Not much is known about him honestly unless you are an archeologist cum theologian who is still studying scripts that are yet to be verified.
However, there is a lot of reference to this mysterious man. In Genesis, he is referred to as the priest whom Abram gave tithe to. He is also referred to as a King. Not much is mentioned about his lineage neither his death.
Why is Jesus called the priest after the order of Melchizedek?
To be a priest, one had to be a biological descendant of a priest. Each priest had to be handed over from his father. Matthew 1:1-16 clearly highlights this.
Melchizedek is mentioned also in Psalms 110:4 and Hebrews. A lot of emphasis has been placed on Melchizedek’s priestly order in Hebrews Chapters 6 & 7 by the author Paul. Paul was initially a learned critic of Jesus’ teaching & persecutor of His followers initially. Later, on the Roman road to Damascus, an encounter with Jesus won him over. For Paul, a Roman citizen, to emphasize Melchizedek in the manner he did, then there is a point where we all need to pay attention to when you consider it.
Why was Jesus not named after the order of other priests?
An order is an instruction, command and culture to be followed by a given set of people. In the army, most formally colonized countries will have their armies follow the order of their colonizers to date. Within a tribe, there are norms and traditions handed down from one generation to the next.
There is no mention of Melchizedek being in the lineage of Jesus. The least that was expected is that Jesus should have been mentioned after the order of either Aaron or Judah but this was not the case. For Aaron, it was all about prepare, bless, administer sacrament, collect offerings, service to the community and more specifically the church. For Judah, all we know is praise.
Melchizedek went over and above that by also reigning as the King of Salem. Genesis 14:18-20. This is also the first time that the name ‘priest is used. The name Melchizedek means king of righteousness. Generally, most scholars agree that Salem is actually Jerusalem.
Salem has its origin the word shalom. Shalom means peace. King of Salem means the king of peace. If we combine the facts to this point it adds up to this; the king of righteousness & peace was a priest and a king in the city of peace.
Melchizedek was just a priest. Jesus IS the HIGH priest after the norms and values of Melchizedek..
Melchizedek was a king. Jesus IS the KING OF KINGS.
I would argue that Melchizedek was a prophetic representation of Jesus. Jesus is the fulfillment of what Melchizedek stood for.
I would further argue that the order of Aaron was necessary because at the time, God’s children had stayed too long in captivity that they likened God to myths and fables passed down from one generation to the next. Therefore, order needed to be restored.
What does all this mean today?
Reigning in peace and righteousness in today’s world is a complicated task. You see, being righteous will land anyone in trouble & the person is generally disliked and termed either a geek or a pretender. Most of the times we choose to reign in ‘peace’ everywhere. This ‘peace’ is termed as creating an environment that will get something done. We choose what is convenient in the name of ‘peace’ instead of doing the right thing and seeking peace at the same time. Both are biblical and fundamental. One cannot do without the other.
That is what the order of Melchizedek stood for. That is what Christ stands for.
Sadly, in an ungodly yet present practice, we choose to look at what we tend to quickly gain i.e. from the king of Sodom. Why? Because if he gains from me then I have an ally in a high place. What the ally was asking from Abram in Genesis 18:18-24 was unbiblical because God demanded a tenth of everything that comes in and secondly, even if the women and children were able to regrow the wealth that would have been passed onto the Sodomites, they would be a disgruntled group of people in the process of regrowth.Righteousness demands that the people be fought for first before self is honored.
Peace means not just being peaceable but the price of peace is war. War, in essence, is defined as bringing truth into conflict. However, man’s peace does not bring truth into conflict but is often termed as avoiding conflict at whatever cost.
Without bringing truth onto the table and allowing conflicting positions to be aired, discussed, reviewed and either ultimately disproved or approved, then a matter may never be resolved. The matter will then appear to die only to then resurrect with a backup of a legion of demons behind it. By then, the matter will have taken another ungodly perspective which will cause greater harm to the body of Christ.
In a world of self above all else, we have lost the order of Melchizedek and also the order of Christ.
In conclusion, we need to do a sense check of ourselves and give honest answers to God;
- As priests and kings, are we Godly and do we acknowledge His supremacy?
- As the priests of our homes, what are we handing over to our sons?
- What order of priesthood are we following? That of Aaron & play safe or that of Jesus Christ by bringing truth into conflict yet maintaining righteousness?
- As the kings in our kingdoms, what is our legacy?
- As priests & kings, are we able to know whom Abram is? Abram is that person who believes in the supremacy of God.
- On the flip side, how are we handling the kings of the sodomites that provide ungodly yet logical & tempting solutions?
- Do we acknowledge the fellow men who come into our kingdoms for our favor/well being? Or are they unwanted competition?
He says come let us reason together.
May God help us to go back to the order of Jesus Christ. Amen