Messianic Jews 4:11-13
Letter to the Messianic Jews
In my last post, I began to explore a warning against missing Yeshua’s rest in Messianic Jews 4:1-10. In this post, I conclude this topic of rest by examing Messianic Jews 4:11-13.
A Warning Against Missing Yeshua’s Rest ~ Part 2
“11 Therefore, let us do our best to enter that rest; so that no one will fall short because of the same kind of disobedience. 12 See, the Word of God is alive! It is at work and is sharper than any double-edged sword — it cuts right through to where soul meets spirit and joints meet marrow, and it is quick to judge the inner reflections and attitudes of the heart. 13 Before God, nothing created is hidden, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must render an account.” ~ Hebrews 4:11-13 (CJB)
The point of this passage is that the Word of God came to humanity and cannot be disregarded. The Jews always had an exceptional idea about words. Once a word was spoken, it had an independent existence. It was not only a sound with a specific meaning; it was a power which went forth and did things. Isaiah heard God say that the word which went out of his mouth would never be ineffective; it would always do that which He designed it to do.
We can understand something of this if we think of the tremendous effect of words in history. A leader coins a phrase, and it becomes a trumpet-call which kindles some to crusades or crimes. A leader sends forth a manifesto, and it produces action which can make or destroy nations. Over and over again in history, the spoken word of a leader or thinker has accomplished things. If a leader of people can get things done, how much more can the Word of God?
The writer to the Hebrews describes the Word of God in a series of significant phrases. The Word of God is instinct with life. The significant fact about the Word of God is that it is a living issue for all humanity at all times. Other things may pass quietly into oblivion; other things may acquire an academic interest, but the Word of God is something that we all must accept or reject.
The same kind of disobedience is implied in his discussion of Shabbat (Messianic Jews 4:3-11) to his earlier review of the Israelites’ rebellion in the desert (Messianic Jews 3:2-4:3). He also ties the concept of obedience to trusting and being faithful.
See, the Word of God is alive! The Bible does not merely speak in the dead tones of the past but applies living truth to the people of today (Messianic Jews 3:7). When we read the Word of God with an open heart, mind, and spirit, we let God penetrate deeply into our lives. The inner reflections and attitudes of the heart quickly come under a judgment against the standards of Scripture. There is no hope for us apart from entering God’s rest, trusting in the cohen hagadol (Yeshua) whom God has provided to intercede for us (see Messianic Jews 7:25), and holding firmly to what we acknowledge as true.
But the Word of God is also Yeshua HaMessiah (Yochanan 1:1, 14). When He returns to conquer the wicked at the End of Days, “he is called the Word of God,… and out of his mouth comes a sharp sword”; while the eyes of him to whom we must render an account are described as “like a fiery flame” (Revelation 19:11-15). Actually, our account is rendered to God, but God has committed all judgment to Yeshua (Yochanan 5:22, Acts 17:31, Romans 2:16).
The Word of God is sufficient. It is one of the facts of history that wherever emissaries have taken God’s Word seriously things have begun to happen. When the English Bible was laid bare, and the Word of God came to the everyday people, the tremendous event of the Reformation inevitably followed. When people take God seriously they immediately realize that His Word is not only something to be studied, not just something to be read, not just something to be written about; it is something to be done.
The Word of God is also penetrating. The writer piles up phrases to show how penetrating it is. It penetrates to the division of soul and spirit. It is by our mind that we think and reason and look beyond the earth to God. It is as if the writer to the Hebrews were saying that the Word of God tests our earthly life and His spiritual existence. He says that the Word of God scrutinizes our desires and intentions. It is as if he said: “Your emotional and intellectual life must be submitted to the scrutiny of God.”
Finally, the writer of the Messianic Jews sums things up. He says that everything is naked to God and compelled to meet His eyes. What he is saying is that as far as we are concerned, we may be able to wear our outward trappings and disguises, but in the presence of God these things are stripped away, and we have to meet Him as we are.
We will now begin a journey from Messianic Jews 4:14 thru 7:28 discovering how Yeshua is superior to the Aaronic Priesthood. In my next post, we’ll examine Messianic Jews 4:14-16 to learn that Yeshua Is the Way to approach God.