Why You Should Know Melchizedek
Melchizedek. He's one of those huh? kind of Bible characters we can't remember much about, or even spell correctly (this post sponsored by spell check). We never see him on the felt board in Sunday school. He gets a brief mention in Genesis and then is referenced in Hebrews. The reason he is important is that the references in Hebrews tell us that Jesus is a priest in the Melchizedek order (not levitical). There are a few differences between the two - levitical priests are born into their role, Melchizedek was chosen specifically for his. Levites were priests but not political rulers, Melchizedek was both priest and King of Jerusalem. But there's a more subtle difference in that small bite of scripture, have a look:
Then Melchizedek king of Jerusalem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, "Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand". Genesis 14:18-20
Now, old Melchizedek here does something very un-priestly. He brings a blessing, both physical and spiritual, to Abraham. He not only speaks a blessing over him, he brings bread & wine (that's not a coincidence). Under the levitical priest order, the people brought their sacrifices and blessings to the temple. They received, but did not give. This upside-down-kingdom kind of act is telling us not just about this Melchizedek, but it is telling us who Christ is. This is your Christ - this upside down, grace instead of judgement, giving instead of receiving, last shall be first Christ.
If you have seen Jesus as someone who's always asking you to give things - give me 10%, give up smoking, give me more attention/time, gimme, gimme, gimme... it's time for a paradigm shift. Jesus is not a levitical priest, He is a priest of the order of Melchizedek. He's providing for every need you have. He surprises you with His grace.
On a sidenote, I'm noticing more and more that these brief mention people in the Bible have a big impact - Melchizedek, Anna the prophetess, and many more. If you are someone who feels like a side note in God's great story, if you feel like a background, backstage, under the radar, less than a paragraph kind of person, be encouraged! You are not included in the story because of poor editing or a need to fill space. Your life is bearing witness and will have a greater impact than you can imagine. You matter. More than you know.