Summary: The main thing is to keep the Main Thing the main thing.
Organizing Our Priorities:
Introduction: A good friend and mentor of mine has always said, “The main thing is to keep the Main Thing the main thing. The Main Thing being Jesus Christ. It is easy for us to get side tracked and focus on all types of things in life, such as financial issues, broken relationships, employment status, and so on… When we take or focus off of Jesus and allow ourselves to focus on these other things, our life starts to crumble.
When we allow Jesus Christ to be on the throne in our life we are living in the rest that God intended for each and every one of us. Let’s organize our priorities by putting Jesus on the throne.
Background of Hebrews
- At 13 chapters, Hebrews is the N.T. longest arguments on a single topic.
- The background to the letter is really unknown.
- The consensus of most Bible scholars agrees that it is written to Jewish Christians, which would explain the name “Hebrews.”
- Some scholars also suggest that a lot of these Jewish Christians are giving up on Christianity and going back to their old religion.
- The reason for their leaving Christianity was probably the increasing persecution against Christians at the time.
- At the time that we think this letter was written (60 A.D.), Nero had just unleashed a world of hurt against Christians who are practicing their outlawed religion.
- By this time, traditional minded Jews have already been persecuting Christians for more than 30 years.
- So…the hardship was already getting old and is now getting worse.
- To escape the persecution, some Christians have left the church and returned to the Synagogue and many others are considering doing the same.
- The writer of Hebrews is suggesting that this would be a big mistake.
Jesus’ Superiority Over Moses
1. There was a warning that the writer gave in chapter 2.
(Warning) “…we must pay closer attention to what we have heard…” Hebrews 2:1a
(Danger) “…so that we do not drift away from it.” Hebrews 2:1b
Illustration: Drifting Boat
These Hebrew Christians were drifting away and were wavering in their faith because of all kinds of things.
The were going through trials and severe persecution. We will learn later that their teachers and ministers were no longer around (13:7), probably killed.
They were neglecting God’s word which led to their drifting away. When you drift away from the word, you aren’t staying in the word which results in doubt.
They started to doubt what they had been told by their teachers and ministers. Remember that there were many others around them that were sill living under the Mosaic Law. So it was really tough for these believers to continue on in their faith when they saw all these other tangible ways of doing things. They saw others bringing sacrifices to the temple.
2. The writer of Hebrews is trying to prove the superiority of Jesus Christ over any other option.
v.1: “Holy brethren…”: The writer doesn’t want to waste any time in reminding these Hebrew Christians that they once professed their faith in Christ.
“…partakers of a heavenly calling…”: Christians are people who have heard and believed a “heavenly calling,” and are therefore partakers of it. We have been gripped by this calling.
The word of God broke through our resistance, took hold of us with the truth and love of Christ, reconciled us to God, and is now leading us home to Heaven.
3. To be partakers of this “heavenly calling,” we need two things:
a. A word from God.
b. A way to God.
“..Consider Jesus…”: Although some in here may be partakers of this “heavenly calling,” we must realize that we are still sinners.
Hopefully not, but it is very possible that someone in here is struggling with a sexual sin…maybe a lying sinner, sexual sinner, or a stealing sinner.
We all deal with sins of omission not just commission (bad thoughts, not fellowshipping, praying, reading God’s word, fulfilling the great commission).
So our “heavenly calling” doesn’t hang on our righteousness. Our hope and confidence hangs on Jesus. So… “Consider Jesus.”
4. Our “heavenly calling” does not hang on our own righteousness. Our hope and confidence hangs on Jesus.
What’s amazing is that, this is often something we say to the non-believer, “Consider Jesus!” We think this is something that an unbeliever should do.
There is nothing wrong with that, but the writer, here, is writing to believers!
Some might say, “Well don’t believers automatically consider Jesus?” Nope! Remember the warning from ch. 2 again? When we do not pay close attention to the word of God, we stop considering Jesus, and become more interested in other things.
We become filled with pride. Lack of reading God’s word and prayer is a sign of pride.