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Hebrews  ◦   Chapter 7

1 This Melchizedek was king and ministering priest–king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from his conquest of the kings, and blessed him;2 and Abraham paid one-tenth of his plunder to him. His name, Melchizedek, means "King of Righteousness;" and "king of Salem" means "king of Peace."3 With no father or mother, without lineage or proof of nobility, without a beginning or ending, he remains a ministering priest just like the Son of God–a representative of God forever.

4 Think how truly great he was: even the patriarch Abraham paid him one-tenth of all his wealth!5 Now, the law requires that Levi's descendants who become priests collect a tenth from their brothers, even though their brothers are also descended from Abraham.6 This man was not descended from Levi, yet Abraham paid his tithe to him, and Abraham was blessed by him even though it was Abraham who had the promises.7 And without question, the lesser person is blessed by the greater.8 In the one case, a tenth is collected by those who will die; but in the other case–by him who remains alive.9 In reality, Levi and all his descendants who collected a tenth actually paid a tenth through Abraham,10 because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor.

11 If perfect healing and restoration of mind and character could have been attained through the laws, rituals, and symbols of the Levitical priesthood (remember that the Levitical priesthood is the basis for the laws given to the people), why did mankind need another priest to come–one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron?12 For if the priesthood changes, then the law governing priestly selection must also change.13 He, to whom all these things pointed, belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe ever served in God's little theater we call "The Sanctuary."14 For it is indisputable that our Lord descended from Judah, and the law governing priestly selection, given by Moses, says nothing about priests coming from the tribe of Judah.15 And this fact is even more clear if one like Melchizedek appears–16 one who becomes a priest not on the basis of the Levitical regulations regarding his ancestry but on the qualification of his character. His life revealed the power of the indestructible truth about God,17 for it is declared: "You are a priest forever–a minister of God's healing Remedy–in the order of Melchizedek."

18 The former Levitical regulation is discarded because it was only a symbolic teaching tool and therefore was powerless to heal19 (for no rule, or law, or ritual, or symbol can actually heal the mind and create perfect Christlike character), but the real Remedy–the true cure, the genuine hope for health and happiness by which we are reunited with God–is now revealed.

20 And it was not revealed without confirmation and guarantee! Others became priests with no guarantee,21 but he became a priest, ministering God's Remedy, with the guarantee from God himself, when he said: "The Lord has promised and will not change his mind: 'You will minister the healing truth forever.'"

22 Because of this promise, Jesus has become the guarantee that the infection of selfishness will be eradicated from all who accept the true Remedy that he reveals.

23 Now, there have been many Levitical priests, as death ended each one's time in office;24 but because Jesus lives forever, he will be a priest ministering the healing truth forever.25 Therefore, he is able to heal completely those who come to God through the truth he has revealed, because he always lives to intercede in their hearts and minds to remove selfishness and restore love.

26 This is the high priest who meets our need–our need to be healed and restored. He is a ministering priest who is holy, perfect, pure, and free from sin; and being the source of all health, truth, and life–he is higher than all the heavens.27 Unlike other high priests, he does not need to offer symbolic sacrifices day after day–first for his own selfish heart, and then for the selfishness of the people. No! His heart was selfless, and he sacrificed himself to bring to mankind the truth about God, to heal the human condition, and to restore humanity into unity with God.28 For the Levitical law appoints as high priests men who are infected with selfishness; but it was after the law was given that God's promise was fulfilled in his Son who — in his humanity — consumed selfishness with love, lies with truth, and made the perfect Remedy available forever.