Questions for Littles: What two titles did Melchizedek have (v1)? Whom did he meet? When? What did Abraham give him (v2)? What was the translation of his name? What does “king of Salem” mean? What things did he not have (v3)? What did it show about him that even the patriarch would give him a tenth (v4)? Who had a commandment to receive tithes from Israel (v5)? But who received tithes from Abraham and blessed him (v6)? But what did Abraham have (end of v6)? What does this mean about Melchizedek: which one is better, the one who blesses or the one who is blessed (v7)? What does v8 say Melchizedek is not? Who is the One now, of whom it is testified, “He lives”? Who else paid tithes to Melchizedek (v9-10)? What does this say about him?In the Scripture for the sermon this week, we learn about someone who is better than Abraham.
That was shocking to a Jew to hear. The way they got Jesus sentenced to death was by accusing Him of preaching against Moses and the temple. The way they got Stephen executed was by accusing him of preaching against Moses and the temple.
And now Scripture is going to tell us about someone better than father (patriarch) Abraham who received the promises? Has it forgotten how great he was?! No, actually, it reminds us in the midst of the passage that he is the patriarch, the recipient of the promises!
How can Melchizedek be better? Well, there are some early clues. First, His name translates to “King of Righteousness.” Abraham had to have sacrifices for sin because he is unrighteous. Second, his title might not mean “King of the place called Jerusalem—city of peace” … rather, the place may have gotten its name because he is the “King of Peace.” After all, that hill was currently called Moriah, and the city up there was currently called Jebus.
King of peace? Abraham wasn’t king of anything. And he didn’t have much peace. In fact, he was a sojourner in the land. Then, there was the fact that Abraham paid a tithe to Melchizedek. v5 implies that this was somehow commanded by God, and v6-10 make very clear that this shows that God Himself considered Melchizedek better.
Finally, if we went back to Genesis 14, we would learn more about this blessing. Not only does Melchizedek bless Abraham, but Abraham learns how to think and speak (v22-23) by listening to Melchizedek (v18-19). It’s fair to say that, after Genesis 14, we spend the entire Bible looking for the reappearance of this eternal, infinitely great, King of righteousness and peace!
How does Jesus as ‘King’ inform our view of ourselves? How do we respond to this info?Suggested Songs: ARP110B “The Lord Has Spoken to My Lord” or HB132 “All Hail the Power”