What's Greater Than Winning the Gold

What's Greater Than Winning the Gold

Usain Bolt, yes, we are impressed. Gold medals in the men’s 100- and 200-meter sprints — at back-to-back Olympics. Like no one’s done before. You’ve made the case as well as any in this generation that you are “the world’s fastest man.”

But don’t think we’re more impressed than we are. At least not those of us happy to acknowledge our creatureliness, and trying our best, with Holy Spirit help, to resist our sinful urges to “suppress the truth” that we humans are created and derivative (Romans 1:18). We are made in the image of God — and the glory we reflect is ultimately that of Someone greater. Infinitely greater.

The Olympic Connection

When we honor humanity’s best achievements and brilliance — and it’s right to honor such — God means for us to see his achievements and brilliance behind it, and give the greater honor to him. Especially in regards to his Son, the God-man.

Hebrews 3:3 says, “Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses — as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself.” John Piper makes the Olympic connection for us.

As the Olympics come to an end, we don't have any difficulty tracking with the word "glory" and one person being worthy of more glory than another person. There's more glory in gold than in silver, and more in silver than in bronze. . . .

[Hebrews 3:3] says that Jesus is worthy of more glory than Moses in relation to God's house. And he gives an astonishing reason. Because Jesus is the builder of the house and Moses is a part of the house. Look at it carefully. Verse 3: "[Jesus] has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses." In what way? "By just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house." In other words, he is saying: Jesus is to the people of God as a builder is to a house. Moses is to the people of God as one of the people of God is to God's household. Therefore Jesus is Moses' builder. In short, Jesus made Moses.

Now let this sink in. "Consider" this! This is your Apostle and High Priest. He is the one who brought you a heavenly calling from God and made you a way to God. On him hangs all your hope of heaven. If you have any confidence . . . that your sins are forgiven and that you will persevere in faith and attain your heavenly calling, this confidence depends on Jesus. The greater and more glorious he is, the greater our hope and confidence.

Jesus Is the Greatest

Piper continues,

It would be as if the decathlon contestants were gathered together one night bragging about who of them was the greatest, and Jesus was one of the decathlon contestants. And one said, "I threw the javelin farther than anyone else. I'm the greatest." Another said, "I put the shot farther than anyone else. I'm the greatest." Another said, "I jumped higher than anyone else. I'm the greatest." And eventually they all look toward Jesus in his burgundy sweat suit sitting calmly in the corner, and someone says, "What about you?" And Jesus says, "I made all of you. So I'm the greatest."

Verse 3: Jesus is worthy of as much more glory than Moses as the builder of a house is worthy of more glory than the house. Jesus is worthy of as much more glory than every gold medal winner of the Olympics as the builder of a house is worthy of more glory than the house. He made the house. He made Moses. He made the minds and hearts and legs and arms of the Olympic athletes. So Jesus is the greatest.

Excerpted from the sermon, Jesus: Worthy of More Glory Than Moses.


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David Mathis (@davidcmathis) is executive editor at desiringGod.org and an elder at Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis. He has edited several books, including Thinking. Loving. Doing., Finish the Mission, and Acting the Miracle, and is co-author of How to Stay Christian in Seminary.