Oikos!

A bit more from this little-read book, The Letter to the Hebrews

In chapter 3:1—4, the writer compares Jesus with Moses, who was for Jewish people the highly esteemed prophet par excellence, who received the Law, the Torah. Moses is described here as faithful in managing God’s household, God’s oikos.

Our author addresses his hearers as those God has chosen us to be his holy people, his household (Greek: oikos). His house.

Ever been called holy? We are holy if we belong to him. Under the New Covenant, God’s brilliant new agreement with His people, there are no holy buildings, no holy furnishings, no holy sites, no holy lands, no holy vestments, no holy books.

In the New Testament writings, there are only holy people!

Hebrews 3 says we share together in a calling that is simply out of this world.

Note the togetherness motif: we share together. We are not just a number of individuals. God’s true people are not consumers in a religious shopping complex for some kind of mystical therapy. No, we share together, in fellowship with our Father who has provided Jesus as our wonderful high priest, and we help one another.

God’s oikos, His household, his family.

For God’s sake let’s stop all this silly, insulting talk about going to God’s house as if God means earthly structures! That’s garbage.

They were asked to consider Jesus, to fix thoughts on Jesus, rather than Moses! This was such a radical step for faithful Jews, many of whom could not bring themselves to see that a greater one than Moses had come.

Moses told God’s people what and who would come in the future. (3:5). And now that future is here and, surprise, the true builder of this household is identified as Jesus! Jesus the builder.

In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 16, Jesus astounds his disciples saying he will be the builder of his gathering (church, ecclesia). He is the builder, not men. Not bishops or popes or TV megapassionates. Jesus the builder has not left the job to men. No way!

Rejoice. Christ is the Son in charge of God’s people, oikos, household (3:6). And that’s who we are, his people, if we keep on holding fast, being brave, bold and not losing hope, despite opposition, cynicism and unbelief on every side.

oikos? see http://www.oikos.org.au

3 responses to “Oikos!

  1. julie mcfetridge

    Hi Ian; it came via email. wow; I’ve recently been ‘in’ Hebrews; thank you for the teaching from this great book; it’s one you don’t want to put down or finish. our great High Priest. Jesus. we have access. hallelujah. julie

  2. Thank you Stewart, your words are encouraging!

  3. A good reminder, that we are holy, in the same sense the OT temple was holy, we carry the presence of the Living God within us, to our workplaces, our homes, shops, wherever we go. We individually and collectively ARE God’s house. Far easier to pretend it isn’t so, to wilfully forget, and let someone else give their all to God and stand in the pulpit while we continue to live like the heathen except for an hour or two on Sunday. Ian you challenge us in uncomfortable ways, bless you 🙂 Your message isn’t one of freedom to the luke-warm, but of greater obligation.

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