“Now consider how great this man was…. Now, beyond all contradiction the lesser is blessed by the better.”(Hebrews 7:4,7)
I’m going to make a series of statements here about “who is greater” or stronger or whatever. The subject is still a work in progress in my mind, but I hope to get it started in yours.
First: The one who blesses is greater than the one blessed.
According to the anonymous writer of Hebrews, Melchizedek was greater than Abraham since it was he who blessed the patriarch and not vice versa. The blessor is greater than the blessee, to paraphrase 7:7.
Thomas Beckett was the archbishop of Canterbury martyred in the 12th century. One issue that kept resurfacing in those days was whether the king of a country had the right to “invest” the new archbishop with the symbols of his position, implying that the king himself was granting powers to the spiritual leader. The symbolism meant a great deal. The pope, to no one’s surprise, wanted to end this practice, insisting that the church is autonomous and beholden to no earthly power. Kings fought to keep all evidence in place that the church existed under their authority and its leaders should obey them above the pope.
The dispute illustrates Hebrews 7:7 perfectly. If the one giving the blessing is greater than the one receiving it, he is then the top dog. Such symbolism meant everything in medieval times.
Scripture informs us of numerous other such truisms worth our consideration. Let’s try these on for size.