Summary of Hebrews 4:14-5:10:
We have a great high priest (Jesus Christ) who has gone through the heavens and who has been tempted in every way, just as we have–but remained without sin. He can sympathize with out weaknesses.
4:14-5:10: Jesus is our great high priest who has gone through the heavens who can sympathize with our weaknesses for he has been tempted in every way just as we are–and remain without sin. Let us hold firmly to our faith, approach God with confidence so we may receive mercy and grace to help us in our time of need.
Every high priest is selected among men and is appointed to represent them in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for our sins. He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and going astray and offer sacrifices for our sins.
Priests must be called by God. Jesus was called to be a High Priest by God in the order of Melchizedek. Jesus prayed to God and he was heard because of his submission. He was obedient and made perfect for our eternal salvation for all who obey him.
BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 14, Day 2: Hebrews 4:14-5:10
3a) Can sympathize with our weaknesses, who has been tempted in every way, he has to be able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray so he has to offer sacrifices for his own sin and for the people’s. And he must be called by God.
b) He was sinless, perfect, and became the source of our eternal salvation for all who obey him, and he was designated by God to be the high priest in the order of Melchizedek. He was great, he passed through the heavens, and he is the Son of God.
4a) Jesus used scripture to fight the devil. He knows how we feel, how weak we can become, how helpless we feel. He helps us because he himself has been through it.
b) Personal Question. My answer: Every day sins, sinning when others aren’t around, indulging in sin when I know it’s wrong at times, fighting the devil at times. To know Jesus faced our same sins and overcame. So, too, can I.
5) Part Personal Question. My answer: Obedience. To obey as well to be like Jesus.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 14, Day 2: Hebrews 4:14-5:10
We studied this same passage in the study of Genesis as well!
End Notes BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 14, Day 2: Hebrews 4:14-5:10
The idea that Jesus is our High Priest was mentioned before (Hebrews 2:17 and Hebrews 3:1). But now the idea will be developed more extensively.
Seeing then: The writer to the Hebrews calls attention to the specific, unique character of Jesus as our High Priest:
- No other High Priest was called great.
- No other High Priest passed through the heavens.
- No other High Priest is the Son of God.
Thus far the writer to the Hebrews was careful to document both the deity of Jesus (Hebrews 1:4-14), while careful to also remember His compassionate humanity (Hebrews 2:5-18). It means that Jesus, God the Son, enthroned in heaven, our High Priest, can sympathize with our weaknesses.
To the ancient Greeks, the primary attribute of God was apatheia, the essential inability to feel anything at all. Jesus knows and He feels what we go through. The ancient Greek word translated sympathize literally means “to suffer along with.”
Jesus added humanity to His deity, and lived among us. You can’t truly understand a pain unless you have been there.
Jesus faced temptation much more severely than we ever have or ever will. The Sinless One knows temptation in ways we don’t, because only the one who never gives into temptation knows the full strength of temptation.
Jesus can sympathize with our weakness and our temptation, but He cannot sympathize with our sin.
Boldly means: without pride, constantly, without reservation, without fancy words, with confidence, and with persistence.
The throne of God is a throne of grace. When we come, we may obtain mercy (this is not getting what we deserve) and find grace (this is getting what we don’t deserve) in our time of need.
Ancient Jewish Rabbis taught that God had two thrones, one of mercy and one of judgment. They said this because they knew that God was both merciful and just, but they could not reconcile these two attributes of God. They thought that perhaps God had two thrones to display the two aspects of His character. On one throne He showed judgment and on the other throne mercy. But here, in light of the finished work of Jesus, we see mercy and judgment reconciled into one throne of grace.
Thankfully, God provides help in our time of need. No request is too small, because He wants us to be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer… let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6)
God established both the priesthood and the office of high priest in the days of Moses, as described in Exodus 28 and following. The writer to the Hebrews summarizes the work of the high priest, in saying “that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins.” The primary job of the high priest was to officiate, either directly or indirectly through lower-ranking priests, sacrifices unto the Lord.
The phrase “gifts and sacrifices for sins” reminds us that not every sacrifice offered a blood atonement for sin. Many of the ritual sacrifices were intended as simple gifts to God, expressing thanks and desiring fellowship.
History of the High Priest in Ancient Israel
On the Day of Atonement, the high priest had to sacrifice for himself first, to remind he and the nation that he had sin to atone for, just like the rest of the people of Israel (Leviticus 16:1-6).
He was appointed by God for His people. The principle is that no man takes this honor to himself. It was given by right of birth, and therefore chosen by God. It was an honor no man could take to himself.
The true priesthood and high priest came from a specific line of descent. Every priest came from Jacob, Abraham’s grandson, whose name was changed to Israel. Every priest came from Levi, one of Israel’s twelve sons. God set the tribe of Levi apart as a tribe to serve Him and represent Him to the whole nation of Israel (Exodus 13:2 and Numbers 3:40-41). Levi had three sons: Gershon, Kohath and Merari. Each of these family lines had their own duties. The family of Gershon had care of the tabernacle’s screen (veil), fence, and curtains (Numbers 3:25-26). The family of Kohath had care of the tabernacle’s furnishings, such as the lampstand, altar of incense, and the ark of the covenant (Numbers 3:31-32). The family of Merari had care of the boards and pillars of the tabernacle and the fence (Numbers 3:36-37). These families were not properly priests, though they were Levites.
The priesthood itself came through Aaron, the brother of Moses, of the family of Kohath. Aaron’s family and their descendants made up the priests and the high priest, those able to serve in the tabernacle itself and to offer sacrifice to God. The high priest was generally the eldest son of Aaron, except if they disqualified themselves by sin (as Nadab and Abihu in Leviticus 10:1-3) or according to the regulations of Leviticus 21. In this sense, the priesthood was not popularly elected but chosen by God. Man did not appoint the high priest.
In Jesus’ day, the priesthood became a corrupt institution. The office was gained through intrigue and politicking among corrupt leaders.
Jesus As High Priest
Jesus’ resurrection demonstrated that He was not a priest like Aaron, who had to atone for his own sin first. The resurrection vindicated Jesus as the Father’s Holy One (Acts 2:24 and Acts 2:27), who bore the wrath sinners deserved without becoming a sinner Himself.
Jesus’ priesthood (like Melchizedek’s) is unending, but no High Priest descended from Aaron ever had a forever priesthood.
Hebrews 7 will more fully develop the theme of Jesus as a High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek.
The ancient Greek word for supplications is hiketeria. This word means “an olive branch wrapped in wool” (Clarke) because that is what the ancient Greek worshipper held and waved to express their desperate prayer and desire. Significantly, this supplication of Jesus took place in a garden of olives – and He supplied the “wool,” being the Lamb of God.
Jesus asked that the cup be taken away from Him (Luke 22:42), yet the cup was not taken away. Nevertheless, His prayer was heard because His prayer was not to escape His Father’s will, but to accept it.
Though Jesus was God and is God, yet He learned obedience. God, enthroned in heaven’s glory, can only experience obedience by casting off the glory of the throne and humbling Himself as Jesus did. Jesus learned the experience of obedience, and He part of that learning was enduring suffering.
Suffering was used to teach Jesus. If suffering was good enough to teach the Son of God, we must never despise it as a tool of instruction in our life.