#093 Welcome to Episode #093 of Way of the Bible podcast. This is our fifth of eight episodes in our twelfth mini-series entitled, Shepherding the Sheep | 1 Timothy to Hebrews. On this episode, Majesty of Jesus, we’re going to overview chapters 4 to 10 of the book of Hebrews.
In our introduction to Hebrews on our last episode I noted how Hebrews was written for those Jewish believers in the church who were feeling somewhat unsettled given increased persecutions of Christians. Elders were having to guard the sound doctrine of the apostles’ teachings against false teachers trying to lead the sheep away. It was likely enticing for some to consider simply returning to a synagogue and reengaging in familiar temple worship with former friends and relatives so as to escape persecution and avoid the doctrinal conflicts going on with the church.
Hebrews was likely written 30 or more years after the birth of the church on the day of Pentecost. The church in the early years grew and spread rapidly throughout the world by the apostles, prophets, and disciples preaching the gospel and making disciples through power of the Holy Spirit. These early years were all spent without the New Testament writings seen in today’s Christian canon. These books were being written shortly before, contemporaneously, and/or just after the book of Hebrews. The scriptures they did have for reference were the Old Testament scriptures available in the synagogues and possessed by Rabbi’s and Scribes.
The first five books of the Old Testament (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy) were written by Moses in the wilderness wandering. These books reveal the character of God, the condition of mankind, and the way to God through works of the Law. All this was presented in a historic narrative. Beginning with creation these books describe the fall of man, the wickedness of mankind and a global flood, the rebellion of mankind against God at the tower of Babel, God choosing to covenant with Abraham through whom a seed would come and bless all nations, the Patriarchs of Israel – Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the birth of a nation Israel with their exodus from Egypt, God covenanting with Israel and the giving of the Law through Moses, and Israel’s rebellion against God in the wilderness refusing to enter the land. The Old Covenant was the ten commandments along with many statutes.
The remainder of the Old Testament concerns Israel’s entrance into the promised land and their continual rebellion against God and his covenant. God is constantly raising up prophets and judges in their midst to get them back on the right track. All the while God has prophets recording historical narratives, poetry, prophetic texts, and wisdom literature all of which point to the seed of Abraham that is coming into the world.
The book of Hebrews is tied directly to the Old Testament scriptures and is filled with illustrations from and prophetic fulfillment of these same texts in Jesus. It is for this reason, the best overview of Hebrews is to read the full text and not miss the cross referencing to Old Testament scriptures. These are the sacred scriptures of Judaism. Jesus is the king of the Jews. Yet, Jesus initiated a New Covenant by his death and this New Covenant instituted significant changes that were new not just to the Jews but the Gentiles as well.
With that little bit of background, let’s get into today’s episode where we left off after overviewing Chapters 1 to 3.
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