Jun 30, 2024. Hebrews 13:17-25

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THE FINAL ACCOUNTING. Hebrews 13:17-25. 6/30/24. #50.

17 Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.

18 Pray for us; for we are confident that we have a good conscience, in all things desiring to live honorably. 19 But I especially urge you to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner.

20 Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. 22 And I appeal to you, brethren, bear with the word of exhortation, for I have written to you in few words. 23 Know that our brother Timothy has been set free, with whom I shall see you if he comes shortly. 24 Greet all those who rule over you, and all the saints. Those from Italy greet you.

25 Grace be with you all. Amen.

1. Soul watchers

                a. Once again the author appeals to the readers to submit to church leadership

                                a1. In verse 7, Hebrews admonishes the readers to follow in the footsteps of those who had gone before

                                a2. Now, Hebrews encourages to submit to present leadership

                b. 3 reasons for obeying church leaders:

                                a1. They watch over the souls of the saints (lit., they stay awake or alert over the spiritual wellbeing of the flock)

                                a2. Church leaders must give an account to the Lord for they souls under them (want them to do so in joy)

                                a3. It is to the benefit of the flock for the leaders to give a good report (any loss is on the disobedient believer, not the leaders)

                c. Obedience = to willingly comply to being led

                d. To have rule = to shepherd

                                a1. Not dictatorial (I Peter 5:1-7)

                                a2. Servant leadership is a responsible position

                                a3. Leaders govern on behalf of the Lord

                                a4. Under shepherds represent the Great Shepherd

                e. Submissive = to line up behind (I Corinthians 11:1)

                                a1. An assumption is being made that leadership is doing what is right before the Lord

                                a2. Obedience is to the Lord first (Ephesians 5:22-25)

2. Given in good faith and grace

                a. The author wants prayer, for he has not been able to come to them due to some difficulty

                                a1. His mention of Timothy being released from imprisonment adds to the belief that Paul is the author of the epistle

                                a2. Though Hebrews had admonished the readers, he still coveted their prayers

                b. Hebrews wrote the epistle in good conscience

                                a1. Even though he had some difficult admonition for them, he believed that it was necessary for him to write what he did

                                a2. For their sakes, he would not hide the truth from them (their souls were too valuable to allow them to continue in sin or even remain as false believers)

                c. His words were honest from pure motivations

                                a1. It is better to receive and accept sincere rebuke than to be flattered or falsely encouraged

                                a2. He urges (pleads, begs, implores) that they readily accept what he wrote to them

                d. The receive correction would allow the Good Shepherd to make them complete (katarizo = used in mending bones or a net, equipping an army, or fitting sails)

                                a1. Only place in Hebrews where shepherd is used

                                a2. Only place that the resurrection is mentioned Hebrews “few words” were for the benefit of the reader

                                a1. Do not despise the words of correction

                                a2. Receive the truth that will set you free (John 8:36) and humble self to follow Christ alone

                f. True words of exhortation are better than false words of disingenuous encouragement

                                a1. At times it is hard to tell someone the truth

                                a2. Truth in love is better than ignoring evil

3. Closing benediction

                a. Hebrews uses Paul’s typical peace and grace benediction (when addressing pastors, Paul adds mercy)

                b. Hebrews desires that he will be able to come shortly

                c. He sends greetings from Italian brethren and to the church leaders

Key passage:  1 Peter 5:1-7 1 The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: 2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; 3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; 4 and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away. 5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.