Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that Jesus is our great high priests. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to live as if Jesus is our great high priest.
Read Hebrews 4:14-16
I. Son of God. The writer talks about how Jesus is the high priest of his readers. Jesus is said to have been tested and passed the test. The readers are urged to approach God’s throne with confidence, so they can receive mercy and grace.
- Passing the test. Notice in vss. 14-15 that Jesus is our high priest who was tested but did not sin. We should appreciate the fact that Jesus has been tested and tempted by the same things that we are tested and tempted by. So He understands our struggles. But thank God, He did not sin. This makes His death perfect and acceptable as full payment for our sins. Let’s live like we appreciate Jesus’ ministry for us. This application should include our striving to live in obedience to His will.
- Benefits. Notice in vss. 14, 16 that because of the ministry of Jesus, we are able to hold firmly to our faith, approach God with confidence, and seek His mercy and grace. If it had not been for the work of Jesus, we would be hopelessly trying to live up to God’s expectations. But because of the ministry of Jesus, we have the benefits of being able to hold to our faith and to approach the Father with confidence that He will provide the mercy and grace that we need. Let’s like we appreciate the benefits given to us by Jesus. This applications includes striving to live a life built on our faith that God will bless obedience and punish disobedience. This application includes praying with confidence that God will do what is best for His people.
Read Hebrews 5:1-10
II. Order of Melchizedek. The writer talks about how being a high priest is not a self-appointed position. He talks about human priest having to offer sacrifices for both the sins of the people and for themselves. Jesus being a high priest is underscored by God calling Him to be the priest. Jesus was a priest in the order of Melchizedek.
- Giving. Notice in vs. 1 that one of the functions of the priest was to present the gifts from the people to God. This implies that the people were bringing gifts. When we think about how good the Lord has been to us, we should give generously to not only support the Lord’s church, but we should also give to show how much we appreciate what the Lord has already done in our lives. Let’s live like we believe that the Lord is worthy of our giving. This application calls for paying our tithes and giving our offerings.
- The specialness of Jesus. Notice in vss. 3, 5-10 that Jesus is special. Whereas human priests have to deal with their own sins, Jesus had no personal sins to deal with. On one hand, as much as you should respect your Pastor and other leaders in your life, all humans have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. On the other hand, Jesus is in a category all by Himself. Let’s live like our trust is in ultimately in the Lord, not human leaders. This application calls for consistently obeying God’s will, in spite of disappointments with human leaders.
- Reverent submission. Notice in vs. 7 that Jesus’ reverent submission played a part in His prayer life. If Jesus had reverent submission then surely you and I need to work on having the same. We should have such a deep respect for God that we strive to obey His will, in every area of our lives. God has principles in the Bible for us to live by, regarding our health, wealth, relationships, attitudes, and contributions to our world. We should strive to accept what God allows with the confidence that God’s will is best for us. Let’s work on our reverent submission to God, so that our prayer life would be more effective.
- Learning from our suffering. Notice in vs. 8 that we can learn from our periods of suffering. If we are not careful, we will be so focused on how painful our suffering is that we fail to learn from our suffering. We can learn that as difficult as it is, God is still keeping us. We can learn that as difficult as it is, it is not as bad as what Jesus went through for us. We can learn that as difficult as it is, it is temporary. God already has plans for us, when this season of trouble is over. Let’s learn what we need to learn from our periods of suffering, so we don’t have go back through the same suffering again.
Conclusion: Let’s work on living like Jesus is our great high priest. God has much for those who obey His will.