THY KINGDOM COME
‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done…’ (Matthew 6:9b-10).
Read Hebrews 7:1–10
Melchizedek the Priest
7 This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, 2 and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, the name Melchizedek means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” 3 Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.
4 Just think how great he was: Even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth of the plunder! 5 Now the law requires the descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the people—that is, from their fellow Israelites—even though they also are descended from Abraham. 6 This man, however, did not trace his descent from Levi, yet he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. 7 And without doubt the lesser is blessed by the greater. 8 In the one case, the tenth is collected by people who die; but in the other case, by him who is declared to be living. 9 One might even say that Levi, who collects the tenth, paid the tenth through Abraham, 10 because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflect‘Your kingdom come.’ What kind of kingdom do you envision? What characterizes this kingdom? Who lives there? What do they do?
The mysterious Melchizedek appears briefly in Genesis 14:18–20, is referred to fleetingly in Psalm 110:4 and reappears in Hebrews (5:6,10; 6:20; 7:1– 17). His name means ‘king of righteousness’ and he reigns in ‘Salem,’ meaning peace (2). Surpassing Abraham (4) and the Levitical priesthood (5), Melchizedek’s perpetual priesthood is patterned on that of the Son of God himself (3).
In a culture where names expressed a person’s essential nature, this enigmatic priest-king anticipates the messianic reign, which is characterized by both justice and peace (Hebrews 1:8,9; Isaiah 9:6,7). While justice and peace go together, there are inevitable tensions between these two concepts.
In the order of Melchizedek comes the priest-king Jesus, presented by God as a ‘sacrifice of atonement,’ which ‘justifies those who have faith in Jesus’ (Romans 3:25,26). Our best efforts fall far short of God’s standards. It is only on the basis of being ‘justified’ (declared righteous) that we can experience peace with God and enjoy abundant life in His kingdom.
It is in Jesus that ‘righteousness and peace kiss each other’ (Psalm 85:10) finally and fully. How can you champion justice and make peace? Maybe by sharing the Good News with someone?
Jesus, thank You that through Your sacrifice I can experience peace with God.