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Summary: THIS IS PART OF A SHORT SERIS ON JESUS MINISTRY IN WHICH I SUGGEST THAT JESUS IS GOD'S FINAL WORD IN REVELATION TO MAN. tHE QUESTION IS ALWAYS ASKED IN TV'S "WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE" IS THIS YOUR FINAL ANSWER. FOR GOD AND CHRISTIANS JESUS IS.

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JESUS: GOD’S LAST WORD

HEBREWS 1:1-12

MANY YEARS AGO, THERE WAS A MAN WHO WORKED VERY HARD TO WIN A CERTAIN LADY’S AFFECTION. SHE WAS HIS NEIGHBOR, AND EVERY WEEK FOR 42 YEARS, THE SHY BUT PERSISITENT SUITOR SLIPPED A LOVE LETTER UNDER HER DOOR. THEY HAD HAD A FIGHT AND SHE SIMPLY REFUSED TO TALK TO HIM.

AFTER WRITING 2,184 LOVE LETTERS WITH NO REPLY OF ANY KIND, THE SINGLE-HEARTED OLD MAN EVENTUALLY GOT UP ENOUGH COURAGE TO GO TO HER IN PERSON. HE KNOCKED ON THE DOOR AND ASKED FOR HER HAND IN MARRIAGE. TO HIS DELIGHT AND SURPRISE SHE ACCEPTED AND THEY BECAME MAN AND WIFE AT THE AGE OF 74.

JUST LIKE THAT MAN GOD HAS ALWAYS COMMUNICATED WITH HUMANITY. WE DON’T ALWAYS LISTEN, BUT GOD DOES COMMUNICATE. GOD COMMUNICATED WITH ADAM AND EVE IN THE GARDEN, BUT THAT FELLOWSHIP WOULD BE BROKEN DUE TO THE FALL. GOD WOULD STILL SPEAK TO THEM OUTSIDE THE GARDEN, BUT IT WOULD NOT BE THE SAME. IT WOULDN’T BE ENOUGH.

LATER IN HISTORY THE HEBREWS WERE SLAVES FOR OVER 400 YEARS IN EGYPT. GOD HEARD THEIR CRY FOR MERCY. HE SPOKE TO MOSES AND MOSES LED THEM OUT OF BONDAGE IN EGYPT. HE SPOKE TO MOSES AGAIN AND GAVE HIM THE LAW. IT WOULDN’T BE ENOUGH.

LATER IN HISTORY THE HEBREWS WERE AGAIN CAPTIVE THIS TIME IN BABYLON. GOD HEARD THEIR CRY AND LED THEM BACK TO THE PROMISED LAND. IN THE MIDST OF THIS HE SENT HIS PROPHETS – ISAIAH, JEREMIAH, DANIEL AND OTHERS. MEN CALLED BY GOD, AND SPOKEN TO BY GOD, WERE RELAYING THE MESSAGE OF GOD TO GOD’S PEOPLE. IT WOULDN’T BE ENOUGH.

ALL OF THE WAYS GOD SPOKE TO THE PEOPLE WERE LIKE PIECES OF A PUZZLE. GOD DID NOT GIVE THE COMPLETE PICTURE ALL AT ONCE BECAUSE THE PEOPLE WERE NOT READY FOR THE WHOLE THING ALL AT ONCE. THERE HAD TO BE TIME FOR MATURITY AND GROWTH. THERE HAD TO BE TIME TO BUILD FAITH.

SKILLFULLY THOUGH AS OUR FAITH GREW, GOD ALLOWED THE VARIOUS PIECES OF THE PUZZLE TO COME TOGETHER, UNTIL THERE WAS JUST ONE MISSING. OUR PASSAGE TODAY TELLS US THAT IN THE LAST DAYS GOD HAS SPOKEN TO US BY HIS SON. THE LAST WORD, THE LAST REVELATION OF GOD THEN, IS JESUS.

CONTEXT:

HEBREWS IS ONE OF A SMALL NUMBER OF BOOKS IN THE BIBLE WHOSE AUTHORSHIP IS UNKNOWN. ALL WE CAN SAY ABOUT THE AUTHOR IS AS MIKE FOGERSON SAYS, “HIS QUILL DRIPPED THE INSPIRED WORD OF GOD AS GIVEN BY THE HOLY SPIRIT TO A DISCOURAGED LOT OF CONVERTED JEWS.”

HEBREWS WAS WRITTEN TO FIRST CENTURY JEWISH CHRISTIANS. ACTS CHAPTER EIGHT TELLS US THAT A GREAT PERSECUTION BROKE OUT AGAINST THE CHURCH IN JERUSALEM. THIS WOULD BE AROUND THE TIME OF STEPHEN’S DEATH, THE FIRST CHRISTIAN MARTYR. ALL THE JEWS SCATTERED FROM JERUSALEM THROUGHOUT JUDEA AND SAMARIA. THIS BOOK WAS WRITTEN TO ENCOURAGE THESE JEWS.

BEFORE THESE JEWS TURNED TO CHRIST, THEIR RELIGION WAS JUDAISM, WHICH WAS A SACRIFICIAL SYSTEM. WHEN THEY PUT THEIR FAITH IN CHRIST, THEY CAME TO UNDERSTAND THEY NO LONGER NEEDED THAT SYSTEM. THIS CREATED GREAT PERSONAL CONFLICTS FOR THEM. MANY AFTER CONVERSION, HAD BEEN DISOWNED AND FORSAKEN BY THEIR FAMILIES. THEY ALSO EXPERIENCED SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC PERSECUTION BECAUSE OF THEIR FAITH STAND.

THEY STARTED OUT STRONG IN THEIR FAITH, BUT THEIR SPIRITUAL ROOTS HAD NOT DEVELOPED AND GAINED STRENGTH, AND AS A RESULT OF THE PERSECUTION THEY FACED, SOME BEGAN TO DRIFT BACK TO THEIR OLD WAYS.

HEBREWS 6:12: WE DO NOT WANT YOU TO BECOME LAZY, BUT TO IMITATE THOSE WHO THROUGH FAITH AND PATIENCE INHERIT WHAT HAS BEEN PROMISED.

THE THEME OF THE BOOK OF HEBREWS IS THAT JESUS IS GREATER. “KREITTON” IS USED 13 TIMES IN HEBREWS TO DESCRIBE JESUS CHRIST. THE AUTHOR WANTS THE JEWISH CHRISTIANS TO REMAIN STRONG IN THEIR FAITH AS JESUS IS STRONGER THAN ANY OF THEIR PREVIOUS BELIEFS.

THIS MAKES HEBREWS RELEVENT FOR OUR TIME AS WELL. THERE ARE PEOPLE IN OTHER COUNTRIES WHO FACE PERSECUTION IF THEY ACCEPT CHRIST AS SAVIOR AND TURN FROM THEIR ESTABLISHED FAITH BASE. IT CAN BE SEEN IN OUR OWN COUNTRY, AND IN OUR OWN AREA OF CAMPBELLTON.

OUR PASSAGE PICKS UP ON THE THEME “GOD IS GREATER.” OUR WRITER, WHO IS VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT THE OLD TESTAMENT SHOWS MANY AREAS WHERE JESUS IS GREATER THAN OLD TESTAMENT JUDIASM, AND WE SHALL LOOK AT SOME TODAY.

JESUS IS GREATER: THAN THE PROPHETS

THROUGHOUT THE FIRST 4000 YEARS OF HUMANITY, GOD SPOKE TO PEOPLE THROUGH THE PROPHETS. THE JEWS REVERED THEIR PROPHETS FOR GOD’S WILL WAS COMMUNICATED THROUGH THEM.

THE ISSUE FOR THE PROPHETS WAS THAT THEY DID NOT HAVE THE FULL STORY. THEIRS WAS ONLY A FRAGMENTARY REVELATION. EACH PROPHET HAD A FRAGMENT OF THE REVELATION AND DELIVERED THAT PART OF THE MESSAGE THEY RECEIVED.

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