Sacrifices Pleasing to God

Hebrews 13:1-19

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. The following passages can be read now: Matthew 25:31–40; Romans 16:1–16; Colossians 2:16–17, and Hebrews 13:1–19.

1.         Closing out the letter to Jewish Christians, who are likely in Rome, the author, who is probably in prison somewhere, urges his/her readers to  apply their faith in real ways.

2.         Showing hospitality to strangers, not a small thing in that day, remembering those in prison, and others who are mis-treated, is something they are urged to do.

3.         Also, all are encouraged to be faithful in terms of sexuality, and all sexual expression outside of marriage between one man and one woman, are sinful and God will judge those who do otherwise.

4.         Then the readers are to keep their lives free from the “love of money,” which indeed is behind so much pain and evil, but they are to be content with what they have.

5.         The author speaks of the leaders among them, likely pastors and preachers, that these should be respected.

6.         Also, the readers are to beware of strange teachings, which were as plentiful, and deceptive, then as they are now. And especially those diverse teachings focused on rites and rituals, which the readers were accustomed to.

7.         These readers are to no longer look to priests offering sacrifices since the one great sacrifice has been made, and so it is to Jesus they are to look.

8.         The worship now is to offer up praise to the name of Jesus; this is the true sacrifice.

9.         Leaders are to be obeyed and submitted to, not in a cultic sort of way, but these leaders are set to keep watch, or protect, them.

10.       The readers of the letter are asked to pray for “us” for they are sure their cause is just and that they desire to act honorably in all things.

11.       And the readers are urged to do so that “I” may be restored to them, which wording may even puzzle the readers.

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