It is hard to know what exactly was meant by this extreme measure, but it seems this was real, and was intended for ultimate good.
The flow of Hebrews, then, so far, is to begin with Jesus and our right response, then to examine our need. Having pointed to Jesus as both fully God and also fully human, as uniquely able to pull off a God-sized rescue of all creation and also meet you and me right where we are, the writer would now address three great needs he saw among his readers, the Jewish believers.
If Matthew had ransacked the entire Hebrew scriptures he would have been hard-pressed to find four more unlikely candidates for the Messiah’s genealogy!
These last three chapters are Second Zechariah’s second oracle, describing the completion of God’s plan from the beginning, from before the creation of the world. When God gave God’s people the seven feasts described in Exodus, they were each prophetic of God’s plan of salvation. So far, four of those feasts have been fulfilled in Christ, and chapters 12-14 reflect the fulfillment to come of the last three feasts.
Apparently, scientific research has now been able to prove what God has been teaching people since the days of Cain: practicing gratitude can actually make us healthier – literally!!
Greek writers often paired the words mathein (to learn) and pathein (to suffer) together, because not only did they sound alike, it was accepted in antiquity that learning came through suffering.
The Hebrew Christians were not growing. Filled with feelings of doubt, tempted to go back to their old familiar ways instead of forward in faith, they were failing to thrive.
Healing means saying yes to God, trusting God, taking that next step with God, knowing it will be hard, but it will also be good.
From praise and thanksgiving over the glorious joy of their salvation, in this ten minute video, Peter moved into God’s call that believers live holy lives, to be a holy people as God is holy.
The prophet continued with his Messianic theme, describing the Savior to come as a shepherd. The Shepherd had two staffs, one named “Favor” and the other “Union.” In the previous post, the staff of Favor is broken, and now in this post the staff of Union will be broken.