few places that Melchizedek is mentioned elsewhere in the Bible is in Genesis 14:18-20–
18 And Melchizedek, the king of Salem and a priest of God Most High, brought Abram some bread and wine. 19 Melchizedek blessed Abram with this blessing:
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
Creator of heaven and earth.
20 And blessed be God Most High,
who has defeated your enemies for you.”
Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the goods he had recovered.
And also in Psalm 110:4–
The Lord has taken an oath and will not break his vow:
“You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.”
At this point, you’re probably asking yourself, “why is Jesus being compared to someone who’s so seemingly obsolete? The importance of Melchizedek lies in his foreshadowing of Jesus. He was not a “preincarnate” Jesus, but rather was a “type” of Jesus (for more on Biblical typology, check out this article). We see that was a superior priest to the priesthood of the Levites, in that Abraham (of whom the Levites find their lineage) tithed to Melchizedek, and Melchizedek in turn offered blessing to Abraham.
Essentially, the significance of Melchizedek comes in the form of him representing the offices of both priest and king. Jesus, as we have seen throughout the book, is the superior priest and king.
Lee offers us some good application as to how this passage should encourage us:
“Believers can rest knowing that Jesus is the perfect King who rules with infinite power and justice. Believers are also comforted knowing Jesus is the perfect Priest who ministers with infinite mercy and sympathizes with us in our weaknesses (Heb. 4:15).
As a result of our union with Christ, believers are reminded of our Melchizedekian calling to expand his kingdom through truth and justice as members of God’s royal family and to be a channel of mercy and healing to the covenant community, as well as to the rest of the world.”
What stood out to you about the life of Melchizedek?
By: Graham Withers
The meaning of his name meaning king of righteousness and king of peace. Also, his eternality. I think that he was used to foreshadow the new covenant to come. Appreciate the verses where he was referenced throughout the Bible.
Good thoughts Joey!
Melchizedek Is described as the King of peace v.2. Only Jesus brings us the peace that we crave - the peace we’re searching for. He said, I give you peace, not like the world gives. Why do I look for it everywhere but the place I can really find it?
Jesus had “the power of a life that cannot be destroyed” v.16. The life that Jesus lived will always serve as a benchmark - an example to all mankind. No matter who tries to remove the memory, or mar His reputation, it lives on!
Jesus as our faithful High Priest (Melchizedek) “ever lives to intercede for us”. How amazing and comforting!
Almost missed it, as I was reading it: Abraham gave a tithe to Melchizedek, (v.4). Levi, as a son to Abraham, gave tithe to Melchizedek, (v.9-10). Thus an early entry in the declaration that Christ is the "guarantee of a better covenant," (v.22), which the Levitical law could not obtain.
The more we read about the law, the more God seems to intend for us to understand that the law was designed to take us to the cross, where we see the promise of everlasting life, forgiveness, and rest in Him. As I give thanks to God for that I also wonder at our tendency to do the opposite with God's law.
Really good perspective Korbet!
I am reading the Bible chronologically and am in the middle of Leviticus. I’ve been in the parts about rules for sacrifice for a bit, thinking about how the priests had to have been sacrificing animals from sunup to sundown to atone for the sins of the 3 million people with them in the wilderness and for their own sins! So Hebrews 7:27 stood out to me! Christ’s divine and holy character is yet another proof of the superiority of His priesthood.
Verse 19 jumped out as we’re walking through Hebrews, “The Law never made anything perfect.”
The Law was the content of faith before Jesus—it was how the people took God at his word. And yet, it totally and completely looked forward to the majesty of Christ, our perfect priest and king. Post Mosaic Law, combining these two offices weren’t allowed, which is why Saul was disenfranchised by making a sacrifice on his own. Mel and Jesus predate the Mosaic Law so that Jesus might be king through lineage and priest because, as my seminary professor put it, God said so.
That’s good tyler!
“For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.”
Thankful for the sacrifice of Jesus being once for all. I appreciate the picture and foreshadowing that Melchizedek gave of Jesus. I love how the Old Testament is all pointing to Jesus in one way or another. I can’t imagine living in a time where sacrifices needed to be made so often. Thankful that Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice that offers us a way to God even 2,000 years later.
Thankfulness is a great response to this passage!
How amazing is the eternal history of salvation!!! To God be the glory!
I am enjoying the study this week of the book of Hebrews and all of the blogs, Tyler's video on Hebrews 1 and commentaries. What I like about Jumpstart is that the studies are in-depth. Each time I read a passage, I see a new insight that I didn't see before. This is true about Melchizedek. Hebrews tells a little more about him. According to the passage is he was both priest and king, no genealogy. Jesus is our high priest and king after the order of Melchizedek. Fascinating scripture with so much insight.
Good insight Norma!
Thanks for clarify this. It has been a little confusing!
Hope it was helpful!