Who was Melchizedek?
Mentioned only 3 times in the entire Bible (Genesis 14:18-20, Hebrews, and Psalm 110), Melchizedek is a shadowy fellow we don’t know much about. He was a priest whom Abraham honored. That’s about all we know. So why does Melchizedek matter?
Hierarchy of Israel’s Government
Israel had three important leaders in ancient times: prophets, priests, and kings.
- Prophets told the truth, revealing God’s righteousness
- Kings were to instill righteousness in practical ways as leaders of the government
- Priests met the people’s spiritual need and served as the gateway to God
In Israeli tradition, kings and priests had to come from different tribes: priests from the tribe of Levi and kings from the tribe of Judah. Ordinarily, a king could not be a priest.
Enter our friend, Melchizedek. He proves that:
- A priest does not have to come from the right family (Melchizedek wasn’t even Hebrew!)
- He was both a priest and a king
Messiah as perfect priest, king, and prophet
The Messiah would have to be a complete leader: priest, king, and prophet. But would that violate God’s law?
NO! The perfect king would govern justly. The perfect prophet would reveal God’s truth. The perfect priest would bring God and the people together.
Enter our Lord, Jesus Christ. He was the perfect Messiah. And Melchizedek establishes credibility for Jesus as both priest, king, and prophet.