3:1-6 Christ is to be considered as the Apostle of our profession, the Messenger sent by God to men, the great Revealer of that faith which we profess to hold, and of that hope which we profess to have. As Christ, the Messiah, anointed for the office both of Apostle and High Priest. As Jesus, our Saviour, our Healer, the great Physician of souls. Consider him thus. Consider what he is in himself, what he is to us, and what he will be to us hereafter and for ever. Close and serious thoughts of Christ bring us to know more of him. The Jews had a high opinion of the faithfulness of Moses, yet his faithfulness was but a type of Christ's. Christ was the Master of this house, of his church, his people, as well as their Maker. Moses was a faithful servant; Christ, as the eternal Son of God, is rightful Owner and Sovereign Ruler of the Church. There must not only be setting out well in the ways of Christ, but stedfastness and perseverance therein to the end. Every meditation on his person and his salvation, will suggest more wisdom, new motives to love, confidence, and obedience.
Heb 3:1-19. The Son of God Greater than Moses, Wherefore Unbelief towards Him Will Incur a Heavier Punishment than Befell Unbelieving Israel in the Wilderness.
As Moses especially was the prophet by whom "God in times past spake to the fathers," being the mediator of the law, Paul deems it necessary now to show that, great as was Moses, the Son of God is greater. Ebrard in Alford remarks, The angel of the covenant came in the name of God before Israel; Moses in the name of Israel before God; whereas the high priest came both in the name of God (bearing the name Jehovah on his forehead) before Israel, and in the name of Israel (bearing the names of the twelve tribes on his breast) before God (Ex 28:9-29, 36, 38). Now Christ is above the angels, according to the first and second chapters because (1) as Son of God He is higher; and (2) because manhood, though originally lower than angels, is in Him exalted above them to the lordship of "the world to come," inasmuch as He is at once Messenger of God to men, and also atoning Priest-Representative of men before God (Heb 2:17, 18). Parallel with this line of argument as to His superiority to angels (Heb 1:4) runs that which here follows as to His superiority to Moses (Heb 3:3): (1) because as Son over the house; He is above the servant in the house (Heb 3:5, 6), just as the angels were shown to be but ministering (serving) spirits (Heb 1:14), whereas He is the Son (Heb 3:7, 8); (2) because the bringing of Israel into the promised rest, which was not finished by Moses, is accomplished by Him (Heb 4:1-11), through His being not merely a leader and lawgiver as Moses, but also a propitiatory High Priest (Heb 4:14; 5:10).
1. Wherefore—Greek, "Whence," that is, seeing we have such a sympathizing Helper you ought to "consider attentively," "contemplate"; fix your eyes and mind on Him with a view to profiting by the contemplation (Heb 12:2). The Greek word is often used by Luke, Paul's companion (Lu 12:24, 27).
brethren—in Christ, the common bond of union.
partakers—"of the Holy Ghost."
heavenly calling—coming to us from heaven, and leading us to heaven whence it comes. Php 3:14, "the high calling"; Greek "the calling above," that is, heavenly.
the Apostle and High Priest of our profession—There is but one Greek article to both nouns, "Him who is at once Apostle and High Priest"—Apostle, as Ambassador (a higher designation than "angel"-messenger) sent by the Father (Joh 20:21), pleading the cause of God with us; High Priest, as pleading our cause with God. Both His Apostleship and High Priesthood are comprehended in the one title, Mediator [Bengel]. Though the title "Apostle" is nowhere else applied to Christ, it is appropriate here in addressing Hebrews, who used the term of the delegates sent by the high priest to collect the temple tribute from Jews resident in foreign countries, even as Christ was Delegate of the Father to this world far off from Him (Mt 21:37). Hence as what applies to Him, applies also to His people, the Twelve are designated His apostles, even as He is the Father's (Joh 20:21). It was desirable to avoid designating Him here "angel," in order to distinguish His nature from that of angels mentioned before, though he is "the Angel of the Covenant." The "legate of the Church" (Sheliach Tsibbur) offered up the prayers in the synagogue in the name of all, and for all. So Jesus, "the Apostle of our profession," is delegated to intercede for the Church before the Father. The words "of our profession," mark that it is not of the legal ritual, but of our Christian faith, that He is the High Priest. Paul compares Him as an Apostle to Moses; as High Priest to Aaron. He alone holds both offices combined, and in a more eminent degree than either, which those two brothers held apart.
profession—"confession," corresponds to God having spoken to us by His Son, sent as Apostle and High Priest. What God proclaims we confess.