Unity in Christ Jesus
Hebrews 4:14—5:10: Today’s reading cites two priests mentioned in the Old Testament—Melchizedek (Genesis 14:17-20) and Aaron (Exodus 28 and 29). God made Jesus the High Priest who “became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey him” (5:9). Believers are encouraged to approach God’s throne of grace and mercy with confidence.
Jesus the Great High Priest
14 Let us, then, hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we have a great High Priest who has gone into the very presence of God—Jesus, the Son of God. 15 Our High Priest is not one who cannot feel sympathy for our weaknesses. On the contrary, we have a High Priest who was tempted in every way that we are, but did not sin. 16 Let us have confidence, then, and approach God’s throne, where there is grace. There we will receive mercy and find grace to help us just when we need it.
5 Every high priest is chosen from his fellow-men and appointed to serve God on their behalf, to offer sacrifices and offerings for sins. 2 Since he himself is weak in many ways, he is able to be gentle with those who are ignorant and make mistakes. 3 And because he is himself weak, he must offer sacrifices not only for the sins of the people but also for his own sins. 4 No one chooses for himself the honor of being a high priest. It is only by God’s call that a man is made a high priest—just as Aaron was.
5 In the same way, Christ did not take upon himself the honor of being a high priest. Instead, God said to him,
“You are my Son;
today I have become your Father.”
6 He also said in another place,
“You will be a priest forever,
in the priestly order of Melchizedek.”
7 In his life on earth Jesus made his prayers and requests with loud cries and tears to God, who could save him from death. Because he was humble and devoted, God heard him. 8 But even though he was God’s Son, he learned through his sufferings to be obedient. 9 When he was made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey him, 10 and God declared him to be high priest, in the priestly order of Melchizedek.
Today’s Key Verse: Hebrews 4:14b
For we have a great High Priest who has gone into the very presence of God—Jesus, the Son of God.
How is Jesus described in verse 4:15? What does this verse teach you about Jesus? Where in your life do you encounter temptation? What does knowing that Jesus can empathize with your experience mean to you?
Lord Jesus, you are my great High Priest. In the face of temptation, you have taught me to remain faithful to your Word. Strengthen me against the temptations in my life so that I may live as your true disciple. Amen.
Matthew 2:1-12: Visitors from the East worship the infant Jesus.