I’ve been working on a project about Melchizedek – that’s what has taken up a lot of my devotional writing time. Mentioned twice in the Old Testament, he becomes a big deal in Hebrews, so people have all sorts of opinions about who he was and what he did.
Some say he is Jesus, others say he is Shem – Noah’s middle son, still others believe he is Christ figure, like David.
I sifted through all the information I could fine and asked three pastors what their opinion was about Melchizedek.
I’m going to present all of the information to my Bible Study when we get to Hebrews 7, so people can make their own decisions. However, I will tell you that I believe he was a Christ-figure, and if he is ‘just’ a figure, he becomes very important to us.
Melchizedek had no mother or father. While Levites had to inherit their priesthood, Melchizedek couldn’t because he had no parents. He was pre-Levite. He was adopted into Christ’s lineage through the Lord’s suffering. Perhaps Melchizedek was not a proper name, but a title because we are described as priests according to his order.
What does it mean to me? It means that my parentage doesn’t matter. I don’t have to have Christian parents, or Jewish parents or even Godly parents. I don’t have to have any parents at all! Jesus’ line is a gift, not a matter of birth.
If we inhert this preisthood from him we also inherit His suffering. We cannot be priests without it and we cannot be effective priests if we refuse to share it. It’s not enough to suffer; the suffering has to bear fruit. It doesn’t mean we must expect to use our hurt right away, but we can have the hope that our wounds are part of others healings, and ultimately part of our own. There is a credibility we can only earn through pain.
No one who has never miscarried can empathize with a woman who has.
No one who has never been depressed is able to minister to someone who has.
No one who is married can really understand or remember what it’s like to be a single person who is lonely.
In a way, pain is an equiste way of relating to one another and learning what it means to love one another. I would never pray for pain, but the more I’m learning about life the more important pain becomes to my ministry and even my hope.