Introduction: We come to the end of our study of the book of Hebrews.
What have we learned so far? That the Old Testament sanctuary
service was both a prophecy of the sacrificial death of Jesus our
Messiah, and a symbol of what Jesus is presently doing as our High
Priest in the parallel sanctuary in heaven. What is the “end game”
for these two concepts? Isn’t it eternal life with Jesus? What better
note to end on than that! As we anxiously wait for Jesus’ return,
what should we be doing? Let’s jump into the conclusion to Hebrews!
- The Enduring City
- Read Hebrews 13:9-10. What did the writer of Hebrews warn
about as we wait for Jesus to come? (Strange teachings.)
- What example of “strange teachings” are we given
here? (Soy milk and “Vega-links” are not getting us
into heaven. Your health, even your mental health on
earth may well be affected by what you eat, but what
you eat is “of no value” when it comes to your
- What is of central value for our salvation?
(Grace. Jesus’ sacrifice of His life on our
- Verse 10 continues with an eating theme. Where can we
eat that the priests in the Old Testament temple
could not eat? (Those priests who did not accept
Jesus as the “point” of their tabernacle (sanctuary)
service, would not be able to partake of grace. They
missed the entire point of what they were doing.)
- Is it possible for us today to get caught up in
what we are doing and miss the point of grace?
- Read Hebrews 13:11-13. Why is Jesus being compared to the
body of the sacrifices which were “burned outside the
camp?” (To understand this we need to read Leviticus 6:24-30. When a regular “sin offering” was brought to the
temple, the animal was sacrificed and the priest was
required to eat it. However, when the blood of the
sacrifice on the Day of Atonement was used to “cleanse”
the sanctuary itself, in that case the body was burned
outside the camp.)
- What lesson do we learn about Jesus being crucified
outside the city of Jerusalem? (Again we see
reinforced the point that the death of Jesus was not
like an ordinary, daily sin sacrifice. Jesus’ death
was the “once for all” sacrifice for sin. Hebrews is
showing us, once again, that the procedure followed
in the Old Testament sanctuary was a prophecy of what
would happen to Jesus, our Messiah. This should give
us confidence that Jesus is our Messiah.)
- What additional insight do verses 11-13 give us on
verse 10? (The priests could not “eat” the atoning
sacrifice. They cannot eat, if they do not believe in
grace, at the altar of Jesus because He is the
ultimate atoning sacrifice for our sins.)
- How do the ordinances of the Lord’s Supper
(Communion) fit into all this? (Although those who
worked in the temple under the “Old Covenant” could
not eat the atoning sacrifice, Jesus instructs us to
remember His atoning sacrifice by symbolically eating
His sacrificed body ( 1 Corinthians 11:23-24,26).)
- Consider this a minute. Why would we “eat”
Jesus’ body under the New Covenant? (I could not
figure this out. M.L. Andreasen, in his book on
Hebrews, points out that in the old system the
priests ate the flesh of the sacrifice and thus
carried the sin in themselves. (See generally,
Leviticus 10:16-18.) “The exact opposite is true
in the New Testament, in which it is said that
we become partakers of Him.” M. Andreason, The
Book of Hebrews at 537. We “died” with Jesus,
and because of that we do not need to bear our
own sins if we accept Jesus.)
- Read Hebrews 13:14. Which city is the one that does not
endure? (The whole discussion has been about Jerusalem.
Jerusalem would not endure. However, the New Jerusalem
which comes down from heaven ( Revelation 21:2-4) is the
enduring city for which those who accept Jesus are
- Read Hebrews 13:15-16. As we await the coming of Jesus,
what kind of sacrifices are we to present to God? (The
text mentions three types: praise to Jesus, doing good
works, and sharing with others. We still need to present
sacrifices to Jesus, but not sacrifices for sin.)
- What kind of praise service does your church have?
How about you?
- What kind of sharing program does your church have?
How about you?
- What kind of focus on good works does your church
have? How about you?
- The Praise of Good Works
- Now let’s go back and pick up the verses that we skipped
in Hebrews 13. Read Hebrews 13:1. What is different about
loving your brother (or sister) than loving others? (With
my brother, I know that he loves me even if he gets angry
with me. Whatever he may say to me, I still know that
underneath he loves me.)
- How should that change our dealings with fellow
believers? Does it allow us to “yell more” with the
confidence they will understand? Should we “yell
less” because they are brothers and sisters?
- Read Hebrews 13:2. How should we relate to those outside
- Read Hebrews 13:3. Is the writer speaking of those who are
imprisoned for their religious beliefs? (I think so. If
you look at the Greek, it refers to considering those who
are mistreated as part of the body. The sense to me is
that these are members of the body of believers who are
unjustly imprisoned for their religious beliefs.)
- Read Hebrews 13:4. What is required of Christians when it
comes to morality?
- A tremendous battle is shaping up in North America
over the issue of homosexual “marriage.” What impact
does the failure of many Christians to honor marriage
have on this debate? (If most marriages were for
life, and the civil and religious penalties for
divorce severe (i.e., no remarriage except for
adultery), I doubt that many homosexuals would want
to sign up for marriage. Of course, maybe a lot of
heterosexuals would be a little slower to sign up
- Read Hebrews 13:5. Are two different points being made in
this verse? If not, how is the last part of verse 5
related to the first part of the verse? (If we trust in
Jesus instead of our money, the amount of money we have
will not be important.)
- Read Hebrews 13:6. What makes you the most nervous in
life? What causes the most anxiety?
- What is Hebrews’ cure for anxiety? (Trusting God. Man
can do nothing to you if God does not permit it.)
- Read Hebrews 13:7. Normally we say “Do not look to your
fellow believers.” “Keep your eyes on Jesus, not on
church leaders.” What does this verse teach us? (I think
this is a little test. This tells us to look at how the
lives of our religious leaders turn out. If their lives
are upright, then imitate their faith. Great contemporary
Christians like Billy Graham and James Dobson are examples
of right, unblemished, living. Test what leaders say by
the outcome of their lives.)
- Read Hebrews 13:8. What does this have to do with verse 7?
(If it turns out that your religious leader does not have
a consistent life, you can know that Jesus is the same
forever. The most secure vision is to look to Jesus.)
- Read Hebrews 13:17-18. What can we do to encourage and
lift up our religious leaders whose lives are upright?
- Read Hebrews 13:20-21. Why did the writer of Hebrews go
through all of these “right living” statements? (These are
the “sacrifices” that followers of Jesus are to bring to
Him in our daily lives while we wait for Him to return.
Jesus is looking for those who accept His sacrifice on
their behalf, and then lead a life that is worthy of what
He has done for them. We need to ask Jesus to “equip” us
with what will allow us to do the work that is pleasing to
Him while we wait.)
- Friend, how about you? Will you accept the grace that
Jesus offers? After being saved by grace, will you strive
to live a life that is a pleasing sacrifice to God?
- Next Week: We begin our study of the book of Jonah.