Reading Time: 2-3 min

Certain people who have the correct degrees, the proper pedigree–they went to the right schools and were born into the right families–assume these things qualify them for a certain type of work. Then, on the other hand, there are others whose only qualification is that they are good at what they do. Although they were not born into the right family, they have an ability that, while it never has been awarded with a university degree, is nevertheless extremely effective. The writer of Hebrews lays these two things side by side: a physical requirement, and then the challenge by some one who can actually do what he is said to be able to do. Which of these is the greater?

There is a difference between a human requirement and the power of an indestructible life. Jesus is the great High Priest because he is supremely capable of meeting our needs. He knows us, he loves us, and he can help us. Whereas, the Levitical priesthood was weak, his is powerful.

Consider also the oath of God (Hebrews 7:20-22). Psalm 110 says: “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, Thou art a Priest forever….” God took an oath to establish his Son Jesus Christ as High Priest. That fact strikes the author as remarkable. Why should God have to take an oath? Shouldn’t his word be good enough? Think of the humility involved in God’s swearing, as if before a magistrate, that he would tell the truth.

He does so, of course, because man is weak and deceitful. Because of this, we have developed an elaborate system designed to make people keep their word. Have you noticed how children try to escape the consequences of their promises to their peers by saying, “We didn’t shake on it?” As adults we must sign contracts, and have them notarized, to ensure we will do what we have promised to do. We must lay one layer of safeguards on top of another testifying to the fact that we will perform what we have promised we will do. In a tremendous act of humility, God subjected himself to our standards and swore an oath to convince us he would do what he had promised. Jesus’ priesthood comes by the oath of God. Its effectiveness, therefore, cannot be challenged.