Hebrews 5 – Warning Against Apostatsy

The Hebrew writer continues on the subject of Jesus as our high priest.  To understand the context of this writing, we should remember that many of the Christians this letter was written to were Jews or Gentiles that had first aspired to Judaism before becoming Christians.  Much of their persecution would not be happening to them if they had not become followers of Christ; and their lives would be much easier if they turned back to Judaism.  Secondly, the high priest was an attractive and important part of that faith they had previously known. Coffman’s summary as follows is well put:

Jewish high priest wearing a hoshen, and Levit...

Jewish high priest wearing a hoshen, and Levites in ancient Judah. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Without doubt, the earthly splendor of the Jewish high priest was a factor of seductive influence on Christians, especially those of Jewish background. His rich robes, the extravagantly ornate breastplate, the unique privilege of entering the Holy of Holies on the day of atonement, his status as judge and president of the Sanhedrin, his dramatic influence as the official representative of the Jewish nation, more especially at a time when they had no king, the traditional descent of the office from the sons of Aaron and reaching all the way back to the Exodus, and the grudging respect paid to the office, even by Roman conquerors – all these things and many others elevated the Jewish high priest to a position of isolated splendor in the eyes of the people.

The writer is letting them know that they still have a high priest – but a better one now!  Jesus is their high priest and intercedes for us now, and he is fully qualified – and was appointed as such by God (verses 5-6)!  But they should know this by now, and the writer rebukes them, warning them not to fall back into their old ways.  By now, he says, they should be teaching others, but they need teaching again themselves.  They “…need milk, not solid food” (verse 12) – meaning they have to get back to the first principles of Christianity before they can move forward with maturity.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

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Hebrews 4 – Jesus the Great High Priest

The Hebrew writer continues the theme he began in chapter 3 of the rest that was prepared by God for us – “his works were finished from the foundation of the world.”  “Rest” here for us is entrance into heaven.  They received “good news” in the old covenant, but the message did not benefit them because they were not faithful in their belief.  The point that the writer is making in the first few verses is that the promise is ours to forfeit – just as it was theirs (verse 11).  Verse 12’s reference to the word of God as “living” is not in the sense of John 1:1, but that of 1 Peter 1:23 and others that refer to it as such.

praying_handsCoffman says a lot about verse 12 that seems right on the mark: “The word ‘active’ shows that the word does not lie inert and dead but at all times carries within itself the mighty power of its divine author. Rather than trying to find subtle differences in the meaning of such words as ‘soul’ and ‘spirit,’ it is perhaps just as well to view this verse as a heaping together of powerful terms for the purpose of showing the utmost ability of the word of God to penetrate the complex inward nature of man, to convict him of sin, to expose his hidden motives, and to judge the very nature of life itself….The passage presents God’s word as totally different from the word of men, making it infinite in power, all-seeing in discernment, and able to pierce or penetrate any human subterfuge.”
And just so, verse 13 tells the reader that there is nobody that can hide from Him – we are all “naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

Verses 14-16 pick back up on Chapter 3’s reference to Jesus as our high priest – a subject to which the writer speaks much about in this epistle – and points out that he is not one that is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses.  The Lord experienced temptation “in every respect,” it says.  So we can approach our Father through Him with confidence (verse 16) “that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”  What a reassuring passage!  We often speak of someone “being there” for us.  Jesus truly is!

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Hebrews 3 – Jesus Greater Than Moses

Mount Nebo, where Moses could see the Promised Land, but could not enter it.

Mount Nebo, where Moses could see the Promised Land, but could not enter it.

This chapter by the Hebrew writer is the only place in Scripture that Jesus is called an apostle.  Remember that an apostle is another word for a messenger, one who is sent (or more correctly, one who is commissioned, so that the messenger has the authority of the one who sent him).  Jesus said in John 12:49. “For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me ma commandment—what to say and what to speak.”  The writer continues that Jesus was faithful to Him that appointed Him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house.  But Moses was faithful as a servant.  Note that the writer says that Jesus is faithful over God’s house as a son – and we are that house.  But verse 6 reminds that we must persevere (hold fast) in the Christian life.

Verses 7-11 are quoted from Psalm 95:7-11,   We are warned as benefactors of the new covenant to not do as those who fell away in the old covenant.  We need the fellowship of our Christian brothers and sisters, so that we “…exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Let’s Hear From Peter \ Week 48 summary posted

Peter healed a crippled beggar at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple (Acts 3:1-11)

Peter healed a crippled beggar at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple (Acts 3:1-11)

Having finished the Book of Acts and Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians, this week we will turn from Paul’s writing, first to a letter from Peter (1 Peter), then to the Book of Hebrews.  The former was probably written around 62-63 AD, before Nero’s persecution, but almost certainly during his reign.  As to the Hebrew letter, there has been much conjecture about the authorship, but as one writer put it, “Who actually wrote the epistle, only God knows.”

Summing Up

Each weekend, I am now posting a small PDF of one week of chapter summaries (on the website’s “Summaries” page), current to the beginning of the previous week.  I have posted the summary for Week 48 (November Week 4) of the schedule I am following.  This short PDF document contains condensed comments about Acts 25, 26, 27, 28, and Ephesians 1, with hyperlinks to the ESV version of each chapter for listening or reading, and joins the summaries for other weeks already posted there.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
image © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.