+ (JESUS + NOTHING = EVERYTHING)
February 14, 2016
Hebrews 7:1-22 ESV:  For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him,  and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace.  He is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest forever.  See how great this man was to whom Abraham the patriarch gave a tenth of the spoils!  And those descendants of Levi who receive the priestly office have a commandment in the law to take tithes from the people, that is, from their brothers, though these also are descended from Abraham.  But this man who does not have his descent from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises.  It is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior.  In the one case tithes are received by mortal men, but in the other case, by one of whom it is testified that he lives.  One might even say that Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham,  for he was still in the loins of his ancestor when Melchizedek met him. Jesus Compared to Melchizedek  Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron?  For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well.  For the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar.  For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.  This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek,  who has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life.  For it is witnessed of him, “You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.”  For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness  (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.  And it was not without an oath. For those who formerly became priests were made such without an oath,  but this one was made a priest with an oath by the one who said to him: “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, ‘You are a priest forever.’”  This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant.
After giving us a most forceful warning to not be bored with spiritually solid food, the author returns to challenge us to chew on the reality that Jesus is the ultimate High Priest in order to deepen our faith in Him.
JESUS IS LIKE MELCHIZEDEK
Melchizedek is better than Abraham and his descendants
If Abraham’s descendants (Levitical priesthood) could have forgiven sins and provided access to God, there’d been no need for Jesus.
Jesus’ indestructible life, not his genealogy, validates His priesthood.
Gods promise secures the permanence and significance of Jesus priesthood.
Life Group Questions
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
1. What’s the big idea of 5:11-6:20?
2. What does it mean that they have become “dull of hearing”? Be as precise as you can and is warranted.
3. Read 7:1-10 and paraphrase it in your own words.
4. How should we understand that Melchizedek has no beginning of days?
5. What does it mean that the inferior is blessed by the superior and how far does that superiority extend?
6. Read 7:11-14 and paraphrase it in your own words.
7. What’s the perfection the author is referring to in verse 11?
8. Explain the significance of why the author includes that Jesus is from the tribe of Judah.
9. Read 7:15-19 and paraphrase it in your own words.
10. In what ways is the author saying the life of Jesus was indestructible?
11. In what way is the Law imperfect, weak, and useless?
12. Read 7:20-22 and paraphrase it in your own words.
13. What is the oath and why does it carry so much weight?
14. What does it mean that Jesus is the guarantor?
HOW DOES IT APPLY?
1. Did you grow up believing that in the OT people were saved by the law and in the NT people are saved by grace? What would the author of Hebrews hope you’d believe?
2. When talking about the treasure and the vessel, are there any Christian traditions that you have added and need to re-examine and discard? If so, what are they?
3. How do you find the balance between sinning so that grace may abound and taking responsibility for your sins?
4. What would a life that believes Jesus + NOTHING = everything look like?
5. What would help you consume more spiritual solid food and what would help you more confidently feed others?