The Priesthood of All Believers: PART FIVE

Jerusalem was not all that far from the beach by the Dead Sea. We hiked most of the distance following the roads. After setting up camp Jason and Timothy informed us that they had seen a small peak just to the south that they wanted to climb. Lydia, Lucy, Josephine and Nicholas decided to join them. So, early the next morning the six of them hiked to the top of the small mountain peak.

The hikers returned somewhat confused. Timothy explained, “Well, the peak is actually Hebrews 7. From it you can easily see Genesis 14:18 and Psalm 110:4. You can also see Hebrews 5:6 & 10 close by. We apparently had forgotten that Jesus is a High Priest after the order of Melchizedek. So, all this about John the Baptist being the high priest and anointing Jesus with water to be our high priest cannot be correct.”

Phillip was first to comment, “Well,” he asked, “are we going to hike into Jerusalem with this question unanswered? Perhaps we should set up the camp again and stay here, discussing this?”

Gladys walked to the center of the group. She was the one who had somehow misled them. Now, she thought, she needed to set things straight. “The confusion is my fault. I forgot to emphasize that my husband based his thoughts on both Hebrews and The Torah. I guess I did not realize that you thought I was saying that Jesus’ baptism was actually his ordination. What I was trying to point out was that immersion is not required but water is.

“Now, as to Jesus’ ordination: consider that no human could actually ordain him. How could a sinful man ordain a sinless man?” With that she walked back to where she had been standing.

Amos spoke up next, “Well, I think we’ve dug a deep hole in the wrong place. This hike is not about Jesus baptism and ordination. It is about ours. And, yes, we get ours from his. But we need to pray about this, study Scripture, and ask the Holy Spirit for assistance. It’s only a couple of hours hike to the edge of Jerusalem. Let’s go find a hotel and then we can sort this out. Besides, we were told by the Holy Spirit to go to Jerusalem.”

Immediately everyone picked up their gear and headed toward Jerusalem. We were very fortunate to find a hotel near the edge of town that had plenty of room for us. And it had a wonderful restaurant.

We met for dinner in the restaurant at the top of the hotel. The view was astounding, especially the sunset. Jason tried to sum up our progress.

“Well,” he said, “First, I think we all agree that baptism is, at minimum, a membership ritual. But I think most of us agree that it is much more. Through baptism we are incorporated into the Body of Christ. That’s much more than joining a club. And, I think, we would agree that we are accountable as members of the Body of Christ as well as individually accountable. Where we seem to lack understanding is in this business about being priests. The whole reason for this adventure keeps evading us. What does it mean to be a part of the Body of Christ, in terms of the idea of the priesthood of all believers?”

We sat quietly for a few moments. Then Amanda spoke, “I am really beginning to appreciate the way we pray for guidance. I like asking the Holy Spirit to point the way and then we come together and find out what He said to each of us. So, I think we should do that right now. Let’s take a few minutes to pray for guidance.”

Someone said, “Amanda, why don’t you lead us this time?” She agreed and we all began to listen for guidance from the Holy Spirit. About ten minutes later everyone was ready and Amanda began to ask us what we had heard. The consensus was that we should get up early and go out in groups of two or three to explore Jerusalem. We should listen for the Holy Spirit to guide each group. Then we would assemble back in the restaurant for dinner and discuss the day.

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