Moses’ name was synonymous with the law he mediated, but it’s important to remember that the man himself was profoundly revered in Israel throughout its history. He was chosen by God specifically. God spoke to Moses directly from the burning bush. Moses became their deliverer through a series of incredible miracles including turning his staff to a snake and back again, turning water to blood, and then 10 incredible plagues that distinguished between Egyptians and Israelites. He then opened the Red Sea with his staff! He was the greatest of all the prophets as well. In Numbers 12:7-8 God explains Moses’ superiority to the other prophets. God says when he calls prophets he reveals truths to them through dreams and visions but, “Not so with my servant Moses. He is faithful in all my house. With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in riddles, and he beholds the form of the LORD.”

There were a few other reasons that Moses was so highly revered by the Jews. He is the “Lawgiver.” Kent writes in his commentary, “Moses was the lawgiver. To the Jew, the Law was the greatest thing in all the world.”[1] Don’t forget that Moses was also the greatest Jewish historian. Through him came the history of creation and the connection of all Jews with Abraham and Noah. The Jews know who they are because of Moses. Moses could also be called the greatest high priest in Israel as well. His brother Aaron may have had the title, but it was Moses who made intercession for his people after the golden calf incident where Aaron was implicated. It was Moses who held up the rod for victory over the Amalekites with Aaron and Hur supported his arms. It was Moses who sprinkled the blood.  Through all this, Moses was still called the “most humble” man in the Old Testament. According to Exodus 33:8, whenever Moses walked around the camp, the people would come out of their tents and stand to honor him.

Yes, Moses was all these things but Jesus is better! The author of Hebrews wants us to consider, or think carefully about Jesus. He says, “Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.” Moses was great! But Jesus is greater. The College Press Commentary says, “He is our savior. Without his death we would die forever. With his death we can live forever. He is our high priest. No one else could enter God’s presence for us to make atonement for us. No one else could intercede for us like Jesus.”[2] When it comes to choosing between Moses and Jesus be sure to think carefully.

[1] R. Kent Hughes, Hebrews: An Anchor for the Soul, vol. 1, Preaching the Word (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1993), 90.

[2] James Girdwood and Peter Verkruyse, Hebrews, The College Press NIV Commentary (Joplin, MO: College Press, 1997), Heb 3:1.