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The Priest Melchizedek

7 1Melchizedek* was the king of Salem and a priest for God the Most High. Melchizedek met Abraham* when Abraham was coming back after defeating the kings. That day Melchizedek blessed Abraham. 2And Abraham gave Melchizedek one-tenth of everything he had. (The name Melchizedek, king of Salem, has two meanings. First, Melchizedek means "king of goodness." Also, "king of Salem" means "king of peace.") 3No person knows who Melchizedek's father or mother was or where he came from.* And no person knows when he was born or when he died. Melchizedek is like the Son of God and he continues being a priest forever. 4You can see that Melchizedek* was very great. Abraham,* our great father,* gave Melchizedek one-tenth of everything that Abraham won in battle. 5Now the law says that people in the family group* of Levi who become priests must get one-tenth from the people. The priests collect it from their own people (the Jews), even though the priests and their people are both from the family of Abraham. 6Melchizedek was not from the family group of Levi. But he got one-tenth from Abraham. And he blessed Abraham--the man who had God's promises. 7And all people know that the more important person blesses the less important person. 8Those priests get one-tenth, but they are only men who live and then die. But Melchizedek, who got one-tenth [from Abraham], continues living, like the Scripture* says. 9It is Levi who gets one-tenth [from the people]. But we can say that when Abraham paid Melchizedek one-tenth, then Levi also paid it. 10Levi was not yet born. But Levi was in the body of his ancestor Abraham when Melchizedek met Abraham. 11People were given the law* under the system of priests from the Levi family group.* But people could not be made spiritually perfect through that system of priests. So there was a need for another priest to come. I mean a priest that is like Melchizedek,* not Aaron.* 12And when a different kind of priest comes, then the law must be changed too. 13We are saying these things about Christ. He belonged to a different family group. No person from that family group ever served [as a priest] at the altar.* 14It is clear that our Lord (Christ) came from the family group of Judah. And Moses* said nothing about priests belonging to that family group.

Jesus Is a Priest like Melchizedek

15And these things become even more clear. We see that another priest (Jesus) comes who is like Melchizedek.* 16He was made a priest not by any law or rules about his human family. He became a priest through the power of his life which continues forever. 17[In the Scriptures*], this is said about him: "You are a priest forever--the kind of priest Melchizedek was."* 18The old rule (law) is now ended because it was weak and worthless. 19The law [of Moses] could not make anything perfect. And now a better hope has been given to us. And with that hope we can come near to God. 20Also, it is important that God made a vow (promise) when he made Jesus high priest.* When those other men became priests, there was no vow. 21But Christ became a priest with God's vow. God said to him: "The Lord has made a vow (promise) and will not change his mind: 'You are a priest forever.'" Psalm 110:4

22So this means that Jesus is the guarantee of a better agreement* [from God to his people]. 23Also, when one of those other priests died, he could not continue being a priest. So there were many of those priests. 24But Jesus lives forever. He will never stop serving as priest. 25So Christ can save those people who come to God through him. Christ can do this forever, because he always lives, ready to help people when they come before God. 26So Jesus is the kind of high priest* that we need. He is holy--he has no sin in him. He is pure and not influenced by sinners. And he is raised above the heavens. 27He is not like those other priests. Those other priests had to offer (give) sacrifices* every day. They had to offer sacrifices first for their own sins and then for the sins of the people. But Christ doesn't need to do that. Christ offered only one sacrifice for all time. Christ offered himself. 28The law chooses high priests* who are people and have the same weaknesses as people. But God made a promise that came after the law. God spoke those words with a vow (promise), and those words made the Son of God to be the high priest. And that Son has been made perfect forever.

Melchizedek A priest and king who lived in the time of Abraham. (Read Gen. 14:17-24.) Abraham The most respected ancestor of the Jews. No person ... came from Literally, "Melchizedek was without father, without mother, without genealogy." father(s) Important ancestors of the Jews, especially the leaders of the twelve Jewish family groups. family group One of the twelve "tribes" of the Jewish people, named after Jacob's twelve sons. Scripture Part of the Holy Writings--Old Testament. law The law of Moses. Aaron The first Jewish high priest. He was Moses' brother. altar A stone table used for burning sacrifices offered to God. Moses One of the most important leaders of the Jewish people during the time of the Old Testament. "You ... Melchizedek was" Quote from Ps. 110:4. high priest Most important priest for God's people. agreement God gives a contract or agreement to his people. For the Jews, the agreement was the law of Moses. Now God has given a better agreement to his people through Christ. sacrifice(s) A sacrifice is a gift or offering to God. Jewish priests killed animals and offered them to God. Jesus Christ gave his own life as a sacrifice to pay for people's sins.

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