Day 294 October 21
16 The officials didn’t know where I had gone or what I was doing. I hadn’t yet told the Jews, the priests, the officials, the officers, or the rest who were to do the work. 17 So I said to them, “You see the trouble that we’re in: Jerusalem is in ruins, and its gates are destroyed by fire! Come, let’s rebuild the wall of Jerusalem so that we won’t continue to be in disgrace.” 18 I told them that my God had taken care of me, and also told them what the king had said to me.
“Let’s start rebuilding!” they said, and they eagerly began the work.[c]
19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they mocked and made fun of us. “What are you doing?” they asked. “Are you rebelling against the king?”
20 “The God of heaven will give us success!” I replied. “As God’s servants, we will start building. But you will have no share, right, or claim in Jerusalem.”
41 Then Jesus said to them, “Why is it said that the Messiah is the son of David? 42 David himself declares in the Book of Psalms:
“‘The Lord said to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand
43 until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet.”’
44 David calls him ‘Lord.’ How then can he be his son?”
45 While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples, 46 “Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. 47 They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.”
11-14 If the priesthood of Levi and Aaron, which provided the framework for the giving of the law, could really make people perfect, there wouldn’t have been need for a new priesthood like that of Melchizedek. But since it didn’t get the job done, there was a change of priesthood, which brought with it a radical new kind of law. There is no way of understanding this in terms of the old Levitical priesthood, which is why there is nothing in Jesus’ family tree connecting him with that priestly line.
15-19 But the Melchizedek story provides a perfect analogy: Jesus, a priest like Melchizedek, not by genealogical descent but by the sheer force of resurrection life—he lives!—“priest forever in the royal order of Melchizedek.” The former way of doing things, a system of commandments that never worked out the way it was supposed to, was set aside; the law brought nothing to maturity. Another way—Jesus!—a way that does work, that brings us right into the presence of God, is put in its place.
20-22 The old priesthood of Aaron perpetuated itself automatically, father to son, without explicit confirmation by God. But then God intervened and called this new, permanent priesthood into being with an added promise:
God gave his word;
he won’t take it back:
“You’re the permanent priest.”
Prayer: you are our advocate, our High Priest, in all things and we thank you for being on our side. Amen.