MDB 84: Hebrews 4
May 3, 2010
There are two types of hearers: those who believe what's being said, those who do not. The author of Hebrews asks, "Which one are you?" This chapter continues the emphasis on turning away from unbelief and trusting Jesus. (Heb. 4:1-2)
This is a caution we need today. While some churches in our land are full, there is the real possibility that some are Christians in name only. Just as not all Israel was Israel (Rom. 9:6), not all Christians are Christians. There are those who do not truly believe God, and those who do (Ps. 95). There is no one who can escape the truth of God's Word (4:12) and no one who can hide from His gaze (Heb. 4:13).
But the author of Hebrews holds out a hopeful tone when he says that there is still time to enter into the rest of God. (Heb. 4:1, 3-6) For those who believe, the theme of rest, of Sabbath, is meant as encouragement (Heb. 4:8-10). The people the author has in mind are those undergoing trials of many kinds. They are weary and sapped. They are tempted to despair.
Yet they have a high priest who intercedes for them. Jesus is aware of their struggles. He is aware of their temptations. (Heb. 4:15) And Jesus is better than any that have come before. (Heb. 4:14-5:10) And because Jesus has gone before us, we can draw near to God's throne with confidence (Heb. 4:16). That throne provides mercy, not judgment; grace not fear.