Hebrews – Chapter Three IX

by The Doctor

“And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end” (Hebrews 3:5-6).

As is his custom, the author of Hebrews does not engage in an unfounded assertion in the passage quoted above. This declaration regarding Moses and his faithful service serves as a case in point, for it finds its origin in the words of the Old Testament book of Numbers…

“…When there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, reveal myself to them in visions, I speak to them in dreams. But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the Lord…” (Numbers 12:6-8 NIV).

One author provides a further explanation that illustrates the superior nature of Moses’ service…

“The writer says that Moses was faithful as a servant. The particular word he uses for ‘servant’ deserves special study… There is an ethical character attached to the word. It speaks of service of an affectionate nature, and of a hearty character, performed with care and fidelity. [It] speaks of service that is of a nobler and a freer character than that of Doulos (bondslave)… The use of the word in our present passage is indicative of the close relationship which existed between Jehovah and Moses, and of the fact that his services were of an exceptionally high and important character, and valued by Him.” (1)

So, it is worth noting that our author goes to great lengths to emphasize the quality of Moses’ service. Yet despite the dignity, honor, and respect in which he is held, Moses was only a servant in God’s house. As such, he could never take the Son’s place as owner and architect of that house. Instead, “…he was faithful as a servant and his work was only a foreshadowing of the truth that would be known later” (Phillips).

Finally, we should not overlook an important statement from this passage: “But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house…” (NIV, emphasis added). This recalls Jesus’ promise to His followers from the Gospel of John…

“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him” (John 14:23).

(1) Kenneth S. Wuest, Word Studies in the Greek New Testament [note on Hebrews 3:5] Copyright © 1942-55 by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.