Melchizedek appears from nowhere in Genesis and we know nothing about what happens to him afterwards. He foreshadowed Jesus: ‘Resembling the Son of God, he continues to be a priest without interruption and without successor’ (Hebrews 7:3, AMP).
The writer demonstrates the superiority of Jesus (Melchizedek’s priesthood) to that of any other priest (of Levi) (verses 1 to 10).
Jesus, a priest in the order of Melchizedek, is a righteous king of peace. Melchizedek’s name means ‘king of righteousness’ and he was also ‘king of Salem’, which means ‘king of peace’ (verse 2).
Jesus’ priesthood is permanent. No ‘end of life’ is recorded for Melchizedek (verses 3 and 8). Likewise, Jesus is a living priest for ever. Psalm 110 also declares that the Lord is a ‘priest for ever in the order of Melchizedek’ (verse 4).
Jesus (Melchizedek) received a tithe from Abraham (Hebrews 7:4). This spontaneous gift from Abraham showed that he realized his own inferiority to Melchizedek. Levi was Abraham’s great-grandson. An ancestor is regarded in biblical thought as containing within himself all his descendants (verses 9 and 10). Therefore, the priesthood of Jesus (Melchizedek) enjoys a higher status than that of the Levitical priesthood.
Melchizedek gave Abraham a blessing (verses 6 and 7). God had promised that in Abraham all the nations of the world would be blessed (Genesis 22:18). Therefore, if Melchizedek could bless Abraham, Melchizedek’s status must be superior to the Levitical order (Hebrews 7:7).
Jesus’ priesthood, ‘in the order of Melchizedek’, reminds us that we can trust that the promises of God are totally secure. Jesus guaranteed them for us by going where we could not, ‘on our behalf’. He is your ‘high priest for ever, in the order of Melchizedek’ (Hebrews 6:20).
And that’s the Memo. Steve