Summary: Hebrews is, in my opinion, one of the least studied & preached books in the N.T. The audience Hebrews was written to were Jewish people who had been saved upon hearing the gospel preached by the disciples who had labored alongside our Lord.
Hebrew Series God’s Last Word 2/12/14 Heb. 1:1-3
A Hebrews is, in my opinion, one of the least studied & preached books in the N.T.
1 Hebrews was written while the Temple in Jerusalem was still functioning. (Prior to 70 A.D.)
a The audience Hebrews was written to were Jewish people who had been saved upon hearing the gospel preached by the disciples who had labored alongside our Lord.
aa As the first generation of Jewish Christians were dying out, some of the newer Jewish converts began to drift back into Judaism. (Ritual, sacrificeable system)
bb When they initially embraced Christ, they left behind their traditions, rituals, holy days.
cc Many, after getting saved, had been disowned, forsaken by their families.
b Not only were they ostracized by family, but possibly experienced persecution socially, economically, because of their faith in Yeshua.
2 They had started strong in their faith, but now their growth was stunted, & the service they were rendering was “sluggish.”
Hebrews 6:12 (NASB) 12 so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
a Hebrews was meant to encourage the saints.
aa Hebrews 3:3 (NASB) 3 For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house.
Hebrews 10:25 (NASB) 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
Hebrews 12:5-6 (NASB) 5 and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, "MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD, NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM; 6 FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES, AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES."
Hebrews 13:22 (NASB)22 But I urge you, brethren, bear with this word of exhortation, for I have written to you briefly.
bb As they ran their race, be assured they were not running it alone.
b Some saints were ready to give up/in as they longed for the security/comfort of Judaism & faced the uncertainty of persecution.
B The question of authorship has always been an issue of debate.
1 Most likely Paul, but not 100% certain.
a Other possibilities:
aa Clement of Alexanderia, (153 A.D.) Paul wrote it in Hebrew, Luke translated it into Greek.
bb Origen (185 A.D.) Luke
cc Tertullian (155 A.D.) Barnabas
dd Martin Luther (1483) Apollos
ee Adolf Von Harnack (1851) Aquila & Priscilla
ff Sir William Ramsey (1852) Philip.
b I believe it was Paul. (who was the Apostle to the Gentiles) His heart always had a burden for the Jewish people.
2 Whoever penned the book, their quill’s dripped the inspired Word of God as given by the Holy Spirit to a discouraged lot of converted Jews.
a The author gives hope & encouragement to those who have chosen to run the race, put their hand to the plow - depending on Jesus/ dedicated to uphold His cause no matter what influences are around them.
b This is why we under take Hebrews now.
aa Christians - detractors are loud.
bb Church - Easier to travel the old road of traditions than be a pioneer who blazes a new trail.
C Hebrews 1:1-3 (NASB) 1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
1 Hebrews doesn’t begin with which writer authored the letter, but rather God has been speaking to this audience for a very long time.
a How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
aa For generations, God had been giving the Jews His revelation one bite at a time.
bb Spoke like thunder through Moses on Mt. Sinai; Whispered to Elijah on Mt. Horeb, Isaiah in the Holy Place.
cc Spoke through the law, prophesy, history, Psalms, type, parables.
b God had been speaking bits of revelation but not giving the full revelation to any one person at any one time.
aa The Jews were like people listening to a clock striking the hour, always getting neared to the truth but obliged to wait till the whole thing is heard.
bb For over a 1,000 years between Moses & Malachi, God’s Word was witnessed, recorded & declared.