Prepared Meal or Buffet Dinner?
This past Sunday we began a series on the book of Hebrews. And so for the next quarter year these posts will mainly be supplemental material to the Sunday sermons. Week 1 we looked at Hebrew 1:1-2:4 as a unit. The letter (or sermon) written to Jewish Christians is a call to persevere and a warning not to drift back into Judaism in reaction to the persecution they are facing. For the consequences of doing that would be far worse than losing their life to persecution! We asked some questions to consider what type of things might we drift away to in attempts to find easier ways for our faith today. I cannot wait to journey with you for the next while through this incredible book that God has inspired and preserved for us.
The first section we examined begins with contrasting how God had spoken to His people in the past “at many times and in many ways”(Heb.1:1), and how He had with finality spoken through the incarnation of the Son (Heb.1:2). He spends the rest of chapter 1 painting a grandiose picture of who this Son is through whom God had spoken to them and to whom they should “pay much closer attention”(Heb.2:1). In order to elevate the superiority of the Son, the writer quotes extensively in chapter one from the Old Testament to demonstrate that the Son’s message is to be adhered to instead of the message that came through earlier revelations (angels were seen as the instrument God used to deliver the Law to Moses).
There is some good application we can make from the methodology the writer of Hebrews used in presenting his argument. From verses 5 to 13, the writer has drawn on a wide variety of OT passages to highlight Jesus’ unique status. He quotes from the Psalms and the books of Deuteronomy and 2 Samuel. In doing so, he reminds us of the importance of immersing ourselves in the Word of God in order to understand him more fully. Do we see that value in the Bible? Do we intentionally expose ourselves to the whole breadth of God’s Word, or do we limit our focus to our favourite parts or only the easily understood parts? The image that came to my mind is a culinary illustration (as per the photo at the top). Do we eat all that is set before us, like a meal prepared by a chef who puts a lot of thought into a balanced nutritional meal? Or do we prefer to go to an all-you-can-eat buffet, where you can just pick the foods you like and gorge on those? Dietitian or favourite meal? Eating pizza everyday may taste good, but it is not good for us in the long term!
As we see used in Hebrews 1, Scripture informs and builds upon other parts of Scripture. The whole of the Bible is inspired and helps us understand God’s rescue plan better. Sticking to our favourite parts will stunt our growth in the knowledge and grace of Jesus. If you aren’t in the practice and rhythm of reading the whole counsel of Scripture, let me encourage you to change that! It’s simple and easy. Let me recommend two different resources that could be of assistance to you in that endeavour. The Moravian texts are a great daily reading guide that chooses a portion of Old Testament, New Testament, and Psalms. Join millions of other disciples who follow this plan by subscribing by email at: http://www.moravian.org/faith-a-congregations/an-introduction-to-the-daily-texts-2/ . There are numerous reading plans and schedules that are so easily accessible online these days. One other spot you can go to is well know Our Daily Bread: http://odb.org/subscriptions/. Go ahead! Begin eating more nutritionally today and be prepared to see your spiritual muscles grow!