Unlike most of the other letters in the New Testament, the authorship of Hebrews is never revealed. What is clear, however, is that the author of this letter had a rich understanding of the Old Testament and the ability to deal with challenging issues that were facing Christians in the early church. Many of these same issues are still with us.
Many of these same issues are still with us.
Hebrews is very dependent upon the Old Testament. The writer of the letter clearly assumes his readers have a deep knowledge of the stories of the people of Israel, which is why we believe that his original audience was largely Jewish Christians. In particular, he wanted to address those who had fallen on hard times and were considering bailing out of their Christian commitment and returning to Judaism. Was it worth the persecution that they were experiencing?
The message of Hebrews is a resounding “yes!” The writer challenged them to keep going and not turn back. Following Jesus is worth the trouble it sometimes brings. That’s a message that should resonate with us today when being a Christian means encountering opposition because of our faith.
Following Jesus is worth the trouble it sometimes brings.
The author has a lot to say about Jesus’ superiority to the Old Testament sacrificial system. Jesus fulfilled everything that the ancient faith had been pointing toward. So, as we read it today, Hebrews can rev up our faith in Christ and His unshakeable kingdom, reminding us that following Him is the only path to peace with God.
Here’s a short video that highlights five key themes in the book of Hebrews. May you be blessed by it!