Hebrews 5: Jesus is Greater than the High Priests

(14 verses, 0:45 to read, originally posted on October 26, 2014)


What I am about to READ

  • Christ was appointed High Priest by the Father and became the source of eternal salvation.


  • The qualifications for the High Priests (1-4).
  • Christ did not exalt himself, but was chosen by the Father (5-6).
  • Christ prayed, obeyed, and suffered for us (7-10).
  • A rebuke concerning their spiritual immaturity (11-14).


  • Chapter 4 introduced the topic of Jesus as High Priest. Two qualifications are mentioned in chapter 5: 1) A capacity for sympathy and 2) Being called into the office by God. It was important the High Priests were chosen from among the other Levites because they were able to be sympathetic with the weaknesses and failings of their brethren.  It is also important that they were chosen and did not put themselves in that office.
  • In the same way, Christ became man, and so could sympathize with our weaknesses, and He was chosen to be High Priest by the Father. Christ possesses these qualifications perfectly and so is greater than all the other High Priests.
  • Psalm 2:7 and 110:4 are used to show that He was divinely appointed to the office. Though Jesus is not from Aaron’s line He is a true priest after the order of Melchizedek (which will be explained at length in chapter 7!). This proves he meets the second qualification.
  • Verses 7-10 then show how Christ meets the first qualification. He learned through experience the uttermost needs of human weakness and suffering.
  • Though He is God’s Son, He suffered for you, in your place, earning your eternal salvation.
  • The chapter closes with a rebuke to them concerning their laziness and ignorance in spiritual things – including the study of Scripture. This final section introduces the section on apostasy that starts in chapter 6.


  • Christ is the perfect High Priest. He is perfectly obedient for you, He suffers for you, and He sacrifices Himself for you. His perfect sacrifice is the source of your eternal salvation. And He continues to intercede on your behalf.
  • Meditate on Christ’s suffering for you by reading Isaiah 53 and Matthew 27:1-50.
  • “A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth” stanza 1 (see TLH 142, LSB 438, and WH 73):

A Lamb goes uncomplaining forth,
The guilt of all men bearing;
And laden with the sins of earth,
None else the burden sharing!
Goes patient on, grow weak and faint,
To slaughter led without complaint,
That spotless life to offer;
Bears shame and stripes, and wounds and death,
Anguish and mockery, and saith,
“Willing all this I suffer.”

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/dailybiblemeditation/

-Pastor Andrew Packer


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