Melchizedek could easily have been Jesus.
by Dr. G. Robert Grant
(San Clemente, California)
It is not impossible at all to think that Melchizedek was indeed Jesus Christ. First I will deal with the arguments against. The arguments for, are, by themselves, many and impressive indeed, so none of them will be mentioned, as the parallels have already been made by those greater than I.
Firstly, to made 'like unto' cannot necessarily not mean to be made 'as'. The ancient Hebrew dialect often uses these two interchangeably.
Second, yes, Melchizedek was a man. This could easily be true of Christ pre-incarnate, just as it was for God. In Gen. 18 we read: "The LORD appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby (NOTE: the significance of the THREE men here, not just ONE). When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground. (Even Abraham recognized the LORD here).
He said, "If I have found favor in your eyes, my LORD, do not pass your servant by. Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree.... (skipping down).. - now that you have come to your servant." .... (skipping down), "Where is your sife Sarah?" they asked him.
"There in the tent", he said.
THEN THE LORD SAID, "I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.".... (skipping again)... Then the LORD said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh and say, 'Will I really have a child, now that I am old?' Is anything too hard for the LORD?.... (skipping...) When the men got up to leave, they looked down toward Sodom,and Abraham walked with them to see them on their way..... (skipping ahead again)..
The men (presumably the two others besides the LORD) turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the LORD..... (skipping ahead).. When the Lord had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home."
Now clearly elsewhere in the bible, when the LORD does appear as a 'Diety in His true form', men are prevented for looking upon him, else they would surely die. References are Exodus 3:, "There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush... (skipping ahead).. God called to him from within the bush, "Moses! Moses!". And Moses said, "Here I am."
"Do not come any closer," God said. "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground." Then He said, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God."
Clearly, no mortal may look at God in his non-human form and live, even the prophet Moses. Ref. also, Genesis 19 and 20 when the LORD appeared similarly so that men could not look upon Him, also, in their journey through the desert for 40 years shielded from being seen by a 'thick, moving cloud', and another moving column of fire.
This is why Jesus, many years later, is able to say truly, "No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God, only He has seen the Father." Here he speaks of himself as the only one to have seen God in his true 'Diety' form. Therefore, when God appeared to Abraham in Genesis 18, He appeared to Abraham as a man. This is the only plausible explanation that works.
Finally, it is clear the Jesus does what the Father does, he emulates what the Father does, and probably so since the beginning of time. First, God created... BUT... he created all things THROUGH Christ. So God creates and created, but so does, in a real sense, Jesus Christ. Second, God speaks his Word, but the scriptures declare that Jesus IS the word, and then became the Word made flesh, (John, and 1 John). Third, Jesus proclaims, does He not, (John 5:19), "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by Himself, He can do only what He sees His Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father love the Son and shows Him all He does." So since Jesus emulates his Father, and does what He does, then, in truth, since it is true that God appeared as a man, and perhaps multiple times, and then back to his 'Diety' form once again, then it is probable that Jesus did the same, at least up until the time he was crucified and then on the third day he rose once again in his new body from the dead.
So it is clear that Jesus, like the Father, could easily have been in a mortal form, and then gone back again to his Diety form with God, in fact, many also claim that the Holy Spirit was also in mortal form at times, specifically in reference to Abraham's chief servant, when in Genesis 24, the servant is charged with the task of finding a wife for Abraham's son Isaac, since Abraham was 'now old and will advanced in years'..... (Gen. 24 v. 1). So it is probable that all three persons of the tri-une God have appeared as men, and probably multiple times, in my opinion.
Finally, I rest on this point which is, if nothing is impossible for God (multiple references), they why do some question whether or not He and Jesus and even the Holy Spirit appear as men?? Certainly, a God as all-powerful and Who has done what we attribute Him to have done in scripture, for such as this, appearing as a man would certainly be one of the 'least' of what He (They) are able to do, speaking of course of the tri-une God which Scripture refers to.