Consider (verb): to think about carefully
We might use the word, but the definition that follows is foreign to most of us if we were being totally honest. We are technology rich, but time poor, and that lethal combination means we only ever scratch the surface of anything worthwhile, and waste a lot of time on things that are ultimately worthless. Economists talk about the paradox of choice which describes the situation where we end up with less choice in a world of unlimited choice because we don’t have the time to investigate the options available to us. The result is that we end up taking the first option that meets our basic requirements, thus the paradox of choice. In our internet age this is the norm, and it is part of the reason consideration is an alien concept to us.
This is a shame, because on two specific occasions the Hebrew writer invites us to ‘consider Him.’ If you’re not used to the intellectual discipline of consideration, then its time to begin with the most lofty of all subjects, the person of Christ, the eternal Son of the eternal God.
Actually, the one English word consider translates two different Greek words, each with a different shade of meaning, but each essentially meaning the above; to think about carefully.
In 3:1 we are first invited to ‘consider the apostle and high priest of our profession, Christ Jesus, who was faithful to Him that appointed Him, as also Moses was faithful.’ The word is katanoeo which carries the idea of immersing yourself in the subject at hand. The context is a contrast between Christ and Moses. Moses was a faithful ‘servant’ in God’s house, whereas Christ is a faithful ‘Son’ in God’s house, and thus worthy of more glory. Thus our first word invites us to consider the Christ, the Son by means of contrast with Moses, the servant.
Consider next appears in 7:4 and the word is theoreo (from which we get our English word ‘theory’), means ‘to look to observe the details’: ‘Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.’ Strictly in the context we are instructed to consider Melchisedec, king of Salem, who was ‘without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, not end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.’ But when we come to verse 16, the point is clear: ‘Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec.’ The writer emphasises Melchisedec’s absence of genealogy to make him a type of the eternal Son of God, and thus our consideration is one of comparison. Christ is contrasted to Moses in category, but compared to Melchisedec in typology.
The Scriptures are replete with examples of men to whom Christ is both compared and contrasted. Typical truth is glorious truth. As we go to remember Him again today, let us ‘consider Him.’