Hebrews 3

Faithfulness and Rebellion

Our Confession

Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Jesus (Hebrews 3:1).

The word “confession” (Gk. homologia) should be understood as a statement of allegiance, a profession of faith. Since the time of the early church, one of the means by which Christians have confessed their faith is the recitation and affirmation of creeds. This ostracon is inscribed with the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed, traditionally thought to have been articulated at the First Council of Constantinople in AD 381. It is written in Greek.

Jesus's Faithfulness

He was faithful to the One that appointed Him, just as Moses was in all his house (Hebrews 3:2).

In this section, the author compares Jesus’s faithfulness to that of Moses. This photo shows an ancient olive tree in the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus demonstrated His faithfulness as He prayed, “Not my will, but yours, be done” (Luke 22:42). Several olive trees in this area have been dated by radiocarbon to about AD 1100, making them some of the oldest broad-leaved plants in the world.

Israel's Rebellion

Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion, as in the day of testing in the wilderness (Hebrews 3:8).

The Israelites were denied entrance into the land after their rebellion at Kadesh Barnea, although this event is not specifically mentioned in Psalm 95. Psalm 95 cites instead the Israelites’ first and final rebellions in the wilderness. The idea is that God swore they would not enter His rest (the Promised Land) but would wander in the wilderness until the entire generation had passed away. This photograph of Kadesh Barnea was provided by Gary Pratico.

The Wilderness

Where your fathers tried me by testing me (Hebrews 3:9).

Exodus 16 records the grumbling of the Israelites and their desire to return to the food they ate in Egypt. God provided manna for them from that time until the end of their wandering in the wilderness. Exodus 16:1 specifies the Wilderness of Sin as the place of the event, and this photo illustrates the general character and topography of the region. The location shown here is in or near the wilderness of Sin.

Consequences of Unbelief

So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief (Hebrews 3:19).

Even Moses was not able to enter the Promised Land because of his disobedience. He went as far as the Plains of Moab. From there he could look across into Canaan, but he could not enter it himself. This picture shows the sunset over Israel from the Plains of Moab, a view Moses would have had in his dying days.

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