Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hebrews 7:11-17

11 If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood—and indeed the law given to the people established that priesthood—why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? 12 For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also. 13 He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar. 14 For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. 15 And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, 16 one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is declared:
“You are a priest forever, 
 in the order of Melchizedek.”

Questions to consider:

  • Explain the relationship between the priesthood and the law in Judaism.
  • To what tribe does Jesus belong? How does this disqualify him from serving as a priest at the altar?
  • To what does “this” in verse 15 refer?
  • What is Jesus’ qualification to be a priest?
  • How does this qualification supersede the law?

Possibilities for prayer:

Jesus, apparently, broke a lot of rules. If you take some time to read through the Gospels, that truth becomes pretty apparent--we see many interactions in which the Pharisees and Sadducees (important, pious, religious people of the day) are rather frustrated with the ways in which Jesus bends the rules that were laid out in the law of the Torah (the Jewish Bible). Today, let’s ask for God to make us rule-benders as well. Not rule-benders just for the sake of breaking the rules, but rule-benders for Jesus. Let’s ask that Jesus would give us the courage and boldness to pursue lives truly after Jesus’s heart, even when that looks different than the established “rules” of our culture, and to be excited about the good things that can come from that.