The sprinting words to the finish-line in the book of Hebrews (ch. 13) is about actions and activities of the Hebrew believers so they are adepts for the life ahead. This will be a life of high persecution in the Roman Empire against Jews and Christians. We will explore how this book prepares the Hebrew believers to what is ahead.
H’ Philadelphia meneto
The simple phrase translated “let brotherly love continue” stirring up the believers that they are to be committed in love and service to one another. This brotherly love (2nd love known as Philos from C.S. Lewis’ Four Loves) will welcome strangers – who may be angels, will visit prisoners, will identify with the mistreated. This serving love will carry forward Christians through all that is ahead of them.
The Daily Christian Life
As to their, daily lives, the author encourages them to keep the sanctity of marriage and live content lives in a very Epicurean society that seeks pleasure and self fulfillment. The honorable use of money are practical ways in which Hebrew believers will show their trust in God. The author quotes both Deut 31:6 and Ps 118:6 short passages as familiar words shared during a Passover meal – “I will never leave you, nor forsake you” and “The Lord is my helper, what can man do unto me?” It is believed that Jesus along with his disciples most likely sang Psalms 118 at his Last Supper which was a Passover meal (Mark 14:26). So this brings a stark reminder to the believers of their anointed one, who himself suffered outside the gate to redeem the world.
Sacrifice of Praise and Sacrifice of Good Works
The author uses sacrifice in a new testament way to mean two important things (1) Praise to God (like the aroma of an incense or the aroma of our lives 2Cor 2:15) and the related idea of serving God and other believers with your time, talents and abilities. “Don’t neglect to do what is good and to share, for God is pleased with such sacrifices.” The author urges believers extend good works to the world as a result of heir new life and salvation
Doxology of the Hebrews
Hebrew’s Doxology has some very key ideas as the author tries to summarize the doctrine that brings peace to Hebrew believers. The God of peace and the great Shepherd of the sheep are both actively equipping believers in doing what is good, doing his will and working what is pleasing to him. The author recognizes the difficult words and exhortations that has been written down to prepare these believers for what is ahead. There is no way to know if our lives will face turmoil in the days ahead, but we will be wise to pay heed to be girded and ready for what may be times that are difficult along with a God who is all faithful and true.