Faith: The Better Way ~ Part 1c

Messianic Jews 10:32-39
Letter to the Messianic Jews

In my last post, we continued our new topic on Faith: The Better Way. We started by examining an Exhortation to Hold Firm by looking at Our Access to God in Messianic Jews 10:19-25. In this post, we continue in our mini-series Exhortation to Hold Firm by examining The Future Reward for Those Who Endure in Messianic Jews 10:32-39.

The Future Reward for Those Who Endure

32 But remember the earlier days, when, after you had received the light, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings. 33 Sometimes you were publicly disgraced and persecuted, while at other times you stood loyally by those who were treated this way. 34 For you shared the sufferings of those who had been put in prison. Also when your possessions were seized, you accepted it gladly; since you knew that what you possessed was better and would last forever. 35 So don’t throw away that courage of yours, which carries with it such a great reward. 36 For you need to hold out; so that, by having done what God wills, you may receive what he has promised. 37 For “There is so, so little time! The One coming will indeed come, he will not delay. 38 But the person who is righteous will live his life by trusting, and if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.” 39 However, we are not the kind who shrink back and are destroyed; on the contrary, we keep trusting and thus preserve our lives!”  ~ Messianic Jews 10:32-39 (CJB)

There had been a time when those early Believers had been up against it. When they first become Believers, they had known persecution and plundering of their goods, and they had learned what it was to become involved with those under suspicion and unpopular. They had met that situation with gallantry and with honor; and now, when they were in danger of drifting away, the author to the Messianic Jews reminds them of their former loyalty.

The Messianic Jews to which this book was addressed had bravely endured a hard struggle for the sake of the Gospel. Having proved their courage once, they are urged to continue to hold out for the little time necessary, to receive the promised reward. The way to do this is not by returning to the familiar Levitical system but through trusting[1] in Yeshua’s once-for-all sacrifice (vv. 38-39). Trusting then becomes the subject of an entire sermon in itself (see Messianic Jews 11:1-12:4 which we begin to examine in my next post).

The appeal of the author to the Messianic Jews is one that could be made to every man. In effect, he says: “Be what you were at your best.” If only we were always at our best, life would be very different. Yeshua does not demand the impossible; but if we were still as honest, as kind, as courageous, as courteous as we can be, life would be transformed.

To be transformed as mention in Romans 12:2: [2]

  • We need to keep our hope before us. If life is only routine, we may well sink into a trap of drift; but if we are on the way to heaven, effort must always be at full pitch.
  • We need perseverance. Most people can start well, and almost everyone can be okay in minor trials. To everyone, it is sometimes given to mount up with wings as eagles. In the moment of persecution, everyone can run and not be weary; but the greatest gift of all is to walk and not to faint.
  • We need the remember of the goal. The author of the Messianic Jews makes a quotation from Habukkak 2:3 in verse 37. The prophet tells his people that if they hold fast, God will see them through their present situation. The victory comes only to the those who hold on to their faith.

To the author of the Messianic Jews life was a thing that was on its way to the presence of Yeshua. It was therefore never something that could be allowed to drift; it was its end which made the process of life all important, and only the man who endured to the end would be saved.

We should never be less than our best, and always remember that the end always comes. If life is the road to Yeshua, none can afford to miss it or to stop half-way.

Verse 38 references Habakkuk 2:4 as the introduction to the primary discussion of trusting, a topic already mentioned in Messianic Jews 3:12-4:3; 6:1, 12; and 12:22.

We have been and continue to be redeemed once for all by His Blood.

In my next post, we continue our mini-series dealing with Faith: The Better Way by exploring the Definition and Illustration of Trusting beginning with Messianic Jews 11:1-3 ~ Trust Defined.

Click here for PDF version.

[1] For those who may have begun to follow this series recently, David Stern translates “faith” as “trust.”

[2] Thoughts from William Barclay, Barclay’s Daily Study Bible.

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