(God) who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
These are pretty straight forward verses. God doesn't want anyone to reject the truth of who Jesus is and what he came to do for us for the human race. I started to check on google for a few references to see what I could find. I came across a Catholic website http://fsspx.org/en/priest-mediator
I was curious to see what they had to say about these verses. I was not surprised by what they said about the priest. Here are two paragraphs from what they wrote.
Catholic priesthoodWhat need is there then, one may ask, of merely human priests, after Our Lord’s perfect sacrifice? Well, the fact is that nothing has changed of the three points made above: man is still social, still a creature, and still sinful. Thus, man still needs leaders of religious ceremonies to offer homage and reparation to God on his behalf. There will never be a time here below when men will not have to offer sacrifice to God.
Our Lord Jesus Christ wanted to provide men with the means of re-presenting His own most perfect sacrifice to God, so that its fruits could be applied until the end of time. As such, He gave to certain men the power to act in His name and, by doing so, repeat His perfect mediation with the Father on our behalf. Men receive this power through the sacrament of Holy Orders, and such men are rightly called “other Christs.” This is the nature of the Catholic priesthood: to act in the person of Christ by offering His own sacrifice to God for the payment of sin, as well as the offering of adoration, thanksgiving, and petition.
I was a little taken back by the sentence that says to offer homage and reparation to God on his behalf. It would seem this is back to the old covenant that God had with Jews. They could not enter the holy place or the holiest of holies. They needed someone to offer a sacrifice for their sins. Does it not say that when Jesus breathed his last breath on earth that the veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom? This is one of the many truths we bring to light in a culture that believes that there are men who are "closer" to God and because of this God will listen to these men better. It is true that in James 15:6 (NIV) The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. or (ESV) The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
It is biblical to pray for others in various different ways, but thinking that God listens to men who are more holy or closer to God is an incorrect way of thinking. It says just before this in James, "Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed." This does not mean that we need a human mediator to "offer sacrifice to God". Jesus came in the flesh, lived a sinless life on earth, died on a cross, rose again, ascended into heaven and now sits at the right hand of the Father.
Romans 8:34 (ESV) Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
Hebrews 10:19-25 (ESV) Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
I do apologize if I sound like I am preaching. What I want is that God would be glorified in bringing us closer to Himself through the truth of His word. I do not want people thinking that because I am a pastor that I am closer to God or my prayers are better in some way. You can see that this is a battle in a culture where everyone believes the priest speaks for God, Even when they come to faith in Jesus, there are lasting effects of their religious roots.