Genesis 14:17-20


The Old Testament is full of people and incidents that remind us of Jesus. Melchizedek is one of these people. He appears in this incident, greeting Abraham who is on his way back from defeating an invading force and liberating the captives, including his nephew Lot. The Bible mentions him on two more occasions, in Psalm 110 and Hebrews 7. The last passage is particularly helpful, as it quotes both Genesis 14 and Psalm 110 and shows how they point forward to Jesus.

Melchizedek was both priest and king (as were many rulers in those days). Jesus is the ultimate priest and king. A priest in the biblical sense goes into the presence of God as a representative of the people and offers sacrifices, and then goes to the people as God's representative, teaching them God's laws. Jesus came to earth as the Word of God, showing and teaching us what God is like - he represents God to us in the fullest possible way, since he is God the Son. He also became our representative, since he was one of us; he died on the cross as our representative, offering the sacrifice of himself to pay the price for our wrongdoing, then rose to life and went to heaven where he is now in the presence of God, still as our representative. He is the one and only true priest, and because he is our priest he is our saviour, able to save each one of us completely. All of us are also called to be priests in a lesser sense, helping in his work by representing him in the world and teaching about him, and representing the world to God in our prayers.

Jesus is not only the ultimate priest; he is also the ultimate king. The Old Testament looks forward to the coming king, who has the power and authority to defeat evil and rescue his people, and then to rule with complete justice and righteousness. When we say, 'Jesus is Lord', we are acknowledging that he is the one who has absolute authority over everything, including us. On earth Jesus' reign is not yet fully established. It will be; Jesus is the king, and one day every one will acknowledge this. Until then, we are the ones who demonstrate the goodness of his reign; and he gives us authority and power to bring about the extension of his kingdom in our own spheres of influence - in our families, homes, work, friends.

1. Many people believe in Jesus as Saviour but do not want him as Lord. What can we do about this?
2. How can we represent Jesus in our world this week?

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