I’m at the place in ministry where I can see some very strong parallels between Moses’ ministry and being a pastor. Different people, same problems. Not everyone, but enough of the same issues to warrant a comparison. So I like Moses a lot. I understand where he’s coming from, even when he is wrong.
I’d I probably do the same thing. My Jewish friends really like Moses too. I think they have good reason to like him. Again, he’s a pretty normal guy who had a lot on his plate. The people complained about so much that he did (and that God did) that it’s not that difficult to imagine how frustrated he probably felt. Of course, that’s no excuse for not trusting God, but we need to remember that we’re not all that different. What doesn’t make sense to me is that people tend to paint a picture that would have Moses and Jesus on different teams and being opposed to each other. That’s silly. Moses looked forward to Christ and Christ understood His role in the redemptive plan. Jesus didn’t hate Moses. They were buddies!
The thing about Moses is that he’s a good guy. He did some good things. He wrote some good things. He saw some good things. Moses was involved in a lot of good.
But Jesus is better. Much better.
“And so, dear brothers and sisters who belong to God and are partners with those called to heaven, think carefully about this Jesus whom we declare to be God’s messenger and High Priest. For he was faithful to God, who appointed him, just as Moses served faithfully when he was entrusted with God’s entire house. But Jesus deserves far more glory than Moses, just as a person who builds a house deserves more praise than the house itself. For every house has a builder, but the one who built everything is God. Moses was certainly faithful in God’s house as a servant. His work was an illustration of the truths God would reveal later. But Christ, as the Son, is in charge of God’s entire house. And we are God’s house, if we keep our courage and remain confident in our hope in Christ.” (Heb. 3:1-6 NLT)
Moses is good, Jesus is better. And that’s saying a lot, because Moses was a pretty stand-up guy. Paul Ellingworth is helpful when he writes,
Praise of Jesus does not entail blame of Moses (? 3:2; 11:27). Jesus’ faithfulness is more highly honoured than that of Moses, not because Moses’ faithfulness was in any way defective, but because that of Jesus was displayed in a higher office.” (The Epistle to the Hebrews : A Commentary on the Greek Text, p. 203)
Moses is good. Jesus is superior.
Luke is a pastor-theologian living in northern California, serving as a co-lead pastor with his life, Dawn, at the Red Bluff Vineyard. Father of five amazing kids, when Luke isn’t hanging with his family, reading or writing theology, he moonlights as a fly fishing guide for Confluence Outfitters. He blogs regularly at LukeGeraty.com and regularly contributes to his YouTube channel.