Bible Reading and Commentary February 23-28, 2015
Bible Reading and Commentary
February 23-28, 2015
HEBREWS — This letter was addressed to Jewish Christians. The purpose was to encourage them to persevere in their faith. Christ’s office of High Priest is described at length. In the book of Hebrews, we see Jesus, our great High Priest, offering up Himself as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. He did what thousands of priests in the Old Testament couldnd’t do.
Monday, February 23, Hebrews 1
v. 3 — The clear message is that Jesus is God. He is superior to all the angels (v. 4). The angels worship Him (v. 6). Jesus participated in the work of creation (v. 10, is eternal (v. 12), and sits at God’s right hand (v. 13).
v. 14 — In the last few years, many books have been published on angels. Some of what was written is correct, but there has been plenty of misinformation, too. This verse provides God’s people with the comfort of knowing what the task of the angels is: they are ministering (serving) spirits (beings without bodies) whom God uses “to serve those who will inherit salvation.” How re-assuring for God’s people in the days this letter was first penned, as they faced persecution. That same comfort and protection is ours today.
Tuesday, February 24, Hebrews 2
v. 9 — Jesus was made “a little lower than the angels” for the reasons stated in vv. 14-18. It’s what theologians call Jesus’ State of Humiliation when Jesus used His divine power to a limited extent. Review the Second Article of the Apostles’ Creed and Philippians 2:5-11.
v. 10 — The translation “make…perfect” can be confusing. The verb literally means “to bring to completion, to reach the goal.” Jesus reached His goal and brought His work to completion through His suffering and death on the cross.
Wednesday, February 25, Hebrews 3
Vv. 1, 13 — In this chapter, the writer of Hebrews exhorts us to hear God’s Word today. Don’t be like Israel who hardened their hearts against God and His Word. Don’t use the argument, “There’s always time to change.” Death can come suddenly. In order not to lose Christ, let’s fix our thoughts daily on Jesus and encourage each other to stay faithful to Jesus as long as it is called “Today.”
Thursday, February 26, Hebrews 4
Vv. 9-11 — The word, “Sabbath,” means “rest.” For both Old Testament and New Testament Christians, this rest meant rest from sin and our beautiful, eternal rest in heaven. The “effort” we make to enter that rest is to live in daily repentance, hear and listen to God’s Word and never forsake Jesus as our Savior.
Vv. 12-13 — God’s Word is different from the printed word in the pages of books written by men. The Word of God penetrates into the inner recesses of the human mind. On the day of Pentecost, people were cut to the heart by it. While it condemns sin and the sinner, it also is living and active. That’s why Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68)
Friday, February 27, Hebrews 5
Vv. 8-9 — While the Old Testament priests daily served the Lord on behalf of God’s people, they never gave them what they were looking for. That’s because, as outstanding as some were as Christians, they still weren’t perfect, and all died. Jesus, as our High Priest, was different. According to His human nature, He had to learn obedience. He was tempted just as we are. Unlike us, He never fell into sin. A better translation for “once made perfect”: is “once He finished His work of redemption.” Once that was accomplished, He became the source of salvation for all who obey Him. “Obey” should be understood in the sense of “believe.”
Saturday, February 28, Hebrews 6
Vv. 1, 19 — To keep from falling into the lethal sin described in vv. 4-6, we need to become mature in our faith and daily anchor our hope in Jesus.
Vv. 4-6 — These passages speak of the sin against the Holy Spirit. Cf. Matt. 12:31, 32. Only Christians can commit this sin. It happens to those in the church who reject Christ and harden their hearts against God’s Word. Such people make a mockery of what Jesus did for them on the cross.