Hebrews was written around 67 A.D. to Jewish Christians who were under pressure to abandon, or at least compromise, their faith. The author was writing to a group of Christians under severe persecution. Because some were considering a return to Judaism, the book’s primary theme is the superiority of Jesus. The author encouraged those who were struggling not to abandon Jesus, their only hope of salvation.
In chapters 1-10, the author repeatedly demonstrates Jesus’ preeminence over angels, Moses and the Old Testament priesthood. Jesus is the final prophet sent from God. He identifies Christ as high priest of the new covenant and makes his case for the superiority of the new covenant over the old. Based on this knowledge, the author exhorts his readers to persevere, knowing there’s no other sacrifice for sin to which they can turn.
In chapters 11-13, the author focuses on the importance of faith in successfully following Jesus. He provides numerous examples from the Old Testament of those who lived by faith. He reminds his readers that a life of faith is a life shaped by trust in God’s promises, rather our experiences or our senses. Real faith gives one a kind spiritual eyesight that focuses on the coming Christ, sees future rewards, and enables endurance in the face of temporary trials.
18 And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’
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