Messianic Jews 13:18-25
Letter to the Messianic Jews
In my last post, we explored the Warnings in Messianic Jews 13:7-17. In this post, we conclude our examination of Messianic Jews by studying a Request for Prayer, Personal References and Benedictions in Messianic Jews 13:18-25.
18 Keep praying for us, for we are certain that we have a clear conscience and want to conduct ourselves properly in everything we do. 19 And all the more I beg you to do this, so that I may be restored to you that much sooner.
20 The God of shalom brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep, our Lord Yeshua, by the blood of an eternal covenant. 21 May God equip you with every good thing you need to do his will; and may He do in us whatever pleases Him, through Yeshua the Messiah. To Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
22 Now I urge you, brothers, to bear with my message of exhortation; for I have written you only briefly. 23 Know that our brother Timothy has been released. If he comes soon enough, I will bring him with me when I come to see you. 24 Greet all your leaders and all God’s people. The people from Italy send greetings to you. 25 Grace be with you all.” ~ Hebrews 13:18-25 (CJB)
The author requests his readers to pray that he be restored to them. Imprisonment may be preventing it (verses 18-19), and he offers a benediction for them (verse 21). He fixes the direction of his brief prayer by summing up the six key points of his letter:
- God is a God of shalom. By reconciling sinful humanity to Himself through Yeshua, God has taken the initiative in restoring peace, integrity, and wholeness.
- Yeshua has been brought up from the dead. He is alive, our cohen gadol forever making intercession for us at the right hand of God.
- Yeshua is the great Shepherd of the sheep, both Jews, and Gentiles. This is testified to in many references in the Tanakh and the Brit Hadashah.
- Yeshua is our Lord (1:2-4, 8-13; 3:6), who disciplines us for our benefit (12:5-10) and expects obedience (5:9).
- Yeshua has come to have this role in God’s administration of world history because He gave his blood to atone for the sins of humanity (1:3, 2:9-15, 9:12-10:14).
- Through this blood, Yeshua also inaugurated an eternal covenant, the New Covenant (7:22, 8:5-13, 10:15-18), the Brit Hadashah promised by Jeremiah 31:30-33(31-34).
Bear with my message of exhortation; for I have written you only briefly. This supports the idea that the author is summarizing a series of sermons he previously gave orally to some of the brothers.
Verses 23-24 lend weight to the theory that Sha’ul is the author of Messianic Jews; for although he spent his last days imprisoned in Italy (2 Timothy 4:6-8), by then his co-worker and brother in the Lord Timothy, who had at one time been jailed with him, had been released, so that Sha’ul could write 2 Timothy to him. On the other hand, I will bring him with me suggests that the author was not in prison when he wrote this letter but was free to move about. See my first post in this series here for my take on the authorship.
I will close with this admonition from the author of Messianic Jews:
“Therefore, let us confidently approach the throne from which God gives grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace in our time of need.” ~ Hebrews 4:16 (CJB)
In my next post, I am going to strive to do something I have never, ever done before. My posts (and past sermons) in the past have been thematic or verse-by-verse exegises. In my next series, I’m planning on doing a character study of Elijah. Depending on how that goes, I’ll probably move on to also do a character study of his protégé, Elisha.