Skip to content Skip to main navigation Skip to footer

Day 5 | Melchizedek

Read Genesis 14:1-20

Melchizedek is a mysterious biblical character who is described as both a king and priest. After Abraham had defeated several other kings to rescue his nephew Lot, Melchizedek blessed him. Abraham gave a tenth (tithe) of all he had to Melchizedek (see Genesis 14:17–20). Melchizedek is only mentioned one more time in the Old Testament, in Psalm 110:4, where it says, “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”

With such scant mention, it may be surprising that Melchizedek features prominently in the book of Hebrews. Why would such an obscure character get this attention? It is all about Jesus. Because Melchizedek appears “out of nowhere” in the life of Abraham, the Hebrew writer in chapter 7 says he is “without genealogy” and a “priest forever.” Just as Melchizedek’s superiority was shown when Abraham made tithes to him, so Christ is superior to the priests in the law of Moses. Melchizedek came long before Levi, whose tribe served as priests in the Law of Moses. Levi’s great-grandfather, Abraham, had already submitted to his priest, Melchizedek. Thus, Abraham’s line (Israel) had already recognized the superiority of Melchizedek to the Levites. Rather than seeing Jesus as a Levitical priest, we should respect him as a priest of the Melchizedekean order. The Scriptures do not report Melchisedek’s death, so the Hebrew writer playfully builds on Melchizedek’s “non-death” to point to Jesus’s eternal priesthood. “Now there have been many of those priests since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood” (Hebrews 9:23-24).

All institutions under heaven, even the law of Moses, are inferior to Jesus, and all will ultimately submit to Him. No government entity, military power, or state institution deserves our devotion, but Jesus does. The Bible even says that the most fundamental of institutions, the family itself, does not supersede Jesus’ claim on our lives. For Christ to be our Melchizedekean priest means that we love Him most and kneel only to Him.

Pray for 10 minutes