“And no one takes this honor for himself, but only when called by God, just as Aaron was.”
Speaking of the high priest who was representative of Israel, the writer reminds us that the high priest was chosen by God. God set all the parameters for the office and beyond that also designated which descendant of Aaron would take the position. This was no longer honored in New Testament times, but the Jewish readers of Hebrews would know it was the correct way as governed by the law given by God.
Keep in mind that God determined the qualifications for this office and selected the tribe and individuals within the tribe that would hold the office. Why is the author reminding his readers of this? Because God changed the qualifications and the tribe and then selected a totally different high priest. It is important to know that the priest doesn’t select either the criteria for the position or the position. To be a high priest that is honored by God is to be called to the position by God.
The Jewish high priest represented the Jewish nation of Israel. When the time came to consolidate the Gentiles and Jews into a new kind of Israel, and new kind of priest was needed. Everything about the new Israel would be different, and so would the high priest.
Task for Today: Remember that according to the scriptures, all Christians are a part of the priesthood. Each and every Christian serves as a priest. Very few if any Christian can claim membership in the original tribe of Levi, but that doesn’t matter since only those of the tribe or family of Jesus are eligible to serve. You are a priest serving under Jesus, the high priest. How are you serving in that role? Check your priestly service out.