Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture. From memory, determine the central points.
- Though we do not know who the author of Hebrews is, we do know he or she is Jewish, a second generation Christian, writing at a time when the Church is no longer experiencing the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit as did the first generation, that of the Apostles.
- There were no written “Gospels” as yet, except for maybe Mark, and for decades more, most of the Gospel telling was oral in nature.
- Plus, no creed had been developed, and there were no schools or seminaries. No church buildings had been built, the believers were meeting outdoors and away from the general population.
- The persecution under Nero would be in recent memory. Paul and the other apostles were dead as well, with the exception of John, who was in exile by Roman authority.
- Satan, and his demons, oft disguised as angels (see 2 Corinthians 11:14), had infiltrated the believer’s gatherings and where busy spreading lies as to the core of the Gospel message.
- At center the misrepresentations had to do with who Jesus is. The lie is that Jesus is merely an angel, thus not the incarnate God, thus His death on the cross is not the atoning sacrifice for sin. Again, we see the devil aims squarely at the central reason for the incarnation, that of the Word, the Son of God, becoming flesh and dwelling among us.
- Because Jesus is indeed both as we are, fully human, and not as we are, fully God as well, He was tempted as we are, and this is illustrated in the passage in Matthew 4. A sinful Jesus could not atone for our sin, and so Satan would pretend to give up all to see Jesus stumble and fall.
- But no, He did not, and He lives and reigns for us who are tempted.