Hebrews 13:1-25, Joshua 1:5-9, Matthew 25:34-40
Ask anyone who regularly communicates to a group what the hardest part of putting together their presentation is, and they will often tell you (or at least I will) that it is coming up with the conclusion. It’s usually the last part of my preparation for preaching each week. Oftentimes I feel like I’m just slamming the plane on the runway from about 15,000 feet; we eventually come to a stop, but it can be a bumpy landing before we do.
Maybe the writer of Hebrews was familiar with this same feeling. After masterfully calling his listeners to not abandon following Christ, he seems to run off a hit-list of items he wanted to get in before he finished, but perhaps didn’t have the time to fully develop. These powerful last words, however, are instructive; they don’t need much explanation because they call us to a life of truly following Christ. This final list is a matter of living in light of having a far superior Savior in Jesus. The author’s conclusion brings us to the unchanging, glorious Savior and how we should live in light of His grace.
With Jesus as our unchanging Savior, we can love others well, serve the stranger, care for those suffering for the sake of the gospel, honor the institution of marriage, live simply, and show regard for those who communicate the gospel to us. Because Jesus is unchanging in His grace toward us, we can reject false teaching and bear up under suffering, while following and praying for our leaders, and continuing to do good as we have opportunity. Jesus’s faithfulness toward us assures us that He will work these good things in us and through us.
In this final passage of Hebrews, we are met with a powerful reflection on the enduring faithfulness of Christ to us. Only through the grace of God and the constancy of Christ—who is the same yesterday, today, and forever—are we redeemed from our sins and empowered to live for God’s glory.
This exhortation we have been reading the last few weeks is a powerful call to be men who have our lives centered and focused on Christ. This kind of life is one of faith, love, and glory, where we trust God’s promises over what we can see.
May we always put our hope in the eternal Savior who is superior in every way.
Written by Jeremy Writebol