Reflections of a Broken Man

On Hebrews (i) by StephenMac
March 15, 2011, 12:29 pm
Filed under: Reflections

**currently listening to Death Cab for Cutie – random playlist… most recent purchase is Deftones – White Pony: has some really good tracks, but also some really average ones too…**

So it seems that I have to preach this year, three times in fact… once for mission, once for chapel, and once for church. And probably involving three different passages too. Mission is on John 1:1-18, Chapel is on Hebrews 3, and anything I want at church.

While mission is first, I thought I might write down my thoughts on the Heb. 3 passage (others to come later).

The Book of Hebrews really captured my attention this year with four talks on beach mission from Hebrews called “Jesus is Better”. Every time I read through passages here, the phrase “Jesus is Better” keeps ringing in my head.

We live in a world where religion is everywhere. Churches and temples abound. In Sydney, for those who don’t have church, they have their own “church”, the pub, the nightclub, the office, the stadium, the Apple Store(!). Even for those who profess no religion, in a sense they adhere to the religion of non-belief, and worship in their own non-worship way. We live in a world of nearly infinite choices, a multitude of options, and a variety of alternatives. How can we as Christians even enter into this world? How can we reach those who seem overwhelmed by choice, that the only choice really becomes stay with what you have?

Our usual response has been the negative – These things never satisfy. Alcohol, parties, work, family, sport and possessions, they don’t satisfy. True… in a way. For many people in Sydney, these things do satisfy. We get lost in the moment of the things we have right now, we are stuck in the now, that the rebuke “this doesn’t satisfy” seems nonsensical. “Of course they satisfy! Look at how much fun I’m having, look at how productive I am, look at how loving I am, etc.” “This doesn’t satisfy” is something that doesn’t make sense in Sydney, when we have so much that does satisfy.

The author of the Book of Hebrews faces a similar problem. He writes to people who have great choice. Sure, they’ve heard of Jesus, and probably even believe in who he is and what he has done. But when faced with the multitude of options that are out there, they choose other things as more important. Jesus may be the Son of God. True. Given. But can he really be better than… <insert here>? Can Jesus really be better than the variety of “spiritual experiences” that are out there, is Jesus really better than the great teachers of history (ch. 1-2)?

The answer:
Jesus is Better.

By chapter 3, the question is “Is Jesus really better than the other religious options that are out there?” In the context of First Century Israel, the greatest religious figure in history was Moses, the great leader of the Jewish people. Moses was hardcore. He was politician and priest. He was the worker of miracles. He was Justice Moses, and General Moses. He was the guy who spoke to God… FACE TO FACE! Moses was the man who forged a nation that would change history in possibly the most profound way. Surely Jesus, the man who died like a common criminal on a cross, surely he couldn’t be greater that Moses!

Jesus is Better.

Exegesis of 3:1-7 to come next post.