Thus far in Hebrews we have seen the constant urging to hold fast to our Lord Jesus. In this passage, he continues his exhortation by elaborating on the priesthood of Christ, a teaching that the author has briefly discussed in 3:17.
Did You Know...?
1. Melchizedek (5:6): Read Genesis 14:18-20 for the historical recording about Melchizedek.
- We Have A Great High Priest (4:14-16)
- Selection of Earthly Priests (5:1-3)
- Divine Appointment of Eternal High Priest (5:4-6)
- The High Priest Made Perfect (5:7-10)
In what ways was Jesus like the priests from among men?Hide Answer
He can sympathize with our weaknesses (4:15). He was tempted in all points (4:15). He was appointed to represent men pertaining to God [i.e. in matter related to God] (1:3). He offered sacrifice for sins (5:1,3). He can have compassion (5:2). He was appointed (5:4-6).
In what ways was He different?Hide Answer
He has passed through the heavens (4:14). He is the Son of God (4:14; 5:5,8). He was without sin (4:15). He is a priest forever (5:6). He is a priest in the order of Melchizedek (5:6).
How does this paragraph relate to the penetrating effect of God’s word as discussed in 4:12-13?Hide Answer
God’s word reveals and makes us aware of the weaknesses and sins in us. But 4:15 assures us that Christ is a High Priest who can sympathize with our weaknesses, although He Himself was without sin. Therefore, we can come boldly before the throne of grace just as we are to obtain mercy and find grace in time of need.
Explain why we should hold fast our confession based on 14.Hide Answer
Because Jesus is a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, and because He is the Son of God, our faith in Him is surely not in vain. He is the supreme God and He has conquered sin. We have every reason to put our trust in Him for our salvation, and we should hold on to such a conviction to the end.
What enables our High Priest to sympathize with us?Hide Answer
He was in all points tempted as we are. He has experienced the suffering of temptation when He was in the flesh (2:18). That is why He can understand what we are going through and can be merciful to us.
According to verse 15, what is unique about our great High Priest?Hide Answer
He was without sin.
What feelings do you get from the term “throne of grace”?Hide Answer
“Throne” represents power and sovereignty. But this throne is not the throne of judgment, which conjures up the feeling of fear. Instead, it is a throne from which grace is granted. We can come to God, who is high above all things but yet loving enough to care for our needs. Thus, the throne of grace gives us a sense of both awe and assurance.
What can we receive at the throne of grace? How do these relate to the humanity and deity of Jesus Christ?Hide Answer
We can obtain mercy and find grace at the throne of grace. Mercy relates to Jesus’ humanity, for His mercy is based on the fact that He was also in the flesh just as we are and suffered temptation just as we do. Grace relates to His divinity because, as God Himself, only He has the authority to freely pardon us of our sins and justify us through faith in Him.
How do we come to the throne of grace (16)?Hide Answer
We can come to the throne of grace through Jesus Christ our great High Priest (cf. 10:19 22). This means putting our faith in the Lord Jesus, confessing our sins, asking for His help, and obeying His word.
What attitude does the author encourage us to have when coming to the throne of grace?Hide Answer
We are urged to come boldly to the throne of grace. Despite our sins and wretchedness, we can approach God confidently through the blood of Jesus Christ.
How did Jesus fulfill the duty of a High Priest as mentioned in this paragraph?Hide Answer
Just as the earthly priests were required to offer sacrifices for sin, Jesus also offered a sacrifice for sin. But instead of offering bulls and goats, He offered His own body and shed His own blood (10:5-10,19).
What is the main point of this paragraph?Hide Answer
Jesus did not confer the honor of priesthood upon Himself. He was called by God to be High Priest just as Aaron was. In this sense, He was a true High Priest.
What key words here set Jesus apart from other priests?Hide Answer
“My Son,” ‘forever,” “according to the order of Melchizedek.”
In what sense was Jesus’ prayer heard? What was He asking?Hide Answer
Jesus prayed the Father to take the cup from Him if it was His will, but He asked that the Father’s will be done nevertheless (Mt 26:39; Mk 14:36; Lk 22:42). He was heard because an angel appeared from heaven to strengthen Him (Lk 22:43), and consequently, the Father’s will was fulfilled on the cross.
Why was Jesus heard? Explain your answer.Hide Answer
He was heard because of His godly fear. Jesus had committed Himself completely to God and surrendered His own will. His prayers and supplications were all centered on the Father’s will.
What can you learn from Jesus about your prayers?Hide Answer
Jesus’ reverent submission serves as a model for our prayers. Instead of demanding things we desire, we should ask that God’s will be done, even if it may be contrary to our will. We also ought to imitate Jesus’ earnest in prayer. Just as He offered up prayers with vehement cries and tears, we can also pour out our hearts and pray with importunity, asking that God’s will be done through us.
What does it mean that Jesus learned obedience?Hide Answer
This does not mean that Jesus was initially disobedient. Rather, it means that although He was not required to be obedient, being God Himself, He chose to empty Himself, took the form of a servant, and obeyed to the point of death (Php 2:6-8). He learned obedience in the sense that He actually went through the experience of obedience.
How did his sufferings enable Him to learn obedience?Hide Answer
In order to endure sufferings, He had to deny Himself and obey the Father’s will. As much as He desire to be delivered from the bitter cup of the cross, He chose the path to Golgotha out of His obedience.
Obedience comes by sufferings. What lessons can you learn from this?Hide Answer
Obedience to God is not just in matters that we agree with or like. More often than not, obedience entails sufferings. Only when we are willing to suffer can we be ready to obey in all circumstances.
What two aspects of Jesus enabled Him to be the author of eternal salvation (see verse 8)?Hide Answer
Jesus was the glorious Son of God. He has the power to save. But He was not just a God who was high above us and unfamiliar with our weakness. He was also the obedient Son. It was only after He was perfected through sufferings that He became fit to be the author of eternal salvation.
Whom is Jesus the Savior of?Hide Answer
He is the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him (9).