“He is faithful in all my house…(For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. ” (Numbers 12:7; Hebrews 3:4-6a)
Have you ever built a house or had a builder do it for you? Constructing a home from nothing is a fascinating venture and proof that plans and proper management of resources works. A good builder is a virtuous steward, using good weather, contractors, time, and money effectively to produce the right building for the agreed-upon cost. Our verses in Hebrews today mention the Lord’s “house” concerning Moses, which is understood to be the family of God, believers—Israel in the Old Testament and the body of Christ (or universal church) in the New Testament. There are thousands of references to Moses in the Bible as the most exceptional leader over Israel during the nation’s deliverance, initiation of the Law and sacrificial system and arrival in the Promised Land of Canaan, as a picture of our deliverance, salvation, sanctification, and rest in Christ. Moses was a faithful steward of the body of believers, whom God called to faith in Moses’ time.
The Jews have always exalted Moses as the greatest leader of Israel, the Law-giver. The gospels of the New Testament are full of debates that the Jews undertook with Jesus about Moses’ authority and power. The dialog after Jesus’s healing of the blind man is a good illustration: “So for the second time, they called the man who had been blind and said to him, ‘Give glory to God. We know that this man [Jesus] is a sinner.’ He answered, ‘Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.’ They said to him, ‘What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?’ He answered them, ‘I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?’ And they reviled him, saying, ‘You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” (John 9:20-24) The mistake that the Jews made is a warning to us, to not make the same mistake of exalting Moses to the same position as Christ, who is God and the owner of all things (Hebrews 1:1-3).
Moses was a steward of the faith and responsibility God gave him over the nation of Israel and worship of God. The apostles of the New Testament are most like him, having started the church of Jesus Christ, planted new local churches, initiated worship of Christ, and had authority over the church, now through their writings of the New Testament. We, however, can imitate Moses in the stewardship of our callings and responsibilities to serve in the church, which is our most important role in God’s family. But we are to imitate Christ as his stewards in the way that we relate to believers and unbelievers—to treat them as Jesus treated them.
Are you serving in your local church, the Bride of Christ, the family of God? Missionaries, para-church workers, and church planters—how can you improve your stewardship for Christ in the universal church body? For all of us, how can we be the best stewards of our God-given gifts, talents, and faith?