|"Melchizedek, king of
Salem, brought forth bread and wine, and he was priest of the Most High God.
And he blessed him and said, "Blessed be Abram of the Most High God,
possessor of heaven and earth, and blessed be the Most High God
" (Genesis 14:18-20).
Who was this
Melchizedek who brought forth bread and wine, and blessed Abram?
Melchizedek is not so much a name as it is a title or designation of honor.
It is a position or office that has to be filled by a worthy candidate. The
term is a transliteration of two Hebrew words, melek and tsedeq.
The Hebrew melek means king and tsedeq means righteousness. Therefore, the term "melchizedek" means literally, "king of
righteousness." Because a king is always preeminent in his jurisdiction,
whoever Melchizedek was, he had to be preeminent in righteousness. He had to be
the "king" of righteousness.
What is Righteousness?
In Psalm 119:172, David equates the keeping of God's commandments with righteousness. On the other hand, the apostle John relates unrighteousness to sin (1 John 5:17). Therefore, since sin and righteousness are opposites, complying with God's commandments defines righteousness and violating His commandments defines sin.
"Whoever commits sin transgresses also the law, for sin is the transgression of the law" (1 John 3:4). "
Paul said that it is not possible for the carnal [the natural] mind to be subject to God's law (Romans 8:7). Because the law cannot produce righteousness in us, in that it is weak through the flesh, God sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, to condemn sin in the flesh so that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in those who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit (Romans 8:3-4).
Paul said that the law is not against the promises of God, for if there had been a law which could have given life, righteousness should then have come by the law. But, the Scripture, he said, has concluded all under sin so that the promise, by faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe (Galatians 3:21-22).
Paul also said that it has been proven that both Jews and Gentiles are under sin. No human is inherently righteous no, not one (Romans 3:9-10). All have sinned and have come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). All of our righteousness' are as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).
God described three men: Noah, Daniel, and Job as being righteous. But, He
said that their righteousness could not be extended or imputed to others
(Ezekiel 14:14-16). Not one of the three was a source of righteousness for
others, and God never referred to any one of the three as being the King of
Jesus said no one, including Himself, is inherently good [righteous] (Matthew 19:17)(Luke 18:19). Paul explained that it was only through the power of the indwelling presence of God's Spirit that Jesus was able to offer Himself to God without spot (Hebrews 9:14). In other words, God's Spirit was the source of Jesus' righteousness.
Since "Melchizedek" was the epitome of righteousness, and no human including Noah, Daniel, and Job is inherently righteous, it is evident that the King of Righteousness could not have been human. Had He been human, Melchizedek would have been the same as Aaron or anyone else, i.e. a sinner.
As the King of Righteousness, Melchizedek was the image of God's Spirit, see
Colossians 1:15 and Hebrews 1:3.
Malachi said that the Sun of Righteousness would arise with healing in His wings (Malachi 4:2). Malachi was precluded from using the word "son" because that would have implied that the One who became Jesus was someone other than Melchizedek. The term "Son" would have suggested that Jesus was in some way a son or a descendant of Melchizedek. Actually, the prophetic Sun of Righteousness and the King of Righteousness is the same person, Jesus Christ. Malachi said the Sun of Righteous would arise, and he meant that in a literal sense. Christ will descend from the sky, but before He descends, He will have to ascend (see Psalm 82:8).
In Hebrews 7:3, Paul says that Melchizedek was without father or mother, i.e. He had no parents. Paul's statement should be taken literally because he was, in fact, emphasizing the deity of Melchizedek.
Every human, including Adam, has had a father (Luke 3:38). All the angels have the same father as Adam, and they are referred to many times in Scripture as sons of God. The One who became Jesus Christ is the father of all life except for one human life, His own. The Most High God is the Father of Jesus (Luke 1:32). But, God was not the father of Melchizedek. Paul is clearly saying that Melchizedek, like the Most High God, was without parents. Neither of them had beginning of days nor end of life. The two of them had always lived and there had never been a time that each of them had not lived. Melchizedek had always possessed life inherent. Life was not given to Him, He was not anyone's son.
"But you, Bethlehem Ephratah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, out of you will come forth unto Me [One] to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth [have been] from old, from eternity" (Micah 5:2).
However, Melchizedek was willing to relinquish His immortality (John 10:18) so that He could become not only the King of Righteousness, but also the Lamb of God. Jesus succinctly put it this way,
"Before Abraham was, I Am" (John 8:58).
In order to serve as God's Priest, Melchizedek presented Himself in a form
similar to what would later be His human form (Hebrews 7:3). Before His birth,
however, He was not the Son of God. He looked like the Son of God would later
look, but He was not the Son of God until He became human.
Today I Have Begotten You
In the year 6 BC, Gabriel appeared to Mary in the sixth month of the Hebrew year to inform her that she had been chosen by God to bear a son. She was told that she should name her son, Jesus (Luke 1:26-31). Mary consented (Luke 1:38). Jesus was conceived on the first day of the seventh month, Tishri 1, 6 BC. This date corresponds to late September of our calendar. Jesus was born nine months later in June of 5 BC.
Jesus' human conception was the fulfillment of prophecy (Psalm 2:7)(Hebrews 1:5). Because the Son promoted God's righteousness and hated iniquity, God said to Him,
"Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, a scepter of righteousness is the scepter [symbol] of your Kingdom" (Hebrews 1:8-9).
Melchizedek, who had been the King of Righteousness, became the Son of God
and the fulfillment of the scepter promise of
God Has Anointed You
Every priest taken from among men is ordained to serve on behalf of men in things pertaining to God so that he may offer gifts and sacrifices for sin. No one takes this honor to himself, he must be called of God, as Aaron was (Hebrews 5:1, 4). So also, Christ did not glorify Himself to be made a high priest, but He who said to Him,
"You are My Son, today I have begotten You" said also in another place, "You are a priest forever, after the order [the facsimile] of Melchizedek" (Hebrews 5:5).
Melchizedek served as the Priest of the Most High God. Because He had loved
righteousness and hated iniquity, God made Him a Son and anointed Him with the
oil of gladness above His brethren (Hebrews 1:9). The word translated
"anointed" is the Greek chrio which refers to contact between
the one being anointed and the one doing the anointing. The Greek word
Christos, translated "Christ" is derived from chrio.
The contact (anointing) is described in Luke 3:22 as the Holy Spirit (the One who fathered Jesus, Luke 1:35) descending upon Him in a bodily shape like a dove. The Son was anointed to become the author of salvation to all who obey Him, being called of God as High Priest after the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 5:9-10). Jesus Christ became God's High Priest after [like] Melchizedek because perfection and salvation were not attainable through the Levitical priesthood (Hebrews 7:11).
Christ was made a Priest forever by an oath of the Most High God (Hebrews
7:20-21). It is His righteousness which is manifested in God's saints (Romans
8:4). The church shares in the priesthood of Christ and the resurrected saints
will, like Him, forever be kings and priests after the order of Melchizedek
Jesus Christ is the Sun and the King of Righteousness, He is the Melchizedek, the one and only King of Righteousness.
"Now consider how great this Person was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils. Truly, the sons of Levi who have received the office of the priesthood have a commandment to receive tithes from the people according to the Law, that is, from their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham. But He, whose genealogy is not counted from them, received tithes of Abraham and He blessed him who had the promises" (Hebrews 7:4-6).
It is He who lives (Hebrews 7:8).
Written by: Jim Bowen