Hebrews 7.1-3,15-17; Psalm 109; Mark 3.1-6
Melchizedek was the Priest-King of one of the tribes who lived in the land promised to Abraham by God; by tradition Melchizedek’s kingdom was centred on Jerusalem. After a battle with the forces of four Canaanite kings which Abraham won against all odds, an intimidated Melchizedek feasted Abraham’s ragtag forces on bread and wine, recognising that Abraham was now the strongest power in the land. [Genesis 14]
Melchizedek disappears from the story at that point, but he is referenced twice in the Scriptures: first, the Psalmist likens him to David, the king and (by implication) priest whose enemies God had defeated; second, the epistle to the Hebrews meditates on this odd figure as a type or foreshadowing of Jesus Christ. [Hebrews 5.1-10]
For the author of Hebrews, Melchizedek is a good likeness to Jesus because he appears as if out of nowhere; Hebrews comments that Melchizedek had neither father nor mother nor any recognisable ancestry. [7.3] Like Melchizedek Jesus is even more remarkable than either Abraham or David. Jesus is a priest because the power of his indestructible life [7.16], a power which he conveys to his followers.