The author of Hebrews was talking about how amazing and precious Jesus’ ministry is and how real His Word is. The writer of Hebrews is introducing this Word as the Word of Melchizedek. Hebrews 6 speaks about what is the advanced deeper understanding of the Word of God. It is not just understanding through the head, but it is really living out the Word of God. It is receiving the Word and understanding it throughout our lives. Those who come to understand and graduate from the elementary principles and really apply this Word into our life in the form of love of God, will be able to understand Melchizedek.
1. The order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 7:11)
The ‘order’ in Hebrews 7:11 in Greek is taxis (τάξις), it means an arrangement of things in sequence, a fixed succession order. All these meanings have a concept of sequence. The priests in Israel were all in the order of Aaron, in the tribe of Levites. Because they were imperfect human beings, they also sinned and were corrupt. The priest in the order of Aaron only fulfilled the task to satisfy the law, but they could not fully satisfy the law, they did it only temporarily, that is why they had to repeat sacrifice offerings.
That is why we need someone in the order of Melchizedek to give us something greater than the law. This order of Melchizedek existed before Jesus took the high priest position. The word ‘order’ is sequential, and Jesus existed before Melchizedek.
- About Melchizedek (Hebrews 7:1-3, 8)
- Melchizedek is the king of righteousness
Melchizedek means my righteous King. Righteousness in the Bible is the opposite of sinfulness (Romans 3:10). There is no righteous man on this earth, the only righteous One is God Himself. We are called righteous because Jesus died on the cross, justified us and called us righteous.
The end and purpose of God’s work in the Bible is righteousness. That is why He came down to this earth to die on the cross. He has to forgive our sins so He can give us righteousness. The state of righteousness, the state without sin, is called Sabbath. That is when we can enjoy that true eternal peace.
- His name is called King of Salem
Salem in Hebrew is Shalem, this comes from the word Shalom which means peace. Jerusalem is the City of Peace. The Word that Melchizedek brings to us is the Word of righteousness, the Word that deletes our sins, the Word that brings us into eternal peace.
Jesus washed our sins away through the blood of the cross, so He is the King of righteousness just like Melchizedek. After His death on the cross and His resurrection, Jesus always said in Isaiah 9:6 “Peace! I give you peace that the world cannot give”. Jesus is the Prince of peace.
- Melchizedek is without mother, without father
Mary was used to bring Jesus into this world, but Jesus had no biological correlation with Joseph, Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus is also God who is originally spirit (1 Corinthians 15:50).
- Melchizedek is without genealogy
The genealogy we study is the genealogy of the covenant, and the result of that covenant is Jesus Christ. This genealogy shows God’s promise, the seed of the woman. The carriage of the seed is through the genealogy of faith, and not the bloodline genealogy.
In Hebrews 7, the word ‘without genealogy’ uses the Greek word, ‘genealogia’ (γενεαλογία), is referring to biological genealogy. The Greek word ‘geneseos’ (γενέσεως ) in Matthew 1, it is referring to the lineage of God’s covenant. So there is a great difference between geneseos vs geneologia. Melchizedek is One without genealogia, Jesus too is without genealogia. Jesus is a finale of God’s Word passing down generations. Therefore Jesus is the One who belongs to the living and not of the dead. He belongs to the genealogy of the covenant, genealogy of heaven but not of this earth.
- Having neither beginning of days nor end of life
Revelation 21:6: And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts”. Jesus is outside of this limited finite time and space, same as Melchizedek (John 1:3, Revelation 1:8).
- He is a perpetual priest of God Most High
Eternal priest, it has no starting point nor end point. Melchizedek was high priest from before time existed, so is Jesus. Jesus is the Son of God and Melchizedek being “like” the Son of God. Greek word for ‘like’ is aphomoioo (ἀφομοιόω) which means of the same nature, similar. Not exactly the same in all aspects and conditions, but essentially the same nature.
- Received tithes
Just as God commanded all the Israelites to give tithes to the Levites, Abraham gave his tithes to Melchizedek. The commandment of tithes came to Moses during the wilderness journey. But Abraham existed way before Moses. This means all the tithes in the world since the start, are given to Melchizedek. All the tithes Levites would ever receive later in time, were given to Melchizedek through Abraham, this is what Hebrews 7 is explaining (Hebrews 7:2, 4-10).
Tithes is something we offer only to God. God calls us thieves if we stole His tithes, and that God has not changed from Old Testament to New Testament. Tithing is not a ritual or ceremonial task, but it is an expression of our faith, a confession that everything we have came from God and belongs to God.
2. Jesus’ redemptive work and the Order of Melchizedek
Since Jesus is not in the order of Aaron, He is not bound by the law and did not come to give the law. Jesus became a high priest in the order of Melchizedek, through obedience by offering up Himself. Jesus fulfilled the law through obedience, therefore the law cannot bind Jesus anymore. He fulfilled the requirements of priests in the order of Aaron, and now Jesus came into the order of Melchizedek.
When Jesus came to this earth, He came with a new name Jesus Christ (Romans 5:12-13, Matthew 1:21). Christ in Greek, chrīstós (χριστός) means anointed One. In Hebrew, it means Messiah. Yahweh was the name of God given during the Exodus. Jehovah Jirah was God’s name after Abraham offered up Isaac. These names and titles of God were revealed to us to show us God’s ministry, what God is doing in that moment.
After Jesus died on the cross and made us righteous through His blood, Jesus became the high priest in the order of Melchizedek, not a priest under the law (Hebrews 5:8-10, Hebrews 7:11-20). When He knows we are no longer condemned under the law anymore, then Jesus is called the high priest in the order of Melchizedek. We are redeemed from the curse of Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, through the Word of righteousness. Now that we are redeemed from the curse of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, we have to progress and go to the Tree of Life.
the name Jesus means the one who saves us from our sins, which means God has to die. But now that Jesus’ work is done, we don’t need to crucify Him again. For the sake of understanding Him for the next step we need to graduate to, He reveals His name Melchizedek. Only Jesus Christ is the king of peace, only Melchizedek is the king of peace. These are not 2 different people, but Melchizedek is the glorified version of Jesus Christ. For us to see Jesus as Melchizedek, if we want to follow our Lord who is called Melchizedek, then we should be at a place spiritually where we don’t have to crucify Jesus again. That is the mature level of faith.
Melchizedek describes our Lord’s ministry and status before the fall and after redemption. We need Him now if we want to receive that eternal life. The order of Melchizedek is set by God Himself, Jesus Himself. It is just that Jesus has to lower Himself down from that level to our level, and when He is now designated back in the order of Melchizedek, that means He is bringing us up to that higher level now.
May every member of Zion Church be mature spiritually so that we can follow Him, all the way straight to the Tree of Life. May that eternal life be our peace, our righteousness.