Introduction: Many years ago, a couple in the church invited us over
to their home. It was important, because he was the chairman of the
school board where my wife was teaching. After spending an afternoon
with them, I decided that I did not particularly care for the fellow
because he had such a strong pride of opinion. Have you run into
people like that? Superior, “know-it-alls?” The more I thought about
it the more I realized that the reason this fellow rubbed me the
wrong way was that he was too much like me! While Christians agree
that an attitude of superiority is not good, our lesson this week
impresses us again with Jesus’ superiority. This time, Hebrews argues
Jesus is superior to Moses. It was quite the claim for the time.
Let’s dive into our study and find out why the superiority of Jesus
is so important!

  1. Above Moses

    1. Read Hebrews 3:1-2. As you review the life of Moses, how
      faithful to God would you find him?

      1. Would there be room for improvement in Moses’ life?
        (Moses killed the Egyptian ( Exodus 2:11-12),
        protested God’s offer to lead the people (Exodus
        4:10-16), and lost his temper and disobeyed God when
        he hit the rock instead of speaking to it (Numbers
        20:8-12). There was room for improvement.)

      2. How do you think the Jews at the time of the book of
        Hebrews viewed Moses? (He would be the greatest.
        William Barclay’s commentary on this verse in Hebrews
        tells us “To the Jew it would have been impossible to
        conceive that anyone ever stood closer to God than
        Moses did.”)

      3. The last part of verse 2 says, “Moses was faithful in
        all of God’s house.” What do you think is meant by
        “God’s house?” (It seems God is speaking of the House
        of Israel. Those who follow God. See Numbers 12:7 and

    2. Read Hebrews 3:3-4. We again see a reference to “the
      house.” How is Jesus the “builder of the house” and Moses
      “the house?” (Verse 4 tells us that God built everything.
      If Moses, as “the house” is given the credit for leading
      God’s people on earth, the point of this text is that
      Jesus created the people, including Moses.)

      1. Imagine the reaction to these statements by the
        readers of Hebrews who did not believe in Jesus or
        did not know Him.

    3. Read Hebrews 3:5. How has Moses now moved to “servant of
      the house” status? (Moses, who wrote the first five books
      of the Bible, “testified to what would be said in the
      future.” In this way he also served “the house.”)

    4. Read Hebrews 3:6. Who is more important in a house: the
      son or the servant? (The son.)

      1. What do you see as the point of the discussion so far
        that Jesus is more important than Moses? Why argue
        that? (Again, Hebrews is hammering home the point
        that Jesus is God.)

      2. Now (v.6) you are called his “house.” Does this
        change your mind about what is meant by “the house”
        earlier? (No. This further strengthens the argument
        that “the house” represents those who choose to
        follow God.)

  2. The Call

    1. Read Hebrews 3:7-9. So far, the verses in Hebrews 3 have
      been giving us the message that Jesus is superior to
      Moses. Now we see a reference to what the Israelites did
      when they were led by Moses. What did they do? (They
      rebelled and hardened their hearts “during the time of

    2. Read Hebrews 3:10-11. What was God’s reaction to the
      people’s rebellion against the leadership of Moses? (The
      people would never enter into the “rest” of God. They
      would not enter the promised land.)

    3. Read Hebrews 3:12. It seems the reason for arguing the
      superiority of Jesus over Moses has now changed somewhat.
      Why do you think the writer of Hebrews is now arguing the
      superiority of Jesus over Moses?

      1. How does the conclusion in verse 12 fit into the
        argument that has preceded it? (Israel’s failure to
        enter Canaan (the promised land) the first time is
        one of the outstanding failures of faith in the Old
        Testament. The people failed to follow the leading of
        Moses, a person that they now considered to be a
        great leader. Hebrews teaches us that if it was a
        great failure of faith not to follow Moses, how much
        greater a failure is it not to follow Jesus – the
        Living God!)

  3. Our Part in the Call

    1. Read Hebrews 3:13. The writer of Hebrews builds this
      powerful theological argument for following Jesus, who is
      far superior to Moses. What role do we have in helping
      others to follow Jesus? (We are to encourage each other.)

      1. Remember that the context of the problem is rebellion
        and a lack of faith in God. How would you encourage
        others who show signs of rebellion and lack of faith?

        1. What technique would you use? What have you

      2. Notice that verse 13 tells us to encourage each other
        “daily.” This could be a big pain in the neck! Why
        should we encourage others daily? What about the
        context teaches us that daily is important? (The
        phrase in verse 13 “as long as it is called Today”
        implies that there is a limited time for us to answer
        the call of Jesus. There is a limited time for us to
        make a choice. Because of this limited time
        opportunity, we need to be busy to help encourage
        others right now!)

        1. How long is the “limited time opportunity?” (It
          varies. If we assume, as I do, that entering the
          earthly promised land symbolizes entering the
          heavenly promised land, the people who failed to
          enter Canaan the first time had a specific time
          for decision. It was forty years before another
          time for decision rolled around for God’s

    2. Read Hebrews 3:14-16. I thought the longer we are a
      Christian, the better we become. What standard for holding
      onto our faith is stated in these verses? (It says to hold
      on to the confidence we had when we were first converted.)

      1. Explain the logic in this?

      2. Does the example of the Israelites leaving Egypt help
        us to understand this logic? (I think so. Those who
        decided to leave Egypt were trusting Moses (and God)
        to lead them to a better land. They were completely
        dependant. Part of our Christian “walk” is to retain
        that complete dependance on God. This dependence is
        called (v.14) “confidence.” The Israelites who had
        confidence when they left Egypt (v.16) lost their
        confidence at the boarder of Canaan and rebelled –
        they refused to enter the promised land.)

    3. Read Hebrews 3:17-19. What was the root cause of this loss
      of confidence, this failure to enter the promised land?

    4. So far we have learned that Jesus is greater than any
      prophet, He is greater than any angel and He is greater
      than Moses. Is it necessary for us to believe this, have
      confidence in fact, in order to enter Heaven? (That seems
      to be precisely the point of the writer of Hebrews. He is
      building this argument through the first three chapters of
      the book.)

    5. Friend, do you believe that Jesus is fully God and fully
      man? Do you believe that He is greater than any prophet,
      angel or man (including the great Moses)? If we believe
      this, and hold on to this belief, God offers us the
      opportunity to enter into the eternal promised land –

  4. Next week: Jesus, Our High Priest.