“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, through which those who were so occupied were not benefited. We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy place by the high priest as an offering for sin, are burned outside the camp. Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate. So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.”
---End of Scripture verses---
If we are not firmly anchored in the word of truth, we can “be carried away by varied and strange teachings” (verse 9). The philosophies and fads of this world are ever-changing, but Jesus Christ and His perfect doctrine is “the same yesterday and today and forever” (verse 8). Cling to the Truth and you will not be “tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming” (Ephesians 4:14), even if you are the only one to not get swept away.
This is the final time the Hebrews writer emphasizes the superiority of our covenant in Christ over the Law of Moses. Many of these Jewish Christians were socially ostracized by their family and friends (including the eating of common meals) because of their stand for Christ and their break from the conditions of Judaism with its various animal sacrifices. But instead of being left out in the cold, the author flips the script and stresses that it is actually Christians that occupy the real place of privilege as “priests” (1 Peter 2:9) before the true “altar” of God, and the unbelievers are the ones who “have no right to eat” there or commune with the God of heaven (verse 10).
Fellow believers, if it comes down to a choice between the fellowship of family and friends or faithfully following Jesus, eternal life in Christ is the only wise choice. Even if we are banished from society because of our fidelity to our Lord, we “are seeking the city which is to come,” the “lasting” one that God promises to His faithful citizens (verse 14). As Jesus suffered a shameful death “outside the gate” of Jerusalem (verse 12), these Hebrew brethren were encouraged to follow “Him outside the camp” of their unbelieving Jewish companions and share in “His reproach” (verse 13). To suffer with Jesus is a badge of honor that has an eternal reward attached to it.
Please read Hebrews 13:15-19 for tomorrow.
Have a super day!
- Louie Taylor