Christ is greater than Prophets (1:1-3)
Christ is greater than Angels (1:4-2:18)
Christ is greater than Moses (3:1-19)
Christ is greater than Joshua (4:1-13)
Christ is greater than Levitical Priests (4:14-7:28)
Christ is greater than the Tabernacle (8:1-5)
Christ is greater than Old Covenant (8:6-9:22)
Christ is greater than Sacrifices (9:23-10:39)
Outworking of Faith in Christ (11:1-40)
Outworking of Hope in Christ (12:1-29)
Outworking of Love in Christ (13:1-17)
Final Exhortation and Salutations (13:18-25)
Hebrews 13 (NIV)
1Keep on loving each other as brothers.
In the ancient Greek language the New Testament was written in, there were four words at hand that we might translate love. Eros was one word for love. It described, as we might guess from the word itself, erotic love. It refers to sexual love. Storge was a second word for love. It refers to family love, the kind of love there is between a parent and child, or between family members in general. Agape is another word for love. It is the most powerful word for love in the New Testament, and is often used to describe God’s love towards us. It is a love that loves without changing. It is a self-giving love that gives without demanding or expecting re-payment. It is love so great that it can be given to the unlovable or unappealing. It is love that loves even when it is rejected. Agape love gives and loves because it wants to; it does not demand or expect repayment from the love given — it gives because it loves, it does not love in order to receive. Agape love isn’t about feelings, it is about decisions.
But the word for love used in Hebrews 13:1 is philadelphia, coming from the root philia. This ancient Greek word speaks of a brotherly friendship and affection. It is the love of deep friendship and partnership. There should always be plenty of this kind of love among Christians.
2Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.
3Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.
4Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. 5Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”
6So we say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?”
7Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.
from Daily Readings from Luther’s Writings,
edited by Barbara Owen
In God’s sight this principle stands firm and unshakable: all saints live by the same Spirit and by the same faith, and are guided and governed by the same Spirit and the same faith, but they all do different external works. For God does not work through them at the same time, in the same place, in the same work, or in the sight of the same people. He moves at different times, in different places, in different works, and in different people, but he always rules them by the same Spirit and the same faith.
And each one is compelled by the work, place, time, persons, and circumstances, previously unknown to him, to follow God as he rules and guides him. This is the true knowledge of faith in which all saints are instructed, each one in his own vocation.
8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Yesterday He died for me . . . this is history.
Today He lives for me . . . this is victory.
Tomorrow He comes for me . . . this is mystery.
“Oh, I Want to Know You More” — the cry of our hearts as we grow in loving Jesus, who shows us perfectly the Father’s love, yesterday, today, and forever.
The wonderful Cadet Sisters.
Just the time I feel that I’ve been caught in the mire of self, just the time I feel my mind’s been bought by worldly wealth, That’s when the breeze begins to blow, I know the Spirit’s call, and all my worldly wanderings just melt into His love.
Oh, I want to know you more, deep within my soul I want to know you, oh I want to know you. To feel your heart and know your mind. Looking in your eyes stirs up within me cries that say I want to know you. Oh I want to know you more.
When my daily deeds ordinarily lose life and song, My heart begins to bleed, sensitivity to Him is gone. I’ve run the race, but set my own pace and face a shattered soul, now the gentle arms of Jesus warm my hunger to be whole.
And Oh I want to know you. And I would give my final breath to know you in your death and resurrection. Oh I want to know you more. Lord, I want to know you more.
9Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by ceremonial foods, which are of no value to those who eat them. 10We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat.
11The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. 12And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. 13Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. 14For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.
15Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name.
Psalm 103:1-5 (The Message)
O my soul, bless God.
From head to toe, I’ll bless his holy name!
O my soul, bless God,
don’t forget a single blessing!
He forgives your sins—every one.
He heals your diseases—every one.
He redeems you from hell—saves your life!
He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown.
He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal.
He renews your youth—you’re always young in his presence.
16And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. 17Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.
18Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way. 19I particularly urge you to pray so that I may be restored to you soon.
20May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
from The Daily Study Bible, by William Barclay:
i) Jesus is the great shepherd of His sheep. There is a lovely legend about Moses. It tells of a thing that Moses did when he had fled from Egypt and was keeping the flocks of Jethro in the desert. A sheep of the flock wandered far away. Moses patiently followed it, and when he found it, it was drinking at a mountain stream. Moses came up to it and put it upon his shoulder. “So it was because you were thirsty that you wandered away,” said Moses gently, and, without anger at the toll this sheep had caused him, he carried it home. And when God saw it, He said, “If this man Moses is so compassionate to a straying sheep, he is the very man I want to be the leader of my people.” A shepherd is one who is ready to give his life for his sheep. He is one who bears with the foolishness of the sheep and who never stops loving them. That is what Jesus does for us.
ii) Jesus is the one who established the new covenant. That is to say, Jesus is the one who made possible the new relationship between God and man. It was Jesus who showed us what God is like, and who opened the door. He took away the terror and showed us the love of God.
iii) Jesus is the one who died. To establish that new relationship, to show men what God was like, to open the way to God, cost the life of Jesus. Our new relationship to God cost the blood of Jesus. He died to bring us to God and to life.
2 Corinthians 1:20 (NRSV)
For in him every one of God’s promises is a “Yes.” For this reason it is through him that we say the “Amen,” to the glory of God.
22Brothers, I urge you to bear with my word of exhortation, for I have written you only a short letter.
23I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been released. If he arrives soon, I will come with him to see you.
24Greet all your leaders and all God’s people. Those from Italy send you their greetings.
25Grace be with you all.