Hebrews 2:17, (DRB):

Wherefore it behoved him in all things to be made like unto his brethren, that he might become a merciful and faithful priest before God, that he might be a propitiation for the sins of the people.

The question simply is:

Isn't Jesus already merciful and faithful priest?

I mean by {already} all his earthly lifetime, before and after bapitism, i.e: from his birth, He is already merciful and faithful.

  • I think the context of 14-18 makes it abundantly clear that the qualification to be made a 'merciful and faithful high priest' [KJV] has been already satisfied by Christ's willing obedience and sacrifice. 'It behoved him' is in the past tense. 'That he might' follows on from that past and is now a present truth.
    – Nigel J
    Apr 23, 2020 at 16:37
  • ...that He might become a merciful and faithful before God. (2:!7) So, in retrospect, His leaving God to become flesh was a temporary interruption to His previous condition. After His Resurrection, having died once for all (and never to experience death again) His condition is perfected. And what follows? For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (2:18) By His human experience He has become "more" than He was. Apr 23, 2020 at 17:49
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    @RevelationLad I hope you include your comment in an answer. Thank you.
    – salah
    Apr 23, 2020 at 18:11
  • Could you please explain what you mean by "already"? This might be key if you are referring to being before being made flesh. Of course, Yes, He is now our High Priest, taken from among men who has already been--at a certain point in time -after becoming a man--ordained FOR MEN in things pertaining to GOD, who has indeed offered both gifts (Heb 5:6-11) Apr 23, 2020 at 20:25
  • @Salah Either from His physical birth or glorification, Heb 5:5. John's liquid water baptism and message was not Jesus's "spiritual" "Kingdom-of-God" baptism (Mat 3:1-2), where the church is the bride of the bridegroom (John 3:29), rather, for repentence for the earthly Kingdom of heaven is at hand. John said in John 3:31, "He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all." NOTICE Mark 1:14-15: Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, Apr 24, 2020 at 3:36

4 Answers 4


This is a great question. I will use the KJV for this answer. It appears that timing is of the essence here. Of course, Jesus had to be taken from among men, so, when, exactly, was that point in time. Hebrews 5:1 KJV: demands:

For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:

Verses 2 and 3 explain why it is necessary to be taken from among men, and verse 4 demands that no man can take this honor unto himself:

So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.

First as to the demand that this be a man in the flesh, not an angel--a spirit—as shown in Heb 2:16:

“For verily he took not on him the nature of angels ...”

Hebrews 5:5 explains that Jesus was begotten of the Father in the flesh on a certain "day" in time:

So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.

That was the day that Jesus was “made” flesh. That day was at a point in time according to Gal 4:4:

But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

Second, the question as to the flesh-of-Christ requirement now having been settled, now as to being “ordained for men in things pertaining to God”, verse 5 “continues”:

As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

It appears that your great question demands a specific time that Jesus was “made”—ordained--a high priest, otherwise, you might reasonably assume that since BEFORE Christ had become flesh, David had already said in Psalm 110:5:

The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.

I have only the text of the Psalm to go on that APPEARS to place this anointment in the setting of a prophecy which will be already fulfilled during a specific future definite historic event--Christ’s future earthly reign during which the anointing could have been referring to an earlier time than that future reign. At the time of this prophecy, verse 1 reveals David’s Lord as already being at the right hand of The LORD. If Jesus had not yet been made flesh, the actions, “shall send” in verse 2, and “shall be” in a specific day, could not have yet occurred because the tense is clear. Moreover, verses 5, 6 and 7—all three—also are prophetic in nature as viewed from the days of King David.”

I certainly see the reason for this question, however, since Paul set out the God’s demands as he did, and since he wrote this to the Hebrew people at a time during which Christ had—by then--already offered up his blood for sin, and had already been resurrected into heaven—as in Psalm 110:1, it is only fitting that Jesus was ordained a high priest AFTER being made flesh and made under the law when the fullness of time was come.

Moreover, by necessity, the ordaining MUST have been before offering up His blood for sin. As to a specific time, I will continue to search while looking to the additional answers to this question.


The Forerunner, Jesus, has entered for us, having become forever a High Priest according to the order of Melchisedec. Heb 6.

Who has been appointed not according to the law of a fleshy commandment but according to the power of an indestructible life. For it is testified, 'You are a Priest forever according to the order of Melchisedec.'...By so much Jesus has also become the surety of a better covenant. Heb 7.

Concerning His Son, who came out of the seed of David according to the flesh, who was designated the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness out of the resurrection of the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord. Rm 1.

It is necessary that this One also have something which He may offer...Now then if He were on earth, He would not be a Priest at all, there being those who offer the gifts according to the law, who serve the example and shadow...But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry inasmuch as He is also the Mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted upon better promises. Heb 8.

The way of the Holy of Holies has not yet been manifested while the first tabernacle still has its standing...[T]hrough His own blood, entered once for all into the Holy of Holies, obtaining an eternal redemption...How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And because of this He is the Mediator of a new covenant, so that, death having taken place for redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, those who have been called might receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. For where there is a testament, the death of him who made the testament must of necessity be established. For a testament is confirmed in the case of the dead, since it never has force when he who made the testament is living ...Nor in order that He might offer Himself often, just as the high priest enters into the Holy of Holies year by year by the blood of other creatures; since then He would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world. But now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested for the putting away of sin through the sacrifice of Himself...So Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time to those who eagerly await Him, apart from sin, unto salvation. Heb 9.

Therefore, coming into the world, He says, 'Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me.'...'I have come to do Your will.' He takes away the first that He may establish the second...[T]his One, having offered one sacrifice for sins, sat down forever on the right hand of God...'This is the covenant which I will covenant with them after those days, says the Lord: I will impart My laws upon their hearts, and upon their mind I will inscribe them'...Now where forgiveness [of their sins and their lawlessnesses (plural)] is, there is no longer an offering for sin. Having therefore, brothers, boldness for entering the Holy of Holies...which entrance He initiated for us as a new and living way through the veil...And having a great Priest over the house of God... Heb 10.

Jehovah declares to my Lord, Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies Your footstool...Jehovah has sworn, and He will not change: You are a Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. Psa 110.

For there is one God and one Mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus. 1 Tim 2.

Jesus, the Mediator of a new covenant. Heb 12.

Christ Jesus became a high priest according to the order of Melchisedec (not according to the order of Aaron) when He, Christ, resurrected from the dead. Not before. In resurrecting and in resurrection, He brought humanity, His humanity, even His body, into God fully and 'officially' (cf Mt 16:27--17:2, 9). Which, as a man, as the GodMan and as the ManGod, qualifies Him to be the High Priest of a new covenant. The covenant (testament) of having provided an eternal redemption for the goal to be a minister (imparter) of Himself into and to His receivers both now, in this life, and forever (Jn 1:12; Rv 22:1, 14, 17). Just as Melchisedec, the priest and king of [Jeru]Salem ministered, in type (typology) bread and wine to Abraham in Genesis 14.

  • thank you for your effort. But I need clear answer, isn't Jesus already merciful and faithful priest?. anyway, thank you for your effort.
    – salah
    Apr 23, 2020 at 17:11
  • This moment He surely is.
    – Walter S
    Apr 23, 2020 at 17:12
  • before baptism of Jesus, was Jesus already merciful and faithful?
    – salah
    Apr 23, 2020 at 17:18
  • Mr Salah---merciful and faithful high priest was your original question. Yes, Christ, as the Son and as the Son (of God and of man) was very merciful to people and faithful to His Father during His entire lifetime. It'd be worthwhile to read and write those Scriptures too.
    – Walter S
    Apr 23, 2020 at 22:18

Your Question would not arise if you follow the context. From verses 11 of that verse, the author begins showing the identification of Jesus the Word with our Humanity as a verifiable means of securing our salvation!
First that Jesus calls us brothers ; Which links our origin with him(verses 11) Then he calls us children ; Which links the reason for his incarnation (sharing our flesh) (verses 14) all this is so that * Being mortal he could die! And through his death, destroy the one who hold the power of death * set free all those (men) who we're held in slavery all their lives to the "Fear of death"(verses 14-15) Then the author goes on to show that although Angels also fell, the plan of salvation only covered humans This then is a strong point for his incarnation,
Because in the Words of John Gill "he could not be an high priest, offer sacrifice for sin, and make intercession, unless he was man; nor could he be a "merciful" and compassionate one, sympathize with his people in their sorrows, temptations, and sufferings, unless he was like them in these; nor would he be a "faithful", that is, a true and lawful one otherwise, because every high priest is taken from among men.


Hebrews 2:17, (DRB):

Wherefore it behoved him in all things to be made like unto his brethren, that he might become a merciful and faithful priest before God, that he might be a propitiation for the sins of the people.

The question simply is:

Isn't Jesus already merciful and faithful priest? When?

After Nisan 16, 33 C.E., Jesus, resurrected in the spirit, was no longer a man of flesh and blood; he was rewarded by his Father for his faithfulness with an immortal spiritual being.

1 Peter 3:18 (NASB) " For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit."

Revelation 1:18 (NASB)

18 "And the living One; and I [a]was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades."

Now in heaven, he was installed as the Great High Priest according to the manner of Melchizedek, forever.

Hebrews 7:17, 26-28 (NASB)

17 For it is attested of Him, “You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.”26 For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. 28 For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever.

  • If Jesus rose 'only in spirit' 'no longer a man of flesh and blood' then how on earth can Peter say (Acts 10:41) witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. How can a 'spirit' eat and drink ? ?
    – Nigel J
    Apr 23, 2020 at 18:43
  • @ Nigel: 1 Peter 3:18 (NASB) " For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit." Nigel, we cannot escape this scripture, Jesus as a spirit being was able to materialize in human form,like the angels did during Noah's times. Nephilim, Gen. 6:4, Lot Gen.19:1-3, Jude 6, Mary, Luke 1:26-28, Angels eating with Abraham ,Gen 18:1-8 Apr 23, 2020 at 19:09
  • Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. [Luke 24:39 KJV] Why do you assert, what Jesus Christ definitely did not ?
    – Nigel J
    Apr 23, 2020 at 19:16
  • @Nigel: Jesus merely assured them that he was no ghost or apparition, which he was not, but that it was indeed he; and he did indeed have a fleshly body which he materialized for the occasion. In other words, Jesus was assuring them that he was not the product of their imagination, neither was he someone else, but in truth and in fact the very Jesus they had known before his death. Humans cannot see spirit beings. Apr 23, 2020 at 19:27
  • Then what evidence do you have for supposing that was not a permanent condition, especially as he will re-appear in the like condition (as the angel told them) this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. Acts 1:11.
    – Nigel J
    Apr 23, 2020 at 19:29

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