Scripture: Hebrews 7:1-17
Key verses: (1-7) This “King Melchizedek of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham as he was returning from defeating the kings and blessed him”; 2 and to him Abraham apportioned “one-tenth of everything.” His name, in the first place, means “king of righteousness”; next he is also king of Salem, that is, “king of peace.” 3 Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.
4 See how great he is! Even Abraham the patriarch gave him a tenth of the spoils. 5 And those descendants of Levi who receive the priestly office have a commandment in the law to collect tithes from the people, that is, from their kindred,though these also are descended from Abraham. 6 But this man, who does not belong to their ancestry, collected tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had received the promises. 7 It is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior.
Reflection: Melchizedek is one of the most mysterious figures in the Bible. When we were taking our Bible Content exams to become ordained, we knew Melchizedek would be the subject of several questions. He appears Genesis 14, Psalm 110 and Hebrews 5-7, all pointing to the priesthood of Christ. Jesus is of the eternal priestly order of Melchizedek.
What does this passage have to teach us today? We could debate the nature of the priest Melchizedek or we can just sit with the mystery. The mystery of Melchizedek reminds us that there is much we cannot understand. God and God’s ways always exceed our understanding. Maybe we need a little mystery in this world where we can google everything and quickly find an explanation. We don’t often just sit around and wonder. Wonder about the priest Melchizedek with no genealogy who resembles the son of God. Wonder about God’s love for us in Jesus that was not reactionary but part of the drama of God’s redeeming love. Let us sit with the awe-inspiring mysteriousness of God.
Prayer: Guide us, O God, as we seek to know you better. May we be open to learn new things from scripture. Give us grace to trust you. Amen.
Author: Michelle Thomas-Bush
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].