7 This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, 2 and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, the name Melchizedek means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” 3 Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever. 4 Just think how great he was: Even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth of the plunder! 5 Now the law requires the descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the people—that is, from their fellow Israelites—even though they also are descended from Abraham. 6 This man, however, did not trace his descent from Levi, yet he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. 7 And without doubt the lesser is blessed by the greater. 8 In the one case, the tenth is collected by people who die; but in the other case, by him who is declared to be living. 9 One might even say that Levi, who collects the tenth, paid the tenth through Abraham, 10 because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor.
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