Thoughts on the Word
Key Concepts from Hebrews.
Hebrews is written to Jewish believers at a time when they were being persecuted by just about everyone. The Romans considered them Jews — and they were actively persecuting the Jewish people. The Jewish people persecuted them because they followed Jesus. They had no one who would help them and stand with them.
In addition, they knew that they truly had the fulfillment of the promises of God to His people — Jesus was the fulfillment of everything God promised to Israel. Yet when they said that, the unbelieving Jewish leaders prevented them from celebrating that in the temple, in the synagogues or at the feasts. So now they are faced with a terrible choice. Do they hold on to Jesus — and lose everything of their past that they held dear?
This book talks about holding on to Jesus no matter what you face.
Jesus is greater than:
...angels, the law, the sacrifices, the Levitical priests, Moses, Joshua who brought them into the land. The new covenant He brought is greater than the old covenant. It is a powerful description of the superiority of Jesus over everything they held dear to their hearts and were now forced to leave.
In addition, there are five warnings. Warnings about the cost of rejecting Jesus and going back.
#1: Warning against drifting (chapter 2).
#2: Warning against unbelief (chapter 3).
#3: Warning against falling away (chapter 6).
#4: Warning against sinning willfully (chapter 10).
#5: Warning against rebellion against Him (chapter 12).
Each warning is against a more serious form of rejecting Jesus and contains a more serious set of consequences.
In the midst of this, there is a powerful chapter on faith — joining with many who have taken up their faith in the midst of hardship. They are not alone in facing these challenges.
Finally, there is the understanding that Jesus faced the exact same rejection that they are facing. He died outside the camp [the city of Jerusalem] (13:12-13) — so let us join Him in that reproach.
Father, this book is relevant to Your people today. We must honestly face the cost of following Jesus. Increasingly, the cost of following Him is growing. Your people back then faced incredibly challenging situations. Your call to them? The cost of following Jesus was worth it no matter what. Today, many of Your people face the same crisis of faith. Your answer is still the same. Also, the cost of turning our back on Jesus is even higher than the cost of following Him. Help us to never forget that. Speak to us through this study and help us to follow Jesus closely. In Jesus name, Amen.