Hebrews 3:1
Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, set your focus on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.
Sermons
Christ Should be ContemplatedA. C. Price, B. A.Hebrews 3:1
Christ the Only Apostle and High Priest of Our ProfessionE. Deering, B,D.Hebrews 3:1
Christ to be AppreciatedC. Clemance, D. D.Hebrews 3:1
Christians Invited to Consider ChristSketches of SermonsHebrews 3:1
Consider ChristA. Maclaren, D. D.Hebrews 3:1
Consider ChristR. M. McCheyne.Hebrews 3:1
Consider Christ FullyH. W. Beecher.Hebrews 3:1
Consider Christ IntentlyW. Jones, D. D.Hebrews 3:1
Consider JesusT. R. Stevenson.Hebrews 3:1
Consider Jesus and Banish FrivolityF. W. Farrar, D. D.Hebrews 3:1
Directions to be HolyW. Gouge.Hebrews 3:1
Heavenly ThingsD. Young Hebrews 3:1
Of Christ as an ApostleW. Gouge.Hebrews 3:1
Open Christian ProfessionA. Saphir.Hebrews 3:1
Priesthood of ChristJ. Wells, M. A.Hebrews 3:1
The Advantages Derived from Considering JesusR. Boog, D. D.Hebrews 3:1
The Advent CallDean Vaughan.Hebrews 3:1
The Apostle and High PriestD. Hunter, B. D.Hebrews 3:1
The Apostle and High Priest of Our ProfessionW. Amos.Hebrews 3:1
The Causes of Men's Being Holy, and of Calling Them SoW. Gouge.Hebrews 3:1
The Christian and His RedeemerU. R. Tibetans.Hebrews 3:1
The Consideration of the Apostle-Ship and Priesthood of Christ InculcatedF. H. Fell, M. A.Hebrews 3:1
The Heavenly CallingA. B. Davidson, LL. D.Hebrews 3:1
The Heavenly TrillingW. Gouge.Hebrews 3:1
The Study of JesusJ. W. Burn.Hebrews 3:1
The Sublimest ContemplationW. Jones Hebrews 3:1
The Superiority of ChristianityD. C. Hughes, M. A.Hebrews 3:1
What Christ is to UsD. Young Hebrews 3:1
The Superiority of ChristJ.S. Bright Hebrews 3:1-6
The Superiority of Christ to Moses the Reason Why They Should Cleave to ChristC. New Hebrews 3:1-6
Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, etc.

I. THE CHARACTERIZATION OF CHRISTIANS.

1. They are fraternal in relation. "Brethren." These Hebrew Christians were brethren in a twofold sense to the writer of the Epistle - first, as being his kindred according to the flesh; and next, as being of the same religious faith. Every Christian is a member of a glorious brotherhood. We are brothers inasmuch as we have all one Father and one elder Brother; we are animated by one Spirit; we are tending to one home, our "Father's house." Let us endeavor to realize this relationship, and to practically express its spirit. "Love the brotherhood."

2. They are consecrated in character. "Holy brethren." By applying to them the term "holy," the writer does not affirm that all those whom he was addressing were in a state of sinless purity. The adjective conveys two ideas - consecration and transformation. Christians are holy because they have consecrated themselves to the Lord, and are being transformed into moral resemblance to him.

3. They are exalted in privilege. "Partakers of a heavenly calling." This calling "is the invitation given on the part of God and Christ to men, to come and partake of the blessings proffered" in the gospel. In two senses it is "a heavenly calling."

(1) It is heavenly in its origin; a calling from heaven. The holy voices and gracious invitations are from above. All saving influences and impulses are from God.

(2) It is heavenward in its end; a calling to heaven. Spiritual, sublime, eternal, heavenly, are the blessings to which we are called. It is "the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." The "partakers" of this calling are not those who have merely heard the call to gospel blessings, but those who have both heard and accepted that call.

II. THE CHARACTERIZATION OF THE LORD AND SAVIOR.

1. He is "the Apostle of our confession. There is here a comparison of Jesus with Moses. Moses was sent" of God to be the emancipator, chieftain, and ruler of the Israelites (see Exodus 3:10, 12, 14, 15). In this sense he was an apostle of God. Jesus Christ was the Sent of God (see John 3:34; John 5:36, 37; John 6:29; John 10:36; John 17:18). He was sent on a still grander mission of redemption (see Isaiah 61:1-3). Moreover, the Jews designated the minister of the synagogue, who had the charge of its affairs and presided over them, an apostle. And in the verse following our text the writer goes on to speak of Jesus and Moses as each presiding over the affairs of a house. In this sense also our Lord is "the Apostle of our confession." He is sent, not only to emancipate, but also to rule over his Church; to be both "a Prince and a Savior."

2. He is "the High Priest of our confession. Here the comparison is with Aaron. As Aaron was high priest of the Jews, and, as such, made expiation for the sins of the people, so our Savior has made atonement for the sins of the world by the offering of himself in sacrifice. Through him we approach unto God. He maketh intercession for us. He pleads with us and in us and for us. Through him we shall rise to heaven. As the Apostle, he is the Representative of God to men; as the High Priest, he is the Representative of men with God.

3. He is Jesus. There is perhaps a reference here to Joshua, the great general of the Israelites, who led them into the promised land. Thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins." How great, then, is our Lord and Savior!

III. THE ATTITUDE WHICH CHRISTIANS SHOULD MAINTAIN TOWARDS THEIR LORD AND SAVIOUR. "Wherefore, holy brethren... consider the Apostle and High Priest," etc.

1. The argument. "Wherefore," i.e. because we have in Jesus such "a merciful and faithful High Priest," such a mighty and gracious Helper, we should attentively consider him. And such consideration would be likely to strengthen the Christian faith of any who were in danger of falling back into Judaism; for they would find him a greater Apostle than Moses, a greater High Priest than Aaron, a greater "Captain of salvation" than Joshua. The great principle is this, that the greatest safeguard against weariness, discouragement, and apostasy is an earnest consideration of Jesus; a believing, steadfast, looking unto him.

2. The exercise. "Consider the Apostle," etc. Contemplate him as "the Apostle of our confession." How much greater is he than Moses! Moses did not lead the people into the Promised Land, or even enter therein himself; but Jesus has entered heaven as our Forerunner, has led multitudes into its blessedness, will lead all his people there. Contemplate him as "the High Priest of our confession." How much greater is he than Aaron! Aaron's priesthood was imperfect, typical, preparatory; but our Lord's is gloriously perfect. By his sacrifice he has made full atonement; his intercession is divinely efficacious. Contemplate him as our Savior, "Jesus." He is "mighty to save;" "able to save to the uttermost," etc. Here is the sublimest contemplation. In weakness and weariness consider him, and you will be strengthened and animated. In darkness consider him, and the night will shine even as the day. In sin consider him, and you will seek and obtain forgiveness. In sorrow consider him, and the troubled heart will grow calm and restful. In death consider him, and his rod and staff will comfort you, and he himself will lead you through its dark portals into the joys and glories of heaven. Let this be our constant attitude - "looking unto Jesus." - W.J.







Wherefore, holy brethren.
"Wherefore" connects generally with chaps, 1., if., where Christ is Apostle (Hebrews 1:1-3) and High Priest (Hebrews 2:9, &c.), though immediately with "faithful" (Hebrews 2:17) and the closing words of chap. if. The author had in view this comparison with Moses, and prepared the way for it by using "faithful" in Hebrews 2:17. The author had called believers "sanctified" and "sons" (Hebrews 2:11-13); recalling this, and realising what it implied, he addresses the Hebrews as "holy brethren." Further, he had set before them what the great salvation was to which they were destined (Hebrews 2:3), and to which the Captain of their salvation had attained, even lordship over all things in the world to come (Hebrews 2:5, &c.); and as called to this heavenly world and already tasting its powers (Hebrews 6:5; Hebrews 2:4), he addresses them as partakers of "a heavenly calling"; that is, sharing in a call to the possession of the heavenly world to come. In the word "heavenly" there is struck for the first time, in words at least, an antithesis of great importance in the Epistle, that of this world and heaven; in other words, that of the merely material and transient and the ideal and abiding. The things of this world are material, unreal, transient; those of heaven are ideal, true, and eternal. Heaven is the world of realities, of things themselves (Hebrews 9:23), of which the things here are but "copies." There is the true Tabernacle (Hebrews 8:2); the city that bath the foundations (Hebrews 11:10); the heavenly Jerusalem and Mount Zion (Hebrews 12:22); the kingdom that cannot be shaken (Hebrews 12:27, 28); the true "country" which the patriarchs sought (Hebrews 11:16) — all the eternal real things of which the things of this world are but shadows (Hebrews 10:1); and to these things we are called and are come, for this heavenly world projects itself into this present life like headlands of a new world into the ocean. This world of realities has been revealed, for Christ, who belongs to it, has come from it, and has opened up the way to it by entering it through death as our Forerunner (Hebrews 6:20) and High Priest (Hebrews 10:19). This real world is the abode of God, where He is as He is in Himself. It is that which He has destined to be put in subjection to man as his final possession (Hebrews 2:5-8). Being true and consisting of things themselves, it cannot be shaken, but remains after the great convulsions under which things that are made pass away (Hebrews 12:27). Then it may be called earth or heaven, for earth and heaven coincide.

(A. B. Davidson, LL. D.)

This excellent prerogative of being holy cannot arise from men's selves. "Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one" (Job 14:4). "But every good and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights" (James 1:17). This Father of lights communicateth holiness to men two ways.

1. By imputing unto them the righteousness of His Son. Thus we are said to be "made the righteousness of God in Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:21), and Christ is said to "be made of God righteousness unto us" (1 Corinthians 1:30).

2. By conveying His Spirit into us, who altereth our nature and disposition, and enableth us to perform the works of righteousness. In this respect He is not only called the Holy Ghost, but also the Spirit of holiness (Romans 1:4); and sanctification is said to be of the Spirit (2 Thessalonians 2:13), because it is wrought in us by the Spirit of God. Thus this excellent title "Holy" gives no matter of boasting unto man (2 Corinthians 4:7); but it giveth great cause of glorying in God. The apostle here giveth these Hebrews this title not so much in regard of their parentage, because the root from whence they sprouted was holy (Romans 11:16); for the partition wall betwixt Jew and Gentile was now broken down, and all that were of the faith of Abraham were counted to be of Abraham's seed (Galatians 3:7).The apostle therefore here gives them this title —

1. In regard to their profession, whereby they were distinguished from profane persons.

2. In regard of his opinion of them; for he judged them to be true members of the holy Church (1 Corinthians 6:11). Thus he usually styleth all to whom he wrote "saints"; that is, holy ones. How did the apostle know that they were holy? By their holy profession; for the ground of judging others is not certainty of knowledge, but the rule of love (1 Corinthians 13:7).

(W. Gouge.)

That we may be such "holy brethren" as are here set down —

1. Be well informed in the nature of holiness. If the mark be mistaken, the more diligence we use, the further we shall be off from it. The faster a traveller goes in a wrong way, the farther he may be from the place to which he desires to go. The Jews, being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, were farthest off from true holiness.

2. "Cleanse yourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit." Thus may you "perfect holiness in the fear of God" (2 Corinthians 7:1). It is a course which all of all sorts observe for perfecting a thing, namely, first to remove the impediments; thus physicians purge out peccant humours, chirurgians draw out festering matter, husbandmen stock up broom, briars, thorns, and all noisome weeds.

3. Have special care of your company. Avoid the society of unholy ones (Psalm 16:3). That this means is very powerful is evident (Proverbs 13:20; Proverbs 22:24, 25).

4. Be constant in using such means as God hath sanctified for attaining holiness; for God will be found in His own way. The means are —

(1)Public;

(2)private;

(3)secret. Public means are the Word and Sacraments.

5. Be instant and constant in prayer, and that for the Holy Spirit which is promised to those that ask Him (Luke 11:13). This Spirit it is which makes us holy.

6. Be patient under crosses; for God cloth chasten His, that they might be "partakers of His holiness" (Hebrews 12:10).

(W. Gouge.)

Partakers of the heavenly calling.
The calling of saints is here commended unto us by this attribute "heavenly." It is here in this place attributed to saints' calling —

1. To distinguish it from earthly callings.

2. To show the excellency thereof; for excellent things are called heavenly; great, deep, excellent mysteries are called heavenly (John 3:12).

3. To declare the end of this calling, which is to bring us to a heavenly kingdom (1 Thessalonians 2:12), namely, an inheritance incorruptible, reserved in heaven (1 Peter 1:4). This particular excellency here mentioned by the apostle is of force to raise up our hearts unto heaven, seeking the things that are above. It doth also instruct us how to walk worthy of this calling, namely, by an inward heavenly disposition and an outward heavenly conversation.

(W. Gouge.)

I. THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE JEWISH AND CHRISTIAN DISPENSATIONS IN RESPECT TO THEIR NATURE.

1. This distinction of nature is set forth in the word by which the apostle designates the Christian's vocation. He terms it "the heavenly calling."(1) The word rendered here "calling" must not be confounded with the gospel's general invitation to salvation, but refers to that to which believers are entitled through Christ Jesus.(2) It is termed "heavenly," not in respect to its source, for Judaism and Christianity have a common origin. Both are of God, in respect to the nature of the blessings proffered and the sphere where the blessings are to be enjoyed.(3) The intimate and exalted fellowship of those united under the banner of this "heavenly calling" is here noticeable: " Holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling."(a) "Brethren" by kinship closer and more enduring than that formed by natural bonds.(b) "Holy," in the sense of being set apart by God the Father, through Christ His Son. by the Holy Spirit, to one heavenly and sacred aim — the service of God alone.(c) "Partakers"; literally, "holding things in common." Sharers together of the privileges of the "heavenly calling."(4) Noticeable also are the terms applied to the Lord in connection with the heavenly calling, and the earnest exhortation of the apostle to due consideration of Christ in these offices. "Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus."(a) The word rendered " consider " means to observe well, to consider attentively, to ponder thoughtfully.(b) The word "apostle" (literally, "one sent"), as applied to our Lord here, is peculiar, this being the only place where this special term is applied to Him. We may regard the word "apostle" as used to avoid ambiguity, and also at the same time to set forth our Lord as having been "sent" of God, and therefore divinely authorised, as was Moses.(c) The expression "the High Priest of our profession," suggestively represents the Divine authority, and also the redemptive feature so prominent in the Christian system.

II. THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN CHRIST AND MOSES IN THE RELATION THEY SUSTAINED TO THEIR RESPECTIVE DISPENSATIONS.

I. Christ is here represented as being the owner of the "house" He served, Moses being only servant of the "house" he served.(1) Notice the significance of the term "house." Its meaning, as applied to Christ's house, is given in ver. 6.(2) The sense in which Christ is, and Moses was not, owner of the "house" each respectively served thus becomes obvious. The apostle, however, even here, holds still prominently before us that it was in His capacity as " Son " He also redeemed.

2. This ownership in the "household of faith" sustains the apostle in his next position — that Christ has a higher claim to homage and honour than Moses.

3. The prominent and practical characteristic here mentioned should not be lost sight of in connection with Christ's superiority to Moses, namely, His faithfulness.

III. PRACTICAL AND SOLEMN INFERENCES FROM THE PRECEDING POSITIONS.

1. An earnest lesson from the history of the past (vers. 7-12).

2. Practical counsel as to what they should do (ver. 13).

3. The only reliable evidence of our union with Christ (ver. 14).

4. The essential importance of every-day religion (vers. 15-18).

(1)To prevent hardness of heart. Heedlessness is the beginning and the sure evidence of hardness (ver. 15).

(2)To avoid that grieving of the Holy Spirit which is inevitably followed by Divine judgment (vers. 16, 17).

5. The fearful cause of all defection from God and of all sin against God — "unbelief" (ver. 19).

(1)It was the cause of the first sin of our first parents in Eden.

(2)It was the cause of the first murder on record.

(3)It was the prolific cause of all those terrible effects which culminated in the destruction of all religious life in the antediluvians, with the exception of one man, and led to the destruction of the whole race of mankind save Noah and his family. Oh, what a hydra-headed, destructive monster is unbelief!

(D. C. Hughes, M. A.)

Consider the High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.
A young lady, a novice in art, said to her father, who was an accomplished man of taste, "Father, I cannot enjoy the works of the old masters." "Then," said he "look at them till you can." Even so, if one were to say, "I cannot appreciate the Cross," our earnest reply would be, "Study it till you can."

(C. Clemance, D. D.)

It is recorded of a celebrated philosopher that, pursuing his investigations on the subject of light, he ventured on a bold experiment. Without the protection of smoked glass, he turned his naked eye on the sun, and kept it fixed there for awhile. When he removed it, such was the impression made upon his eyes, that whichever way he looked, upwards, downwards, right or left, he saw nothing but the sun. The last thing he saw at night, the first thing he saw in the morning, was the sun. What a blessed thing it would be for us if we had some such view of Christ, if the glory and love of Him who died, and was buried, and rose again for us, Jesus Christ our Lord, was thus impressed upon our souls!

(A. C. Price, B. A.)

Hazlitt once copied a painting of Titian's, and showed it one evening to his friends, Charles and Mary Cowden Clarke. It was fine, but as he held the light to it, and thus unconsciously showed his own intellectual head, square "potential forehead," and eyes full of earnest fire, they felt that he was really the picture to gaze at. In like manner, Jesus lifts the light of truth to the picture of duty, but He also grandly embodied it in His daily life.

(T. R. Stevenson.)

The wise picture-dealer at Oxford was right, who, handing to an undergraduate the fine engraving of an ancient master, said, "Hang this on your wails, sir, and it will soon banish all the pictures of jockeys and ballet-girls."

(F. W. Farrar, D. D.)

About a hundred years ago a Welsh boy heard a sermon upon the priesthood of Jesus Christ. It was a new idea to the boy, filling him with astonishment and delight. The doctrine was so excellent and sweet to him, that without delay he opened his heart to it. To this day all the Welsh revere his memory, for that boy became the Rev. Thomas Charles of Bala, the apostle of his native land, the founder of day and Sabbath schools and of the Bible Society. And such a faith in Christ will give you, too, a true and fruitful life.

(J. Wells, M. A.)

I. The solemn consideration of Jesus Christ may well RECONCILE YOU TO ANY DIFFICULT OR TRYING CIRCUMSTANCES in which you may be placed. Compared to His what are all the duties which we have to perform, or any sufferings which we have to endure? How few have to "resist unto blood, striving against sin." Every repining thought must be subdued.

II. "Consider the Apostle and High Priest of your profession," and you will see in Him A MODEL FOR YOUR CONDUCT, and will learn how to act in circumstances of difficulty or distress. Amid injustice and ill-treatment, which so easily discompose the mind and render one's duty so peculiarly difficult, Jesus has taught us how wisdom, integrity, and goodness would act. Now the principles which formed the character and governed the whole conduct of Jesus are evidently these two — faith in God and love to mankind. Clearly discovering in His character and conduct the wonderful efficacy of these principles, we must fix them in our souls if we wish to fulfil the more difficult duties of life or rest in composure and peace of mind amid its various ills.

III. To consider Jesus will ANIMATE AND ENCOURAGE YOU AMID THE DIFFICULTIES AND ILLS OF LIFE. He foresaw all the extent of His sufferings, and " in all things made like unto His brethren," He felt all the depression natural to the human mind in such disheartening prospects; but declining any exertion of supernatural powers, He resigns Himself to the violence of wicked men, with no other defence but that Divine grace and those heavenly principles which the humblest of His followers may through His mediation attain. And can His admirable conduct be exhibited to us in vain? Can it be contemplated without exciting our efforts and prompting our imitation?

(R. Boog, D. D.)

I. A DESCRIPTION OF TRUE CHRISTIANS.

1. A common character: "Holy."

2. A common relationship: "Brethren."

3. A common privilege: "Partakers," &c. A call from heaven and to heaven.

II. A DESCRIPTION OF THE GREAT REDEEMER.

1. The Apostle of our profession. Sent from God to us.

2. The High Priest of our profession. By Him we draw near to God, even as by Him God draws near to us.

3. The Christ Jesus — the anointed Deliverer.

III. THE OBLIGATIONS OF TRUE CHRISTIANS TO THE GREAT REDEEMER, it Consider." Men's characters are formed by their thinkings. Meditation is the most constant and influential operation of our nature.

(U. R. Tibetans.)

— "Consider," then, it is here directed, "the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus." Seeing what He is, according to the statements of the two previous chapters; how great, how Divine, how human, how merciful, and how faithful; how sufficient in His atonement for sin, how experienced in His sympathy with the tempted; consider Him, fix your thoughts upon Him. Now in what aspects are we here charged to consider Christ?

1. As "the Apostle of our profession"; that is, of our confession, or common faith. An apostle means an emissary, or ambassador, or representative — one who comes to us with a message or commission, in this case from God Himself. We ought to be transacting business with Him, if I might so express it, every day; dealing with Him as to the concerns of our life, inward and outward, and conscious that, in so doing, we are dealing also with God Himself.

2. Again, the High Priest of our confession. You know how large a part of this Epistle is occupied with the subject thus introduced: the priesthood of Jesus Christ as satisfying all those wants which any other priesthood could only indicate and impress. "Hark the glad sound! the Saviour comes" — why is it a glad sound? It is not because we wanted an Apostle, and because we wanted a High Priest? Put Christ out of sight altogether for a moment, and then see how dark life is, the present and the future. See what it is to be conscious of sin, and then suppose that there were no Christ, no Saviour, no Propitiation, and no Intercessor! Yes, we know that we shall all want Him; as our Apostle, as God's representative, that is; as our all-wise Teacher, our Revealer of God as He is, as the Person in whom as well as by whom God deals with our souls, and bids us also to deal with Him; want Him also as our High Priest, our Sacrifice and Propitiation for sin, our merciful Intercessor, our faithful Advocate with God.

(Dean Vaughan.)

Sketches of Sermons.
I. THE CHARACTERS ADDRESSED: " Holy brethren."

1. All real Christians are —

(1)Partakers of the same spiritual nature.

(2)Members of the same family.

(3)Interested in each other's welfare.

2. Christians are " holy" —

(1)By the dedication which they have made of themselves to God.

(2)By the purification of their minds,

3. They are partakers of a calling —

(1)Heavenly in its origin.

(2)Heavenly in its end.

II. THE ADVICE GIVEN.

1. Christ was a Divine Messenger. He is a Divine Person. He was divinely sent (John 4:34; John 5:23, and John 7:16).

2. Christ was a voluntary messenger. He came willingly (Hebrews 10:5-9). The undertaking was arduous, but " He gave Himself for us."

3. Christ was a merciful messenger. He came not to destroy, but to save; and it was all free, unparalleled mercy.

4. He is the High Priest of our profession.

(1)He made an atonement for sin (Hebrews 9:28).

(2)The Jewish high priest blessed the people (Numbers 6:23-27).

(3)The Jewish high priest interceded for the people; and Christ ever liveth to make intercession for us.

5. The advice given is, "Consider the apostle," &c. Consideration is the exercise of thought, not a hasty glance at an object, but a deliberate exercise of the mind. Hence we should consider Christ.

(1)That we know Him. The knowledge of Christ is the most beneficial we can possess; but no man can know Christ who will not consider Him.

(2)That we may be grateful to Him. Our obligations to Christ should bind us to be grateful to Him; but these obligations can be known only by consideration.

(3)That we may keep His commandments. No man can keep Christ's commandments who neglects the advice in the text.

(4)That we may emulate His example.

(Sketches of Sermons.)

I. THE CHARACTERS HERE PECULIARLY ADDRESSED.

1. "Holy brethren." Every one must possess holiness, not indeed in perfection: but, as it were, the Christian's element, where he breathes with freedom and with peace. Sin is the Christian's aversion, and therefore he looks forward with joy to that period when he shall put off this body of sin, and be in possession of a holy and blessed state in heaven.

2. The characters here addressed are described as "Partakers of the heavenly calling." Here we speak of the manner in which such are brought to this brotherly love.

II. THE HIGH CHARACTER GIVEN IN THE TEXT OF CHRIST JESUS

1. "Apostle." The Redeemer of mankind, though one with the Father and the Holy Spirit, is declared to have come out from God in the capacity of a servant. In His commission to His disciples after the Resurrection, He acknowledged His own apostleship. He says, "As My Father hath sent Me, so send I you."

2. "High Priest." The high priest was to offer up the evening sacrifice and prayer. Christ Jesus appears offering Himself a perfect sacrifice for sin.

III. THE DUTY RECOMMENDED. "Consider." As if he had said, do not turn away from Him, as though you had no interest in this great subject; but let your attention be drawn off from everything else, that your soul may be found resting here.

(F. H. Fell, M. A.)

I. THE AGENTS. Who are exhorted to consider Christ? The " holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling." "Holy brethren." The terms define sufficiently the class of persons to whom this exhortation is directly addressed. It is a word, not for those who are without, but for those who are within. The two terms are interesting separately, and in their union. If they do not certify what all the worshippers are, they certainly declare what each ought to be. You may detect here the twofold division of duty, which from its fountain in the decalogue flows down, and penetrates all the moral teaching of the Scriptures. Christians get both the first and the second commandments printed on their life. They love the Lord with all their heart, and their neighbour as themselves. They are "holy" to God, and "brethren " to men. Further, they are "partakers of the heavenly calling." It comes from above, and invites them thither.

II. THE OBJECT. Whom should the holy brethren regard? "The Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus." "Our profession" is the religious system which we adopt -the confession which we make and maintain. It indicates profession to God, and confession one with another. We hold the truth, and we hold it together. We hold to God by faith, and to our brethren in love. It is not the truth in type and shadow, but the truth Himself unveiled — God manifest in the flesh. Our profession, finally, is not self-righteousness, but faith. It is not what I am able to do, but what God is willing to give. Our plea is, not that our sins are small, but that our Saviour is great. "By grace are ye saved through faith." Of this profession, the Apostle and High Priest is Christ Jesus. Either office is important in itself; and the union of both in the person of the Lord Jesus has a distinct and peculiar importance of its own. An apostle is one sent out. Missionary, with which we have become so familiar in our days, is the same word in another language. An inexpressible dignity is connected with the mission of this Apostle. The sender, the sent, and the errand, are all great. All our missions are copies of this great original. He is High Priest too. It is His office to go into the holiest with atoning blood, and there plead for the rebellious. With His own blood our High Priest has entered into the heavens, where He ever liveth to make intercession for us. In His own personal ministry He was first Apostle and then High Priest. In the order of time His mission as God's representative sent out to us was first accomplished, and thereafter His mission as our representative sent in to God. Throughout His personal ministry in the body He acted as Apostle; at His death and resurrection and ascension He became High Priest. When Jesus as our High Priest passed into the heavens, His personal ministry as our Apostle ceased; but He has not left Himself without a witness. He has left that work to His servants. He prescribed their task, and promised them aid (Matthew 28:20). Not only every preacher, but every believer of the Word, is an apostle, charged and qualified to make it known. When He ascended He left on earth a multitudinous ministry. Nor is Divine commission wanting to the meanest: "Let him that heareth say, Come." In a similar manner the intercession of the High Priest in heaven is reduplicated on the earth. "Brethren, n, pray for us," expresses the true instinct of the new creature in a time of need. All who preach in any form to men also pray for them; and, besides these, a great number of the Lord's little ones, who lack courage or skill to spake a word for Christ, speak in secret to Him, for their neighbours and for the world. In view of both these offices He said to His disciples, "It is expedient for you that I go away." His ascension into heaven spreads both the apostleship and the priesthood over the world. In contact with the earth's surface the sun would be only a consuming fire; from the height of heaven it sheds down light and heat on every land. So Christ, after the days of His humiliation were done, was a "Light inaccessible and full of glory."

III. THE ACT. How the holy brethren should regard Christ: "Consider Him." Consider Him the Apostle. Well we may. When the heavens must open, and a messenger come forth bearing the mind of God to men, we have cause to rejoice that the mission is intrusted to a partaker of our nature. It was necessary that we should meet God; to make the meeting possible, God became man and dwelt among us. Consider Him who has brought out the message, for He is " gentle and easy to be entreated." Consider Him the High Priest. He is before the throne, charging Himself with all the interests of His people. He has power with God, and pity for man.

(W. Amos.)

I. We have here ONE GREAT COMPREHENSIVE COMMAND. The word "consider" implies in the original an earnest, fixed, prolonged attention of mind.

1. The first remark that I would make is that a Christian man's thoughts should be occupied with his Saviour. How do you Christian people expect to get any blessing from Jesus Christ? Does He not work by His truth? And can that truth which sanctifies and saves produce effects if it is not appropriated by the meditative occupation of our minds with it? What is all the gospel to you unless it is consciously present to your understanding, and through your understanding is ruling your affections, and moulding your will, and shaping the outgoings of your life?

2. Then, that being premised, note how much practical direction as to the manner of that occupation of mind and spirit with Christ lies in that single emphatic word " consider."(1) There is surely implied, to begin with, that such occupation must be the result of conscious effort. Why, you cannot even make money until, as you say, "you give your minds to business." A man sitting at a desk cannot even add up a column of figures correctly if he is thinking about a hundred other things. And do you think that the Divine glories of Christ are to flow into a man's soul on condition of less concentration and attention?(2) But, still further, our gaze on Him must be the look of eager interest; it must be intense as well as fixed. I do not wonder at so many people thinking that there is nothing to interest them in the gospel. There is nothing — and that because they do not come to it with awakened eagerness, and so because they have no hunger it is tasteless. If we would hear Christ, we must keep our ear attent unto His voice. To superficial investigation no treasures are disclosed, we must dig deep if we would find the vein where the gold lies. Still further, another requisite of this occupation of mind with Christ and His work may be suggested as included in the word.(3) Our consideration must be resolute, eager, and, also, steady or continuous. A hurried glance is as profitless as a careless one. You do not see much on first going into a dark room out of the light; nor do you see much on first going into the light out of the dark. It was Newton, I think, who, when asked as to his method of working in attacking complicated problems, had only the simple answer to give, "I keep it before me." Yes, that is the way to master any subject of thought. The steady gaze will, by slow degrees, see order where the random glance saw only chaos. And we shall never see the glory of that light which dwells between the Cherubim if our visits to the shrine arc brief and interrupted, and the bulk of our time is spent outside the tabernacle amidst the glaring sand and the blazing sunshine. Let us fix our eyes on Him, our Lord. Surely there is enough there to draw and satisfy the most prolonged eager gaze. He is our Example, our Redeemer, our Prophet. In Him we see all of God that man can apprehend, and all of man. In Him we behold our wisdom, our strength, our righteousness.

II. THE GREAT ASPECTS OF CHRIST'S WORK WHICH SHOULD FIX OUR GAZE. We have Himself proposed as the object of our thoughts.

1. He is the Apostle of our profession. No declaration was more common on our Lord's lips when on earth than that He was " sent of God." He is the sent of God. And our loving thoughts are to lay hold upon this aspect of His nature avid work, not to tarry in the simple manhood, fair and blessed as that is, but to discern in Him the complete expression of the Divine Will, the complete fulfilment of the slow marching revelations of God, the perfect, final, eternal word spoken of God among men.

2. Then we are to think of Him as our High Priest. "As Apostle," it has been well said, "He pleads God's cause with us: as High Priest He pleads our cause with God. The Apostolate and the Priesthood of Christ are both included in the one word — Mediator."

III. THE GREAT REASONS FOR THIS OCCUPATION OF MIND AND HEART WITH CHRIST, OUR MEDITATOR. These are to be found in the remaining portion of this verse.

1. Our relation to Christ and the benefit we derive from it should impel us to loving meditation on Him. "Holy brethren."

2. The calling of which we are partakers should impel us to loving meditation. God in Christ calls us to His service, to His love, to His heaven. Of this call all Christian souls are recipients. Therefore it becomes them to set their thoughts and love on that Saviour, through whom they receive it at the first, and continue to feel its quickening impulse and its immortal hopes.

3. Further, the avowal which we have made concerning Him should impel us to loving, steadfast contemplation. He is "the Apostle and High Priest of our profession," or, perhaps, more accurately "of our confession." Our creed avows that Christ is everything to us. Alas! alas! how many of us proclaim in our lives that He is nothing. If these tremendous sentences are believed at all by us, what means this languid, occasional half-hearted gaze upon Him? Surely, if we believe them, we should never turn away from beholding that face, so gentle and so Divine, radiant with the brightness of God, and soft with the dewy pity of a brother and a priest! Is your life in accordance with your confession? If not, what is the confession but a blasphemy or a hypocrisy? And what does it avail except to make the life more criminal in its forgetfulness of your Saviour?

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

When a traveller passes very rapidly through a country, the eye has no time to rest upon the different objects in it, so that, when he comes to the end of his journey, no distinct impressions have been made upon his mind. This explains how it is that death, judgment, eternity, make so little impression upon most men's minds. More souls are lost through want of consideration than in any other way. The reason why men are not awakened is, that the devil never gives them time to consider. He beguiles them away from simply looking to Jesus: he hurries them away to look at a thousand other things. But God says, Look here, consider the Apostle and High Priest of your profession; look unto Me, and be be saved.

I. BELIEVERS SHOULD LIVE IN DAILY CONSIDERATION OF THE GREATNESS AND GLORY OF CHRIST, OH, could I lift you away back to that wonderful day, and show you Jesus calling all the angels into being, hanging the earth upon nothing; consider Him, and see if you think He will be a sufficient Saviour. I can as little doubt the sureness and completeness of my salvation as I can doubt the sureness of the solid earth beneath my feet. And where is Jesus now? All power is given to Him in heaven and on earth. Oh, could you and I pass this day through these heavens, and see what is now going on in the sanctuary above — could you see the Lamb, surrounded by all the redeemed, the many angels round about the throne, and were one of these angels to tell you, "This is He that undertook the cause of lost sinners — consider Him — look long and earnestly upon His wounds — upon His glory — and tell me do you think it would be safe to trust Him? Do you think His sufferings and obedience will have been enough?" Yes, yes, every soul exclaims, Lord, it is enough! Oh, rather let me ever stand and gaze upon the Almighty, all-worthy, all-Divine Saviour, till my soul drinks in complete assurance that His work undertaken for sinners is a finished work.

II. CONSIDER CHRIST AS THE APOSTLE, OR MESSENGER OF GOD. NOW Christ is an Apostle, for God ordained and sent Him into the world. Oh, could I lift you away to the eternity that is past; — could I bring you into the council of the Eternal Three; and as it was once said "Let us make man"; — could I show you how God from all eternity designed His Son to undertake for poor sinners; — could I show you the intense interest with which the eye of God followed Jesus through His whole course of sorrow, and suffering, and death. Oh, sinner, will you ever doubt any more whether God the Father be seeking thy salvation?

III. CONSIDER CHRIST AS THE HIGH PRIEST OF OUR PROFESSION.

1. Consider Him making atonement. Now the atonement has been made, Christ has died, His sufferings are all past. And how is it that you do not enjoy peace? It is because you do not consider.

2. Conisider Christ as making intercession.

(R. M. McCheyne.)

I. THE APOSTLESHIP OF CHRIST. In its exact and original signification an apostle is "one who is sent," i.e., the bearer of a message from some one. There have been many revelations of God, differing in kind, differing in degree and completeness. The greatest and most complete revelation of God is in Jesus Christ. In the teaching of Christ, in pregnant saying, or parable, or discourse, we have a revelation concerning God which it had not entered the mind of man to conceive.

II. THE HIGH-PRIESTHOOD OF CHRIST. The essential idea of a priest is that he comes between man and God; and the essential idea of a priesthood is that of a class of men who act as mediators between God and men. The priest offered sacrifices, or conducted religious ceremonies, but he did these things not for himself, but for the worshippers. If it be true that without blood there is no remission of sins, it is also true that without an intervening priest, there was no shedding of sacrificial blood, and therefore no remission. Carry these thoughts with you then, and you will see why Christ is called the High Priest of our profession. High Priest, because He stands for mankind before God: High Priest, because He has made one all-sufficient sacrifice for the sins of men: High Priest, because He does for men what they could not and cannot do for themselves. Christ's priesthood means that we have a way by which we may approach the eternal and all-holy Father. They who are conscious of their own unworthiness may plead the worthiness of Christ, may rest with confidence on the sympathy of Him who wore our humanity as a brother-man. Christ's priesthood further means that a sacrifice bus been made by which the defilement of sin is removed, and a new relation begun between men and God. Christ's priesthood means that in His crucifixion, from which He did not shrink, there was given to men a means of reconciliation with God. And, once more, Christ's priesthood means that there is in heaven One who pleads continually for pardon for sinful men. To what now, I ask, should these considerations of the apostleship and priesthood of Christ tend? The writer of this Epistle uses them to add point to his exhortation, and to warn against unbelief. I know that some among you are fully aware of the responsibilities of belief, and shrink from doing or professing anything which seems to go beyond your power to practise. Have you ever thought of the responsibilities in which the want of belief may involve you? Have you ever, amid your doubts and hesitations, considered this, that by your doubts and hesitations you are practically denying that the revelation of God in Christ is a revelation to you; that you are practically saying, "Christ's sacrifice was no sacrifice, so far as I am concerned." True it is that they who enter into the temple, have their responsibilities; but are they free from responsibility who stand at the threshold and will not enter in? And the same considerations may be used to quicken and sustain our faith. Christ is our Apostle; therefore we have a sure knowledge of God. Christ is our High Priest; therefore, we have in our hearts the assurance of Divine love, and the abiding hope of Divine forgiveness.

(D. Hunter, B. D.)

I. THE SUBJECT FOR STUDY.

1. Consider the person of Jesus. Christianity is Christ; and if Christ be not God. Man our religion is the dream of sanguine enthusiasts or the fraud of ingenious impostors.

2. Consider the offices of Jesus.

(1)In His Divine-human capacity Jesus is the Apostle of our confession.

(2)As Apostle Jesus has a mission. He is High Priest.

II. THE STUDENTS.

1. Confessors. Practical confession is the living up to all we believe, and the carrying out of all that that belief involves.

2. Holy brethren. Christ was born and died that He might communicate His Holy Spirit, by whose regenerating, adopting, and sanctifying work we arc made holy, the sons of God, and His brethren.

3. Partakers of a heavenly calling.

(1)Walk worthy of it.

(2)Make it sure.

III. THE METHOD OF STUDY AND THE SPIRIT IN WHICH IT IS TO BE PURSUED.

1. As for the method, the word "consider" is descriptive of the posture of the earnest student who abstracts his attention from every other object, and pores over the thing in hand with unflagging industry until he has mastered it.(1) To our study of Jesus we must give undivided attention. We know so little of Christ, in spite of all our prayer and meditation, because we think of so much else while we are trying to think of Him.(2) Our study must be deep. Just as nature is grand or commonplace according as our reading is profound or superficial, so is it with the great subject of Christian study.(3) Our study must be patient and persistent. That knowledge is not worth much, and is often worth less than nothing, which is acquired in a few weeks' scamper over a mighty continent.

2. The spirit.(1) Reverential.(2) Humble boldness.

(J. W. Burn.)

If you wish to look at a portrait of Raphael's, what would you think to see only the forehead uncovered, and then only the eyes, and so on, until all the features had been separately seen? Could you gain a true idea of the picture as a whole? Yet this is the way men look at the picture of Christ in the Gospels, reading a few verses and mottoes here and there, and never considering the life in its wholeness and harmony.

(H. W. Beecher.)

Consider not lightly, as they that do not mind the thing they look upon. Their eyes are upon it, but their mind is on another matter. Look on Him with the sharp eye of your mind. Consider that in Him all the treasures of wisdom lie hid. He is a rich storehouse, in whom ye may find all the pearls and jewels of wholesome doctrine. In Him there is salvation, and in no other; therefore all other teachers set aside, listen to Him. When the judge of assizes gives the charge, all that be in the shire-house, especially they that be of the great inquest, consider seriously what is spoken. When the king makes a speech in the Parliament-house, the whole House considers earnestly what he says. Christ Jesus, the King of kings, speaks to us in the ministry of the Word, yet few consider the excellent things that be spoken. The Queen of Sheba considered Solomon well, all that he spake or did. Behold, here is a greater than Solomon. Therefore let us diligently consider what He says. If they were matters of no moment, we were not to be blamed, though we did not consider them; but being of such weight, touching the eternal salvation of our souls, what madmen be we, that we consider them no better. If one should talk to us of gold and silver, we would consider what he says. Christ speaks to us of that which surpasseth all the silver in the world, yet we regard Him not. Let us consider Him now, that He may consider us hereafter when He comes with His holy angels.

(W. Jones, D. D.)

I. THE GENERAL FUNCTION OF CHRIST, as a Prophet, Apostle, and Minister of the Word of God, was to make known the will of the Father unto His people.

II. HIS SPECIAL CALL to that function was immediate from the Father. Christ thus saith of Himself (John 20:21). Oft does Christ make mention of this that His Father sent Him. Where Christ saith to the Jews (John 5:37; John 6:46; John 1:18).

III. THE PRIVILEGES which belonged to an apostolical function, and in a most eminent manner appertained unto Christ, were these.

1. Christ laid the foundation, for He first preached the gospel (Genesis 3:15). Yea, Christ Himself was the very foundation (1 Corinthians 3:11). He is also the chief corner-stone (Ephesians 2:20).

2. The whole world was Christ's jurisdiction. No limits were set to His function (Psalm 2:8; Ephesians 2:17).

3. He had His gifts immediately by the Spirit (Isaiah 11:2; Luke 2:20).

4. He received the Spirit more abundantly than any other (John 3:34; Colossians 2:3, 9; John 1:16).

5. He could not but have infallible assistance in that He was the very truth itself (John 14:16; Luke 4:18).

6. He also must needs have power of giving gifts, in that He was the prime Author of all gifts (Ephesians 4:7; John 20:22).

7. About miracles He had mote power than ever any other.

8. Vengeance especially belongeth unto Christ (Romans 12:19). When the apostle delivered the incestuous person over to Satan, he did it in the name and with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 5:4).

(W. Gouge.)

Where Christ is said here to be the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, we must learn this: that we that be Christians profess no other teacher, nor no other Saviour, but that Christ is both our wisdom and our justification; His word is ours, His doctrine is ours, His wisdom is ours, we profess not one jot whereof He hath not been an Apostle unto us; and whosoever he be that teacheth us other things than what Christ hath taught us already, he is not of our profession nor of our brotherhood. And more than this, we are sure he teacheth nothing but vain illusions and imaginations of men; for all treasures of wisdom and true knowledge are hit" in Christ. And seeing it hath pleased Him to be our Apostle, who is the Son of God, the brightness of His glory, the ingraven form of His substance, the Heir of all things, the Maker of heaven and earth, far greater than angels, how unthankful be we if His doctrine be not our profession; nay, how mad be we, if we will change Him for any other or for all other. Whatsoever glorious names they bring, of fathers, doctors, councils, we neither know them nor their names. If they be ministers of Christ unto us, their feet are beautiful, and their names are honourable, it they be their own ministers, we know them not, nor all their glory. Now where the apostle calleth Christ the High Priest of our profession, as we have learned before, if He be our Apostle, we have no other teacher. So we learn here, if He be the Priest of our profession, no part of the office of His Priesthood we may give to another, but profess it clearly that He is our priest alone. And as the priest is ordained to make sacrifice for sin, and to be a mediator between God and man, so all this work we must leave wholly unto Him, receive no other, upon whom we will lay this reconciliation, to purge our sins, and to bring us to God, but Christ alone.

(E. Deering, B,D.)

Let us look at the word "profession." We are very apt to undervalue things with which abuse and danger are connected, and which may be easily counterfeited. There is such a thing as a mere outward hypocritical profession; but is that a reason why we should not attach importance to confessing Christ? With the heart we are to believe unto righteousness, and with the mouth we are to confess that Jesus is the Lord. It may be a mere lip-utterance to say, "I believe in Jesus"; it may be only a form to sit down at the Lord's table; but as the outward expression of an inward reality, it is a great and blessed fact. Let us not be secret disciples; let us not come to Jesus merely by night, ashamed to bear testimony to the gospel. Our confession of Christ in the outward Church, in the congregation of professed disciples, in the ordinances of Christ's institution, let us not undervalue it! Remember with gratitude that you have publicly professed Christ; that into the Church of Christ you have been received by baptism, and acknowledged at the Lord's Supper as a brother and partaker of the heavenly calling. Let the remembrance of this be to us continually helpful, and stimulate us to adorn the doctrine of the gospel by a Christ-like life and walk.

(A. Saphir.)

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