A friend of mine commented recently that she had not been taught a great deal about the nature of Jesus even though she had grown up in a church community. It’s a curiosity that one could grow up in a culture and not know what the bedrock of its beliefs are, but it’s common.
There was an first century church community that had similar problems, exaggerated by persecutions they were experiencing. The message that a writer sent to them was, “Don’t give up.” But they had to have a reason not to give up. That is the basic idea behind the New Testament book of Hebrews.
At the center of the book is the identity and sufficiency of Jesus. Even today it is good to be reminded of that. Especially since there are so many alternative ideas that one can adopt. Hebrews begins with a soaring statement of the reason Jesus should be focus of our confidence.
In these last days God has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. Hebrews 1:1-4.
My sermon for November 14 is an exploration of the ideas in Hebrews. Who is Jesus? What qualifies him to represent us? How did he face life, and what was the outcome of his life? The writer of this book said, “…let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith…and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1,2.
That is a big thing to ask of someone who doesn’t understand the foundation of the calling.