By Ellen Ceely
“So also Christ did not glorify himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him, ‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you’; as he says also in another place, ‘You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.’ In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.” - Hebrews 5:5-10
“Christ did not glorify himself.” That phrase always catches my eye. We’ve seen the disciples wrestle with their desire for glory in our Gospel passages this week. They want glory and honor; they want to be important and known. But Jesus shows them a different way.
Jesus didn’t come to earth seeking his own glory. Jesus came to save his people through sacrifice. His life, death, and resurrection brought glory to God the Father, but Jesus never sought to be glorified or worshipped while he was on earth. Jesus healed, loved, and taught everyone he met. He corrected sin and pointed the world toward salvation, but he never sought glory or privilege.
Jesus became our great high priest because he was appointed by God just as Melchizedek, a priest in Genesis 14, was appointed by God. Because Jesus chose to obey what God asked him to do, he became the source of eternal salvation for everyone who follows and believes in him. Jesus stood before God on our behalf and sacrificed himself for our sins. He was obedient and humble, and he suffered. He suffered because he loved us and wanted us to be with him forever.
Jesus leads by example with the instructions he gives his disciples. He calls them to be humble servants rather than glory-seekers. Jesus tells them to follow him, and he leads them down the most unexpected path.
As you continue to follow Jesus and obey his calling on your life, how do you use your spiritual gifts—to serve others or to seek praise from others? Whether at church, at work, or in your own home, how can you follow Christ in humility and love? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Let's face it, the Christian life is hard. Relationships take work. Christians forget. Sometimes it is tempting to go back to the days when God was not the center of our lives - to backslide. We are all faced with tremendous pressures to drift away from intimacy with Jesus and the community of the Church. However, the Lord invites us to pay attention, to move forward, to draw near, and to live lives of worship. Draw Near: Hebrews on Christian Worship is a small group Bible study on the Book of Hebrews intended to lead participants into a deeper intimacy with the living God in the context of New Testament worship. Draw nearer to God in authentic worship today!
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