Hebrews opens with an important declaration: ‘God… has spoken to us in His Son.’ Near the close of the book, the writer states: ‘See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking’ (12:25). In other words, one of the themes in Hebrews seems to be: ‘God has spoken; we have His Word. What are we doing about it?’
Hebrews was a pastoral response to the sagging faith of frightened men and women struggling to keep their own composure in a tense situation of persecution, arrest, and possibly a cruel death as a public spectacle. Christians sensed how fragile they were, and Christian faith appeared to be an insubstantial reality. Identification as a Christian could be a prelude to violence; open acknowledgement that you were a Christian could seal your death warrant.
In his opening words (1:1-3), the preacher guides his friends in the consideration of God who spoke His definitive word through His Son. The preacher challenges his hesitant friends, troubled by the apparent silence of God in response to their desperate situation, with the indisputable fact that our God is the God who speaks.
The frightened Christians who gathered to listen to Hebrews needed to know that the living God is the God who speaks. They are not confronted by the silence of God but by the vibrant, awesome reality of God’s spoken word! God is not silent; He speaks in His Word!
The writer addresses the fainting Christians right from the start in the first few verses. How does he do that? The writer encourages believers in faithful perseverance, not by first addressing us, not by beginning overtly with exhortation, but by pointing to Christ and his glory. The needs of our feeble hearts are not first to be addressed by immediate, overt exhortation. Rather, the greatest essential of exhortation is that we first dwell upon Christ and not upon ourselves. Refreshment and renewal come to the hearts of Christians when a fresh view of Christ in his glory captivates the mind and affections. This is what the writer of Hebrews is up to and in this he shows himself to be a wise and skillful pastor of souls.
This coming Lord’s Day we will look at The Majestic Christ in Hebrews 1:1-3. In seven grand statements, the writer of Hebrews provides for us a glorious portrait of the supremacy of Christ. Invite someone to come along with you as you pray for God’s Spirit to work among us.
For Christ and His Glory,