A Good Long Look At Jesus
Mighty God, Creator of the world in which I live, Builder of the church through which I serve, I give You praise.
Read Hebrews 2:1–9
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Here is a promise to hold onto: “Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted” (Heb. 2:18).
When we appreciate who Jesus is and what he has done for us, how then do we live out our lives in God’s new kingdom? First, we give thanks because the only response we can make to grace is to express gratitude. But then this grace must make a difference to how we live. There is a prevailing idea today that any effort or even instruction on how to behave diminishes the grace in which we stand. Hebrews doesn’t support this. Before he goes on to speak further of Jesus’ supremacy over angels and the law, the writer inserts an urgent parenthesis (1–4), the first of the many specific warnings and instructions in this letter. His message? “We must pay the most careful attention… so that we do not drift away” (1). Phillip E. Hughes paraphrases verses 2 and 3: “If the breakers of the law did not go unpunished, certainly despisers of the gospel cannot expect to do so.” Jesus’ teaching includes specific commands on how to live in his kingdom and warnings about disobeying him. The parable of the sheep and goats comes to mind (Matt. 25:31–46). Here discipleship is not about keeping pharisaical letter-of-the-law rules, but caring for those in need. The signs of the kingdom (4) inaugurated by the Holy Spirit involve our active participation in what God is doing in his world. We all know people who say they have not rejected their relationship with Jesus—just drifted out of it as their priorities have changed. Nor have they necessarily altered their theological position—still giving mental assent to the majestic truth with which this letter begins—but got on with life without reference to the Master. These verses remind us that the currents that carry our boat away are anti-God, because it is the evil one’s ambition to cause us to drift from the truth.
What needs attention in your everyday life so that your focus stays securely on Jesus?
Gracious Lord, I pray that I will be anchored in You, steadfast and sure, as I face the forces that would distract me.