Hebrews 3 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Hebrews 3)

Verse 1

[1] Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;

The heavenly calling — God calls from heaven, and to heaven, by the gospel.

Consider the Apostle — The messenger of God, who pleads the cause of God with us.

And High Priest — Who pleads our cause with God. Both are contained in the one word Mediator. He compares Christ, as an Apostle, with Moses; as a Priest, with Aaron. Both these offices, which Moses and Aaron severally bore, he bears together, and far more eminently.

Of our profession — The religion we profess.

Verse 2

[2] Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.

His house — The church of Israel, then the peculiar family of God. Numbers 12:7.

Verse 3

[3] For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.

He that hath builded it hath more glory than the house — Than the family itself, or any member of it.

Verse 4

[4] For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.

Now Christ, he that built not only this house, but all things, is God - And so infinitely greater than Moses or any creature.

Verse 5

[5] And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;

And Moses verily — Another proof of the pre-eminence of Christ above Moses.

Was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of the things which were afterwards to be spoken — That is, which was a full confirmation of the things which he afterward spake concerning Christ.

Verse 6

[6] But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

But Christ was faithful as a Son; whose house we are, while we hold fast, and shall be unto the end, if we hold fast our confidence in God, and glorying in his promises; our faith and hope.

Verse 7

[7] Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,

Wherefore — Seeing he is faithful, be not ye unfaithful. Psalms 95:7, etc.

Verse 8

[8] Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:

As in the provocation — When Israel provoked me by their strife and murmurings.

In the day of temptation — When at the same time they tempted me, by distrusting my power and goodness. Exodus 17:7.

Verse 9

[9] When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.

Where your fathers — That hard-hearted and stiff-necked generation. So little cause had their descendants to glory in them.

Tempted me — Whether I could and would help them.

Proved me — Put my patience to the proof, even while they saw my glorious works both of judgment and mercy, and that for forty years.

Verse 10

[10] Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.

Wherefore — To speak after the manner of men.

I was grieved — Displeased, offended with that generation, and said, They always err in their hearts - They are led astray by their stubborn will and vile affections.

And — For this reason, because wickedness has blinded their understanding.

They have not known my ways — By which I would have led them like a flock.

Into my rest — In the promised land.

Verse 12

[12] Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

Take heed, lest there be in any of you — As there was in them.

An evil heart of unbelief — Unbelief is the parent of all evil, and the very essence of unbelief lies in departing from God, as the living God - The fountain of all our life, holiness, happiness.

Verse 13

[13] But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

But, to prevent it, exhort one another, while it is called To-day - This to-day will not last for ever. The day of life will end soon, and perhaps the day of grace yet sooner.

Verse 14

[14] For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;

For we are made partakers of Christ — And we shall still partake of him and all his benefits, if we hold fast our faith unto the end. If - But not else; and a supposition made by the Holy Ghost is equal to the, strongest assertion. Both the sentiment and the manner of expression are the same as Hebrews 3:6.

Verse 16

[16] For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.

Were they not all that came out of Egypt — An awful consideration! The whole elect people of God (a very few excepted) provoked God presently after their great deliverance, continued to grieve his Spirit for forty years, and perished in their sin!

Verse 19

[19] So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

So we see they could not enter in — Though afterward they desired it.