Sunday, June 28th, 2015
Intro to Hebrews:
The theme of Hebrews is the absolute supremacy and sufficiency of Jesus Christ as revealer and as mediator of God’s grace. The prologue (1:1–4) presents Christ as God’s full and final revelation, far surpassing the revelation given in the OT. The prophecies and promises of the OT are fulfilled in the “new covenant” (or “new testament”), of which Christ is the mediator. From the OT itself, Christ is shown to be superior to the ancient prophets, to angels, to Moses (the mediator of the former covenant) and to Aaron and the priestly succession descended from him. Hebrews could be called “the book of better things” since the two Greek words for “better” and “superior” occur 15 times in the letter. (www.biblica.com)
Questions for this week:
- The author spent considerable time comparing Jesus to prophets, great leaders like Moses, the entire idea of a priesthood and the office of the high priest. How is Jesus and his kingdom better than those? These would have been hard hitting for Jewish listeners, so for us…How is He better than milestones/offices in our own history? How is citizenship in God’s kingdom better than the founding fathers, our favorite presidents? Though it shares similarities, how is the gospel and Jesus better than one country’s idea of “freedom and justice for all?”
- What ways have you acted as if you didn’t believe “Jesus is better?” Discuss times when you have felt like everything was falling apart, be it with relationships, marriage, career, kids, and you felt totally hopeless, angry or frustrated. Now discuss how you feel about the mantra “Jesus is better.” Does it help? Does it seem contrived? Does it make you feel guilty that you are affected by these other things in life? Encourage each other through the discussions.
- Read Hebrews 13:9. Now read 1 Timothy 1:4 and Titus 3:9. Describe a time you missed a chance to live out the gospel because of “strange teachings” or “pointless arguments” that carried away your focus. How can politics or Facebook divide us in these ways, keeping us from living Hebrews 13:1?