A Priest and King (Genesis 14:18–20) - Radical

A Priest and King (Genesis 14:18–20)

“And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said, ‘Blessed be Abraham by God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; And blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand.’”
-Genesis 14:18–20

Now, there’s a lot of mystery around Melchizedek, king of Salem, who is mentioned here, and we really don’t know a lot about from other places in the Old Testament. Then, we hear about him in the New Testament in the book of Hebrews. There’s a lot of mystery about who he is and what role he has, but this one picture is clear here in Genesis 14:18–20, and is unique. What we have is a picture of a king who is also a priest, so a priest king, it’s the first picture of the combination of those two titles in the Bible, a priest and king. Basically, we learn from the New Testament that part of the point of Melchizedek appearing here is to show us this picture and foreshadow for us the coming of Christ as the priest king.

Even in the book of Genesis, we see a picture of One who would come to redeem His people and rule and reign forever.

We know that in Jesus we see both of these titles. He is the King over all, who rules and reigns as sovereign and He’s the great high priest who makes it possible for us to have access to God. Both of these titles in Jesus, so Genesis chapter 14 causes us yes, probably to have some questions about Melchizedek, at the same time it causes us to worship Jesus as the ultimate priest, king, priest king.

Genesis 14:18–20 Tells Us Jesus Is Our Great High Priest

We pray, God we know that we’re able to pray right now because Jesus is our great High Priest. Jesus has died on the cross for our sins, has become the substitute sacrifice for us, and it is by His sacrifice that we are able to come to You right now. All glory be to Your name Jesus, our great High Priest, who makes communion with God possible. Who makes possible worship of God possible, who makes knowledge of God possible, who makes prayer right now possible.

This Verse Tells Us Jesus Is Our King

At the same time, Lord Jesus, we praise You as our king. You are the sovereign ruler who reigns over our lives and not just our lives, but over all creation, all authority in heaven and earth below belongs to You. You are king. When we think about presidents, and rulers, and dictators, and even kings in the world today You hold them all in the palm of Your hands. You rule them. You rule over all. We praise You as the King of Kings and the King of our lives.
As we think about these two titles, and it’s many titles given to you in Scripture, we bow in awe. We praise You for making access to God possible. We praise You for ruling our lives with goodness and justice. Help us God, we pray, to take advantage of this access that You have given to us. Help us to walk in communion with God today. God help us to live our lives under Your rule and Your reign. So help us to submit to You in all that we do. And we pray that Your name will be exalted as our King. Lord Jesus we praise You as the great High Priest and King over all. In Your name we pray, Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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