Summary: These final words in Hebrews pull away the veil that hides the heart of the author (His identity is in question, but his heart is on full display.) In these closing verses we discover the deepest desires/longings in the heart of the man of God.
A Pastor’s Heart
Hebrews Sermon Series
December 14, 2014 Dr. Mike Fogerson, Speaker
A These final words in Hebrews pull away the veil that hides the heart of the author (His identity is in question, but his heart is on full display.)
1 In these closing verses we discover the deepest desires/longings in the heart of the man of God.
2 In v.17, the pastor was shown to be one that “watches over the people.”
Hebrews 13:17 (NASB) 17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.
a As a watchman, he looks after the needs of the people.
b Shepherds them (instruction, discipline, care)
B If you could look into the heart of a true pastor, what would you see?
1 Let’s look at three thoughts that you would observe.
I A Pastor’s Dependence on the People (vv. 18,19)
Hebrews 13:18-19 (NASB) 18 Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a good conscience, desiring to conduct ourselves honorably in all things. 19 And I urge you all the more to do this, so that I may be restored to you the sooner.
A The author was unable to visit the readers personally, but he did want their prayer help.
1 It isn’t uncommon for the Apostle Paul to ask fellow Christians to be in prayer for him
1 Thessalonians 5:25 (NASB) 25 Brethren, pray for us.
2 Thessalonians 3:1 (NASB) 1 Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did also with you;
Romans 15:30 (NASB) 30 Now I urge you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me,
Ephesians 6:18 (NASB) 18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,
Colossians 4:3 (NASB) 3 praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned;
2 Corinthians 1:11 (NASB) 11 you also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed on us through the prayers of many.
a Usually, the prayer request is specific, and it seems to be the case here in Heb. 13 too.
aa It’s likely that the author had enemies that had lied about him, his behavior, his honesty, and integrity.
bb The implication is that there were unflattering suspicions that had arisen about the author.
cc What could they be? (Food? Ritual? Religion? Tradition?)
b The heart of his request was just to live rightly in all circumstances.
2 A man of God ought to have a prayer life, but he needs more.
a He needs the lifeline of prayer support from the people he serves.
b The greatest need of a pastor is for a praying people.
aa We do not become infallible/omniscient, but, under the Spirit’s direction, we are able to distinguish right from wrong in a way we were never able to do before.
bb A cleansed conscience enables us to better tell right from wrong and to be honest about it with ourselves and with others.
B Your pastor needs the protection of your prayers.
II The Pastor’s Desire for His People
Hebrews 13:20-21 (NASB) 20 Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, 21 equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
A After requesting prayer from his people, he offers up a prayer for the people that would meet their deepest need.
1 It addressed the problem of hostility.
a He prays for “the God of peace” for his folks.
aa BTW, the apostle Paul is the ONLY NT writer that uses the praise “God of Peace” in the NT.
bb Six times this phrase is used to answer the hostility/conflict people face.
b Romans 15:33 (NASB) 33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
1 Corinthians 14:33 (NASB) 33 for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.