Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:28-29) We all need something unshakeable in our lives, don’t we?  We have this requirement because the sober reality is that our families and relationships, jobs,Continue reading “Unshakeable”

There’s Not A Friend

Hebrews 2 starts with a conclusion—challenging its readers to anchor their lives in the glorious, eternity-altering news about Jesus (v. 1-4). After this, the writer picks up his earlier thread concerning Jesus and angels. I think he’s anticipating some objections in response to what he previously wrote concerning Christ’ superiority to the angels (1:5-14). There wouldContinue reading “There’s Not A Friend”

Thinking About Hebrews

Hebrews can be a challenging read. It’s a bit like Revelation—it’s definitely not a narrative (like the Gospels or Acts), but it’s not exactly a letter like Philippians either (although like Revelation, it has some elements of a letter in it). Commentators agree it’s best to think of Hebrews as a first-century sermon. In 13:22Continue reading “Thinking About Hebrews”

The Great High Priest

The Hebrew writer speaks of Jesus in lots of different ways that (with a little work) we can relate to: He is the radiance of God’s glory (think of the Transfiguration), superior to the angels, the Apostle/One Sent (surpassing Moses and Joshua), etc. But the book’s central image is the most challenging—Jesus as our highContinue reading “The Great High Priest”

The Gratitude Of Holiness (1)

The Hebrew writer is challenging the disciples he’s addressing to pursue holiness (12:14). Holiness is wholeness. It is being responsive to God in every area of our lives. As Jesus talked about, it is loving God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30). This doesn’t happen accidentally or incidentally, so they areContinue reading “The Gratitude Of Holiness (1)”

The Discipline That Pays Dividends

Stay tuned. Do you remember that phrase? You don’t hear it much anymore. Stay tuned was a succinct way of telling the radio listener or television watcher that something important was about to happen and they needed to make sure they didn’t miss it. These two words were dripping with expectation and promise. And moreContinue reading “The Discipline That Pays Dividends”

Recapturing Our Confidence

So why was Hebrews written? What was the purpose of the letter? Like most letters in the New Testament, the author doesn’t identify his purpose in writing so we’re left to work it out according to what we’re given in the letter. Fortunately, there is much to mine in this regard. A good place toContinue reading “Recapturing Our Confidence”

Overwhelmed By Jesus

Since Hebrews is more a first-century sermon than letter, it begins not with a greeting but rather with an enormously staggering statement about Jesus (1:1-4). This introduction is like the lavish entrance to a magnificent estate. The writer wants his audience to (once again) be overwhelmed with Him. They had been that way before (10:34-35),Continue reading “Overwhelmed By Jesus”

Not To God

The book of Hebrews is much more a sermon than a letter. It is carefully crafted apologetic for Jesus Christ, consisting of well-reasoned arguments from the Old Testament punctuated by exhortations to its recipients to remain faithful to God by recapturing their confidence in Christ. And like most effective messages, it has some well-placed illustrations.Continue reading “Not To God”