The phenomenal writer of the Book of Hebrews concludes in this Chapter. He had dedicated the writing of the First to the Eleventh chapter of this book to Doctrine, and this was dedicated predominantly to the Jews – both the believing and the unbelieving coupled with those who were still grappling with the fact that Judaism at that time, had become obsolete and were finding it difficult to make that change. Some had made that change and because of the pressure mounted on them, they were thinking of returning to their old ways and tradition of worship.
The writer was very straight to the point without mincing words that the old ways were far behind and God had moved from the shadow into the real object – Jesus. They were to abandon the shadow for the real thing, which should be a complete change from Mount Sinai to Mount Zion. Some struggled and some made the change and for some who made this move, it resulted in them been faced with some socio-economic pressures. The Jews, who had not moved, started to isolate those that had especially in the areas relating to or concerned with the interaction of social and economic factors. This is the reason why the writer penned down the twelfth chapter.
They were fast loosing focus and he (the writer) had to bring to their attention that suffering was part of the Salvation package. Their focus was not meant to be on the people causing the pain but on God who had allowed the suffering because He (God) either wanted to correct, protect or educate His people. Contrary to what happens and how we pray in the Church today (filled with bitterness against our said “enemies”) where the focus is on the Devil and our enemies, the focus was shifted to God. In other words, if we are going through one challenge or the other, God has allowed the challenges because He is doing one of the three things mentioned above.
On this premise, the writer continues as he pens down chapter thirteen.
The first three verses encourages us to continue to love each other in the New fold and also love people who are not in the fold like he mentioned in Chapter 6 and verse 10. We are encouraged to help strangers not because of what awaits us (like Abraham did, not knowing he was entertaining Angels) but because it is incumbent to us as Christians to be that way. In plain terms, I will not give a gift or have sympathy on you because I know you will respond likewise, but will give you the gift because I want to. No motives involved. When there is no motive involved, then it is said to be pure and not adulterated love.
To the ones who were contemplating on going back to Judaism because of the pressure, he advised that the marriage bed should not be defiled. The moment they were married to Jesus, they couldn’t and should not fraternize with the ethics of the Old Covenant. They were advised not to return to Judaism, and many who were having financial problems because of the isolation were told to remain satisfied and content in God – who would always give them all He had blessed them with, knowing that He had promised to never leave or forsake them.
Many of us today have wondered and are killing ourselves over the many things we don’t have. We think that it is when we pray that we should ask God for the things we don’t have forgetting that God knows what we need and is obsessed with supplying that which we need in accordance to His Will. Not sure there are Christians today who have ever admitted to being guilty of COVETEOUSNESS. The idea is God knows what we need and He is working on them. HE IS NOT WAITING UNTIL I PRAY TO HIM BEFORE HE GIVES THE THINGS TO ME… Matthew 6.
He continues in his final words as he puts his searchlight on the leaders. He advised that they should remember their leaders who taught them the word of God. He exhorted them to think of all the good that has come from their lives, and follow the example of their faith, knowing that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. In a sense they were advised not to be attracted by strange new ideas and doctrines like we have today knowing that their strength comes from God’s grace, not from rules about food, which don’t help those who follow them.
Like Apostle Paul told them at Rome, they were supposed to be separated from the World through the renewing of their minds…Romans 12:1-2 and in his final words to his son Timothy where he expressly commanded and said to him, “You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others. Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them. And athletes cannot win the prize unless they follow the rules”.
I was a bit surprised when the writer mentioned that Timothy had been set free from prison and that when he comes around, he (the writer) would be able to make a trip to them. This made me contemplate and ruminate that the writer of this great Epistle (my opinion, though) was Apostle Paul.
Many thanks for reading and embarking upon this journey (the study of the book of Hebrews) with us and we would also like to welcome you as we teach on our next book and epistle.
I would like to leave with the words of Charles Haddon Spurgeon about the future of the Jews when he said, “A Christian is the last person who ought ever to speak disrespectfully or unkindly of the Jews. I marvel at the insanity of those who try to prove that we are Jews – the lost ten tribes, forsooth! I believe in the restoration of the Jews to their own land in the last days. I am a firm believer in the gathering in of the Jews at a future time.”
Keep it right here and be refreshed!