Reading Hebrews (Part 1)

Reading the BibleThe men in the church have committed to read through Hebrews over the next month.  This week we have chapters 1 – 3 to look over – feel free to join in with us!

You might find the Scripture Union website Wordlive helpful, which has various readings you can follow.  If you come across other things that would help, then let us know.

Essentially the book is an encouragement to the early Christians not to give up on their faith in Jesus as the Christ.

So let’s read, add your comments and thoughts below, and see what we learn…

  • ipeaco

    Just read chapter one of Hebrews today and a few things struck me. The first was that ‘God speaks’ to us in may ways. The creator of the universe wants to speak to us! Amazing. 

    Secondly, the chapter says so much about Jesus: that He created and sustains the universe, He reflects God’s character perfectly, He offers forgiveness of sins, His kingdom will last forever, He is greater than angels, He is a just God who loves what is right and hates what is wrong, He lives forever and will never change. One day His enemies will become His footstool – God haste the day!

  • hope this is the right place to do this…..
    Reading Hebrew 1-3 and following the wordlive link i took some time dwelling on these points:
    Jesus… 
       • God’s own Son, given for us 

       • Creator of the world with his Father God 

       • reflects God and shows us what he is like 

       • sustains everything 

       • has done all that’s needed to deal with our sin 

       • is higher than the angels 

       • will rule for ever 

       • loves good; hates evil 

       • above all others 

       • is about joy 

       • will live for ever and never change 

       • will be victorious over all who are his enemies

    Jesus Sustains Everything: my lungs filled when i read that.
    sus·tain
       [suh-steyn]  Show IPA
    verb (used with object)1.to support, hold, or bear up from below; bear the weight of,as a structure.2.to bear (a burden, charge, etc.).3.to undergo, experience, or suffer (injury, loss, etc.); endurewithout giving way or yielding.4.to keep (a person, the mind, the spirits, etc.) from givingway, as under trial or affliction.5.to keep up or keep going, as an action or process: to sustaina conversation.Also I’ve never really payed much attention to the role and purpose of Angels. Whether thats because they have such a stylised image and mysticism that just repels me or because of the crazy stories i hear of people encountering them . But as i read hebrews and recall the encounters of Angels in the OT and NT i see that heb 1:14 pretty much sums it up.

  • neilhudson

    I want to affirm what John and Ian have put here – I was struck again by the references to angels and particularly 1:14 – and it led me to wonder how I think that angels minister to me at all.  On a day to day business I pay that no attention at all to be honest.  I wonder if that is how it should be, actually.  Maybe the important thing is to be more aware of recognising God’s involvement (whatever the agency of that involvement might be) and giving him the thanks.  At least that stops me getting side-tracked by speculative theology.

    The other thing that struck me reading ch 1-3 again was the number of times ‘Therefore…’ appears – the author is piling up argument after argument all pointing to the fact that Jesus is better than….

    And if people are thinking of giving up the race of faith, then getting a renewed vision of Jesus – both as the one who is ‘with us’ in incarnation as well as the one who is the ‘exact representation of God’s radiance’ is the only thing that will keep us going. 

    Final thought – we’ve been looking at Ecclesiastes in church over the past few weeks, and wrestling with the Preacher’s constant refrain of everything being meaningless because we will die.  It’s important to keep that human perspective in a death-denying culture like ours, but in Hebrews the writer takes on that same horizon and reminds his readers that everything is not meaningless exactly because ‘he has destryed him who holds the power of death – that is the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. ‘ ( I love that bit about us being enslaved because of our fear of death…) (2:15)  That final frontier was breached by Jesus – therefore ‘fix your thouights on Jesus…’  not as an escape from real life but as the only means of keeping going in the midst of real life.

  • Richard Stanton

    The first thing that stuck me about the first few chapter of Hebrews is its pace. There’s no introduction; just straight into a breathtaking exaltation of Jesus, who is described as more important than anyone or anything else we could ever encounter. The letter goes straight in and barely gives a pause for thought, adding layer upon layer of further arguments for Christ’s superiority.

    As I’ve taken the time to allow those first few chapters to filter down from my head to my heart I’ve been reminded again about how Jesus is the actual embodiment of God (1:2; his Son) and the exact representation of his character (1:2). Therefore, God is just like Jesus. He is the Christ-like God. Alongside this realisation I have just had my understanding of Jesus the Sustainer enhanced by an article called “Jesus the Logician” by Dallas Willard. Herein, Willard announces the Jesus is the most intelligent person to have walked the earth and also the most logically consistent. He never sinned and, therefore, never contradicted himself or his beliefs. He knowingly sustains all things, from the order of language to the consistency available in modal logic.

    The upshot for me as a disciple is this: if Jesus knowingly sustains all things (Heb. 1:3) then he is aware of how everything works. I can trust him to guide me on my journey towards bass guitar mastery and human beatbox brilliance, whilst also guiding me towards a better understanding of what it means to follow him on a discipleship journey through (post-?)post-modern 21st century western culture and how I am to behave along the way.

    • Loving the fact that your first two goals are ‘bass guitar mastery’ and ‘human beat box brilliance’! 

  • neilhudson

    You might find this helpful if you have the time/inclination.  It’s a journal that has a number of articles looking at issues in Hebrews – looks worth exploring… http://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/leaven/

  • Matt_Treg

    Reading through the first chapter I am reminded of a recent experience listening to a radio show about the Hallelujah chorus from Handel’s Messiah. Although the words are based on text from Revelation it struck a chord with me as I read through the chapter.
    |: Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! 😐

    |: For the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! 😐

    For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. |: Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! 😐

    The kingdom of this world Is become the kingdom of our Lord, And of His Christ, and of His Christ; And He shall reign for ever and ever, For ever and ever, forever and ever,

    King of kings, and Lord of lords, |: King of kings, and Lord of lords, 😐 And Lord of lords, And He shall reign, And He shall reign forever and ever, King of kings, forever and ever, And Lord of lords, Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

    And He shall reign forever and ever, |: King of kings! and Lord of lords! 😐 And He shall reign forever and ever, King of kings! and Lord of lords! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

    Just decided to listen to it again!

    Chapter 3 brings the harder learning as it challenges our reaction to hearing from God, although it is interesting that the NLT & NIV translations slightly differ on the pre use wording of the text

    Hebrews 3:7-8 NIV

    So, as the Holy Spirit says:
    “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts

    Hebrews 3:7-8 NLT

    That is why the Holy Spirit says,

    “Today when you hear his voice,
    don’t harden your hearts

    The NLT version is the one I like best, Gods voice is there to hear every day

  • Whillans

    I get the impression from Hebrews 1-3 that Jesus is not optional as the way to approach God.