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A Hyperlink in Scripture

When I was a young preacher, a man asked one of those fun Bible questions that puzzled me. He said, “What man in the Bible had no father or mother, was never born, and never died?” I had to dig to answer that one.

The man he was talking about was Melchisedec. He was king of Salem and priest of God in the days of Abraham. He was “without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually” (Heb. 7:3).

This doesn’t mean he was never born and didn’t die. It means that as a priest, he did not come from a line of priests. His father was not a priest. He was not born into a priestly family like the descendants of Aaron. There was no beginning and end to his priesthood like there was with priests in the law of Moses. There was a succession of priests in the levitical priesthood, but not in Melchisedec’s case. He was a one-of-a-kind priest to God.

Many Christians do not realize the importance of this man. He is only mentioned in three books of the Bible. He blessed Abraham and Abraham gave him a tenth of all the spoils of war (Gen. 14:18-20).

That is all we read about him until we come to Psalm 110 about 900 years later. This is a Messianic psalm. “The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool” (v. 1). Then in verse 6 David said, “The Lord has sworn and will not relent, You are a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec.” That is definitely Messianic.

It would be another 1,000 years before his name appeared in Scripture. Jesus said nothing about him. There is only one book in the Bible that explains what the words of Psalm 110:6 mean. It is the only book that gives the fulfillment. That book is Hebrews. Melchisedec is mentioned nine times; four of those times are direct quotations of Psalm 110:6. He must be very important!

He was a type of Christ. He was king and priest; Jesus is our King and Priest. He had no predecessor or successor; Jesus has neither. And, he was greater than Abraham (Heb. 7:4-7). That must have stunned Jews in the first century. Greater than Abraham?

The lesson of Melchisedec is not just interesting history. Melchisedec was a priest of God before the law of Moses. And he was not an Israelite! If Jesus is a priest like him, not after the levitical order in the law, then the law of Moses has ended!

Many need this teaching today—Jews, Seventh-Day Adventists and premillennialists who say Jesus will re-enact the law of Moses when He returns to name a few.

But we need to study this man for our own understanding as well. He is the link that connects the Patriarchal, Mosaic and Christian age.


West End church of Christ, June 2, 2024


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