7 Melchizedek was the king of Salem. He was the priest of God Most High. He met Abraham, who was returning from winning a battle over some kings. Melchizedek blessed him. 2 Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, the name Melchizedek means “king of what is right.” Also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” 3 Melchizedek has no father or mother. He has no family line. His days have no beginning. His life has no end. He remains a priest forever, just like the Son of God. 4 Think how great Melchizedek was. Even our father Abraham gave him a tenth of what he had captured. 5 Now the law lays down a rule for the sons of Levi who become priests. They must collect a tenth from the people. They must collect it even from those who belong to the family line of Abraham. 6 Melchizedek did not trace his family line from Levi. But he collected a tenth from Abraham. Melchizedek blessed the one who had received the promises. 7 Without a doubt, the more important person blesses the less important one. 8 In the one case, the tenth is collected by men who die. But in the other case, it is collected by the one who is said to be living. 9 Levi collects the tenth. But we might say that Levi paid the tenth through Abraham. 10 That’s because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in Abraham’s body.
This seems to be written to some people who were having trouble fitting Jesus into what they knew (or thought they knew) about God. He had given them a priesthood as intermediaries between them and God. So how could Jesus bring them to God if he isn’t a priest?
It’s so easy to do the same thing: How do God’s miracles fit into my rational world? How does God as creator fit with the evolution I was taught? How does God as healer fit with what I know about medicine?
My understanding needs to fit around God, not God fitting into my limited understanding. God would be entitled to say to these Hebrews “If I make my son a priest and a king, that’s what he is.” But in His typical loving grace, he makes provision for their stubbornness thousands of years before.
Abraham only meets Melchizedek once (in Genesis 14). Even though he has just defeated 5 kings, Abraham recognises that he should submit and give a tithe to this priest king, this king of justice and king of peace, this picture of Jesus. And in his submission, he frees these Hebrews from the prison of their thinking to see the truth of who Jesus is. (You have to love Abraham!)
So where am I prevented by my “understanding” from seeing the truth about Jesus? Like Abraham, I need the humility to submit when I unexpectedly find God’s provision to set my thinking free.
Father, give my mind the humility and freedom to see you as you are.
Written by David Connell