Hebrews Chapter 13 Third Continued
Hebrews 13:17 “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that [is] unprofitable for you.”
“Them that have rule over you” (see note on verse 7). The pastors/elders of the church exercise the very authority of Christ when they preach, teach, and apply Scripture (Acts 20:28; 1 Thess. 5:12-13). They serve the church on behalf of Christ and must give Him an account of their faithfulness (1 Cor. 4:1-5; 1 Peter 5:1-4).
These may include both secular and spiritual leaders. Even those who do not acknowledge God are nevertheless ordained and used by Him (Rom. 13:1, 4).
“Joy”: The church is responsible to help its leaders do their work with satisfaction and delight.
Notice in the following Scriptures why a person who has led someone to Christ feels so responsible. The leaders of the church are responsible for the flock.
Ezekiel 3:17-21 “Son of man, I have made thee a watchman into the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.” “When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked [man] shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.” “Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.” “Again, When a righteous [man] doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.” “Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous [man], that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.”
You can easily see from this the awesome responsibility of the leader of the church. The shepherd is responsible for his sheep. The saddest thing for any minister of the Word, is to lead someone to Christ and then have them go back into the world. It is as if you have lost a member of your family.
Hebrews 13:18 “Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.”
The members of any congregation should earnestly pray for the pastor of the church.
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.”
Hebrews 13:19 “But I beseech [you] the rather to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner.”
“Restored”: The author had been with these Hebrews and was anxious to once again be in their fellowship.
Romans 1:10 “Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.”
Romans 1:11-12 “For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;” “That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.”
Verses 20-21: This benediction is among the most beautiful in Scripture (Num. 6:24-26; 2 Cor. 13-14; Jude 24, 25). It is an example of how grace can be manifested in mutual blessing and prayer.
Hebrews 13:20 “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,”
“God of peace”: Paul uses this title 6 times in his epistles (1 Thess. 5:23).
“Great shepherd of the sheep” (see Isa. 63:11). The figure of the Messiah as a Shepherd is found frequently in Scripture (Psalm 23; Isa. 40:11; Ezek. 34:23; John 10:11; 1 Pet. 2:25; 5:4).
“Through the blood of the everlasting covenant”: This must refer, in the context of Hebrews, to the New Covenant that is eternal (in a future sense), compared to the Mosaic Covenant that was temporary and had been abrogated (see notes on 8:6-13; 9:15).
Hebrews 13:21 “Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
Make you perfect”: (equip you). This is not the Greek word for “perfect” or “perfection” used throughout Hebrews to indicate salvation (see the note on 5:14), but is a word which is translated “prepared” (in 10:5 and 11:3). It refers to believers being edified. The verb has the idea of equipping by means of adjusting, shaping, mending, restoring or preparing (11:3; 1 Cor. 1:10; 2 Cor. 13:11; 2 Tim. 3:17).
Those of us, who have our salvation assured to us, know this peace of God. Jesus is the Resurrection. The shed blood of Jesus is the price of our peace. We have confidence in our salvation and that brings peace. We are not perfect in our self, but have been made perfect in Jesus. The glory, honor and praise go to Jesus who is the Author and finisher of our faith. Amen means (so be it).
Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service.” “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Hebrews 13:22 “And I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation: for I have written a letter unto you in few words.”
“Suffer”: Readers are encouraged to receive this message with open minds and warm hearts, in contrast to those who “will not endure sound doctrine” (2 Tim. 4:3).
“Word of exhortation” (3:13). This is the writer’s own description of his epistle.
Exhortation in this means comfort, or comfort in speech. The writer is saying in this, I have just written a few words, but understand my care for you in this.
Hebrews 13:23 “Know ye that [our] brother Timothy is set at liberty; with whom, if he come shortly, I will see you.”
“Set at liberty”: The details of Timothy’s imprisonment are unknown (2 Tim. 4:11, 21).
Timothy was Paul’s young assistant. Paul travelled a great deal in the company of Timothy. At one time Paul was training Timothy to take over his work when it became impossible to go. Whether this means that Paul will be with Timothy or not we cannot tell. If Timothy were there it would be as if Paul were there because when Timothy spoke, it was the teachings of Paul which came through Timothy.
Acts 16:1-3 “Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father [was] a Greek:” “Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium.” “Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek.”
You can see from this that Paul was proud of his convert Timothy. Timothy was teaching the very same message Paul had taught him.
Hebrews 13:24 “Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all the saints. They of Italy salute you.”
“They of Italy”: The group to which the author wrote may have been in Italy, or the meaning might be that Italian Christians who were with him sent their greetings. The use of similar phrases elsewhere is ambiguous since some are clearly referring to people still in their locations (Acts 10:23; 17:13), and those who were away from their homes (Acts 21:27).
The preposition (Greek apo), might better be translated “from” Italy. It can equally refer to those who were presently in Italy (Acts 10:23 or 17:13), or to those who were formerly from Italy (Acts 21:27). The phrase identifies only their origin; they were Italians. It is reasonable, therefore, to conclude that either the writer or the recipients were living in Italy.
Hebrews 13:25 “Grace [be] with you all. Amen.”
Hebrews Chapter 13 Third Continued Questions
- Who are we to obey?
- Why should we obey them?
- Why do the leaders of the church feel so responsible?
- If the shepherd does not warn of sin, what happens to him?
- What is the saddest thing for any minister of the Word?
- Who should the congregation earnestly pray for?
- Who is God called in Hebrews 13:20?
- Who is the Lord Jesus called in the same verse?
- How can we be made perfect?
- What is the price of our peace?
- Who is the Author and Finisher of our faith?
- What does Amen mean?
- What are we to present our bodies as?
- How are we to be transformed?
- What does exhortation mean?
- Who was Timothy?
- What nationality was Timothy’s father?
- Why did Paul circumcise Timothy?