Relevant Verses: Hebrews 13
Leading question: What is the most important admonition in the book of Hebrews?
Some eighteen admonitions are packed in to Hebrews 13. How should we identify which one is most important or which ones are most important?
Question: Is the title of the lesson, which also reflects this week’s memory verse, the most important: “Let brotherly love continue” (KJV)?
Comment: Of all the admonitions, this one seems to come closest to Jesus’ one-verse summary of his message: “In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you” (Matt. 7:12)
1. Let mutual love continue 2. Don’t neglect hospitality to strangers 3. Remember those in prison Remember those who are tortured 4. Let marriage be held in honor 5. Keep your lives free from the love of money Be content with what you have 7. Remember your leaders Consider the outcome of their way of life Imitate their faith 9. Don’t be carried away by strange teachings 13. Let us go to Jesus outside the camp Let us bear the abuse he endured 15. Continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God 16. Do not neglect to do good Do not neglect to share what you have 17. Obey your leaders and submit to them 18. Pray for “us”
In our day, two of the admonitions stand out as worthy of special attention:
Vs. 13 “Let us go to Jesus outside the camp.”
Vs. 17 “Obey your leaders.
Question: Going Outside the Camp. The intent of this admonition is to invite us to share the “shame” that Jesus took upon himself. Does that still apply today? Is identifying ourselves as Christians a “shameful” matter which would bring honor to the cause if we are willing to share it?
Question: Obeying Leaders. What if leaders are not taking us in the right direction? What is the responsibility of believers when their leaders go astray?
Question: Summing up the whole quarter. Clearly the author of Hebrews believed that admonitions were important. But are they as successful in leading people to the desired ends as the leaders seem to think? Here is the new covenant ideal as stated by Jeremiah and echoed in Hebrews:
Jeremiah 31:33-34: “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.”
Question: How do we move the church toward that ideal where there are no longer any admonitions but everything springs spontaneously from a heart that has been touched by Christ?