Hebrews 7: 4 Just think how great he was: Even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth of the plunder! 5 Now the law requires the descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the people—that is, from their fellow Israelites—even though they also are descended from Abraham. 6 This man, however, did not trace his descent from Levi, yet he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. 7 And without doubt the lesser is blessed by the greater. 8 In the one case, the tenth is collected by people who die; but in the other case, by him who is declared to be living. 9 One might even say that Levi, who collects the tenth, paid the tenth through Abraham, 10 because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor.
The writer to the Hebrews uses Hebrew logic to make the point that Jesus is better than the Old Testament priests because he is a priest in the order of Melchizedek. If Abraham gave Melchizedek a tenth of the plunder, you could argue that all of Abraham’s descendants, including the Levites, gave a tenth through Abraham. The point was that the Hebrews, even Hebrew Christians, venerated Abraham and the fact that he gave Melchizedek a tenth made Melchizedek greater than Abraham. But the point that he is making is really not about Melchizedek at all, but about Jesus, whom the Psalmist called a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
What value does this have for us today? Why would we pray to or through anyone else but Jesus, whom God has appointed to be our high priest forever? Mary can’t hear our prayers. No promise of Scripture tells us to pray through Mary. The saints in heaven cannot hear or answer our prayers. Praying ancestors cannot help, because they are helpless to help us in time of need. But Jesus sits at the right hand of God and intercedes to God on our behalf. Why would we pray to anyone else but to or through Jesus? Prayer: Hear me, Lord Jesus, as I bring my prayers to you! You have walked in my shoes by becoming fully human. You know my needs and what it is like to be tempted. Help me today and every day in my time of need! Keep me from sin and temptation. Deliver me from death and the devil. Enlarge my heart and teach me to walk the way of your commandments. Amen.