Jesus the priest

Hebrews 5:5-10
The Epistle to the Hebrews joins the Revelation to John as the literature most intimidating to readers of the New Testament. With the Revelation the reader must endure its terrible splendor; with Hebrews the reader must listen intently to the tightly woven arguments in what the writer calls a sermon. No question about it, the listening is demanding, not only because of the writer’s rhetorical style but also because of the assumption that the reader knows the Old Testament and the wilderness life of Israel, a life centered in the tabernacle and the daily ministrations of the priest. The difficulty for the reader is softened, however, by the realization that the writer is fully aware of the burden. For example, after introducing the “M” word, Melchizedek, the writer relaxes the reader with “about this we have much to say that is hard to explain,” and then does not return to the theme until Hebrews 7:1. The recess is welcome.


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