It’s happened. After twenty-one years of marriage, four home purchases, and numerous DIY projects (many of which went unfinished for months to years), my husband and I now find ourselves in the undesirable position of looking for a builder to add a fourth bedroom and a sauna to our home. (Yes, you read that correctly—a sauna; it’s a Finnish thing and probably deserving of its own blog post when I find the right ridiculous analogy.) Anyway, it’s not just any builder I want—I want one who has impeccable workmanship, is completely trustworthy, and delivers our long-awaited fourth bedroom and authentic Finnish sauna early and under-budget.
Is that too much to ask? Probably. Nonetheless, we’ve begun the process of sifting through bids and Facebook reviews and recommendations, trying to compare builders who, for all intents and purposes, look like they do pretty similar work for a pretty similar price. How does one choose?
The Better Builder of Hebrews 3
The third chapter of Hebrews presents two builders, in a comparison of sorts: Moses and Jesus. To the book’s original readership, Moses would have been the epitome of faithful construction, as he led the Jewish people out of Egypt, through the wilderness, and to the threshold of the Promised Land, in an attempt to build a nation that would be pleasing to God. The author of Hebrews agrees, saying that “Moses also was faithful in all God’s house” (3:2), and that he, though not at the same level as Jesus, was worthy of some amount of glory (3:3). But you know what? As faithful as Moses was as a leader in God’s house, Jesus was, and is, the supreme builder.
What was it about Jesus that made Him worthy of so much more glory than Moses? (Keep in mind, this idea would have been mind-blowing to the Jewish people.) Let’s look at verses three and four:
For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses—as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God).
Moses had been instrumental in leading God’s people for a time. He played a part in building the house of Israel, but Jesus? He was the ultimate provider of every tool at Moses’ disposal. He provided the tools, the resources, and every mercy necessary for Moses’ journey, including Moses’ own belief in the Father’s plan. And in the end, Jesus Himself built His Father’s house, His Church (Matt. 16:18, Mark 14:58), with His hands and by His blood.
Second, Jesus is not only the builder of His Father’s house, but He is the buyer, and the heir as well. “Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant,” we read in verse 5, “to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son” (3:6). Jesus is the builder, the owner, and the rightful heir of the house that He built and redeemed for Himself. He has built it without a single scuff of imperfection, and though He owns it outright, He places each stone in place, offering every single one as a sweet sacrifice to God through Himself (1 Peter 2:5).
Finally, Jesus is building a better Bride. Though Moses led valiantly (well, stumbling at times, but valiant nonetheless), he led a rebel bride, thirsty for her own pursuits. As Hebrews 3:10–11 tells us,
“Therefore I was provoked with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart; they have not known my ways.’ As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest.’”
The nation Moses led was half-hearted, adulterous, and bent on having her own way, but the Bride that Christ is preparing for Himself is pure, rejoicing, and at the ready to meet her groom, as in the song of Revelation 19:6–8,
“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”—for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
The Church is the better Bride, indeed, and Jesus is not content to leave even one rogue member in the rags of rebellion—He calls to those who will hear His voice (Heb. 3:15). Jesus called. He is calling. And He will continue to call until the last sheep hears His voice.
DI-Why and DI-Don’t
Hebrews 3, though beautiful, ends with a sharp-edged warning. I would be remiss if I didn’t ask: Have you heard the voice of Jesus calling? He calls you through His Spirit and through His Word, and I wonder, have you heard Him? If you have heard, but have never fallen before Him to be reconciled, won’t you do that right now? Why? It’s still called today (Heb. 3:13). The patience of God is infinite, yet, one day every knee will bow to the Builder, but it will be too late for those who don’t dwell in His House at that moment. Don’t delay.
And then one more don’t. Don’t harden your heart. Don’t be like those who provoked Moses for forty years and who saw the Red Sea parted, but were never allowed to see the Promised Land because of their disobedient, unbelieving hearts (Heb. 3:16–19). Please, don’t mistake this as saying that you can lose your place at the banquet once you’ve feasted at the Builder’s table; that’s not it at all. If you know the Builder, you will indeed persevere. The heart of verses 18 and 19 is this: It is not that you are in danger of losing your belief because you are disobedient to the call. You are disobedient to the call because you do not believe.
So don’t delay. Believe today. Stop looking for a better builder. There is none to be found. Jesus, and only He, is the builder who remains.