Series: Best Book In the BibleEvery Christian knows the importance of reading their Bible, but many are overwhelmed with the task of devouring such a monstrous book! Often times, when Christians lose steam in their yearly reading plans, they can become frustrated and feel defeated. It is for this reason that individual book studies can be a lifesaver. In the Best Book in the Bible series, we will provide entry points into faithful study through “selling” you on why you should fall in love with the various books of the Bible.
Few letters in the New Testament showcase the glory of Christ quite like Hebrews. The question for the ages is: Who is Jesus? While most Americans could barely answer the question, even many religious people believe He’s anything else but God Himself. But Christians must see that Jesus is the supreme Person; He is greater than anyone who has ever lived or who will ever live, because He is the incarnation of God in human flesh. If you’re seeking to marvel at the Lord Jesus Christ, the book of Hebrews is for you!
Main themes: the supremacy of Christ
“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
“Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.” (Hebrews 13:7)
Herbert Wolf wrote, “Without a basic knowledge of Leviticus, Hebrews will remain a closed book to the Christian.” This is because the writer of Hebrews (who is anonymous) draws so heavily from the Levitical code, namely the sacrificial elements of the Mosaic covenant. We quickly see that Christ is the fulfillment of what was foreshadowed so long ago.
1:1-4:16. In this first section, the writer juxtaposes the person of Jesus Christ with all the prominent figures of biblical history. We see that Christ is superior to the Prophets (1:1-4), to the Angels (1:5-2:18), and to Moses (3:1-6). In fact, He is to be the supreme object of all faith.
5:1-10:39. In the next section, Christ is exalted and shown to be superior to any of the Old Testament priests; Himself being the Supreme High Priest according to the order of Melchizadek (cf. Gen. 14:18-20). In this section, the writer explains that the whole of the Old Testament, namely the sacrificial system, was set up to foreshadow spiritual realities and ultimately point to Christ Himself.
11:1-13:19. This last section applies what is learned in the first ten chapters to the life of faith. We see the famous “Hall of Faith” in chapter 11, followed by a demonstration of Christ’s power in giving us hope in chapter 12, which spills over into the power of the love of Christ in chapter 13.
What Makes This Book So Great:
Hebrews is astounding for so many reasons: the display of Christ superiority over all creation, the dynamic discourse on the power of the word of God, the brilliant explanation of Christ as the culmination of sacrifice, the staccato-like pace of “the faith chapter”, the encouragement to the body, the exhortation to holiness, etc. Truly, there is something for everyone. But what simply cannot be missed is that Jesus Christ is the shining star of every word on every page. Hebrews is a song of praise to the only One worthy of all praise!
@NatePickowicz Hebrews b/c Christ is GREAT and it really balanced out my knowledge of sanctification and holiness— Jason Vaughn (@Pastor_JVaughn) July 14, 2015
While not a real long book, it might prove helpful to break it up into three distinct parts: chapters 1-6, 5-10, and 11-13. Hebrews is dense and deserves to be read slowly and digested. Challenge yourself to memorize some of the key verses. Try and study Leviticus and Hebrews together, comparing the two. You will not be disappointed!
- John MacArthur, Hebrews. (Chicago: Moody, 1983).
A good entry-level verse-by-verse commentary.
- Donald Guthrie, Hebrews. TNTC. (Downers Grove: Inter-Varsity, 2009.
A solid introductory academic commentary.
- Peter T. O’Brien, The Letter to the Hebrews. PNTC (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2010).
Perhaps the best academic commentary in print today.
Note: Find the rest of the Best Book in the Bible series here: EntreatingFavor.com/BestBookSeries