“Which Hope we have as an Anchor of the soul, both sure-and-steadfast and which enters into that within the Veil, where the Forerunner is for us entered—even Jesus—made a High Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”
Even though He didn’t meet others’ expectations or qualify under their guidelines, He still is the only One we need.
“After the order of Melchizedek.”
Such words are seldom heard at the local coffee shop or around the dinner table at evening. This is primarily because of our unfamiliarity with this intriguing “priest of the Most High God” and king of Salem (later Jerusalem) in Abraham’s day (Gen. 14:18-20).
After rescuing Lot from four evil kings who’d kidnapped him (Gen. 14:1-16), Abraham and his 318 servants were returning home with his nephew when Melchizedek met them with “bread and wine” (v.18). We know nothing about his background or what happened to him after this encounter; however, we do know Abraham “gave him tithes of all” of the spoils of war he’d taken after rescuing Lot (v.20b; Heb. 7:1-2, 4).
Now, this still seems insignificant until we remember that the only ones who could ever become high priest in Israel were those who were of the tribe of Levi and lineage of Aaron, the first high priest (Ex. 28-29; Lev. 8:1-9:24). And, since Jesus was from the tribe of Judah, He was thus considered unqualified for the role.
However, the author of today’s Manna addresses this in 7:1-28 and shows how Aaron, who was still “in Abraham’s loins”—i.e., still unborn—also participated in the giving of tithes to Melchizedek that day (vv.9-10). Instead of receiving the tithes from the people, through Abraham’s actions they were paying them to “the priest of the most High God” (vv.1-2). And, this demonstrated his superiority to the coming Aaronic priesthood.
Like Melchizedek, who was “without father and mother or descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life” (v.3), so did Jesus suddenly emerge onto the scene at the Jordan River that day as John baptized (Jn. 1:29-36). And, although Melchizedek did have a father and mother. . .a beginning and an end. . .and there was simply no record of it. . .so did the Jewish leaders not remember all the Messianic prophecies that foretold Jesus’ being born in Bethlehem, spending time in Egypt as a child and beginning His earthly ministry in Capernaum (Mt. 2:5-6; Mic. 5:2; Gen. 49:10; Hos. 11:1; Mt. 4:13-16; Is. 9:1-2).
Oh, dear Pilgrim, so often we miss seeing what God is doing in/through us because of our prior expectations and unbelief. So often we “entertain angels unaware” (Heb. 13:2) and miss seeing God’s burning bushes simply because we’re preoccupied and do not “turn aside” (Ex. 3:2-3).
May the Holy Spirit help us be sensitive today to His leading in our interactions with others. And, may we continually remember that our great High Priest is “a merciful and faithful High Priest, Who’s made reconciliation for our sins and is able to aid and comfort us when we’re undergoing trials and tribulations” (Heb. 2:17-18). Aren’t you glad? Thank You, Lord.
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated February 11, 2011