Hebrews: Jesus our Perfection

There are various theories about who wrote the book of Hebrews but the truth is we can’t be sure. Might be Paul but could be Luke, Barnabas or other possibilities.

With its abundant references to Hebrew customs and the Old Testament, this letter was likely sent to a Jewish Christian community, possibly in Rome.

Hebrews 1:1-2 In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. NIV

Hebrews crystalizes the ministry transition from the Old Testament priests to the present priestly ministry of Jesus in the life of every believer. All these sacrifices made at the temple were fulfilled in the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.

Have you ever missed an important segment of a movie and suddenly you don’t know what’s going on? When this happens you have to put everything into your own context and come to your own conclusions. God’s been at work since before us and will be at work after us. Be careful not to neglect what He’s been doing to prepare for us because overall context is important. God has been revealing Christ in amazing ways throughout the ages. Hebrews brings context to the revelation of Christ for our lives today.

There are magnificent revelations of Jesus that have been revealed throughout the ages as God’s plan to redeem mankind. Here is a tour of the tabernacle that will walk you through a 6 minute explanation of some of these things in the construction of the tabernacle itself.


Jesus is worthy of our honor and our praise and it is only when we give Him His rightful place in our lives that everything else in life falls into its rightful place.

Ps 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

All my wants, desires, appetites, passions and pursuits will only be truly fulfilled by my revelation of Christ. He is the bread that sustains true life and the well we drink from and never thirst again.

Most of us have heard about the loving, serving, giving nature of Jesus over and over again. Just because we know something doesn’t mean we are actively engaged with it. Knowing what we ought to do and doing what we know to do are two different things!

Heb 2:1 We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. NIV

Experiencing God will change your life but the idea of experiencing God isn’t something that did happen. This is something that does happen! Last week our kids experienced God powerfully at kids camp. This week our kids experienced God powerfully at youth camp. Our 20 year celebration was an incredible encounter with so many people being baptized and a celebration that was absolutely inspiring! We are in a tremendous season of encountering God!

Without encounter we lack motivation for new rhythms. However, without rhythm the encounter fades away and we never mature and grow spiritually. If you only eat spiritually when somebody else is feeding you then you’re going to live a life that is constantly spiritually malnourished.

Heb 5:12-14 …by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!...solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. NIV

Take responsibility for your faith and refuse to make excuses. Devote yourself to a rhythm of gathering corporately. Devote yourself to a rhythm of seeking God personally. Find your rhythm of loving, serving & giving that will help you break selfishness and materialism that constantly tries to creep in on all of our lives.

GP4RL: Write down one new rhythm you can add this week to strengthen your faith:



Click here for a downloadable pdf file of this guide.


    1.    List several characteristics all humans have in common as we start thinking about what God became to express himself effectively to humanity.

Because Jesus is God’s Son, it is easy to picture Him as God. It isn’t always as easy to imagine Him stubbing His toes or making jokes with the disciples. This is important because if He wasn’t human, He wouldn’t be able to pay our debt.

Hebrews reveals how Jesus is a better priest bringing a better covenant establishing a better hope by becoming a better sacrifice.

Only when we give Jesus His rightful place in our lives will everything else in life fall into its rightful place.

Hebrews 1:1-2 In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. NIV

Hebrews begins with an explanation that God revealed himself in different ways to different people throughout the Old Testament. 


    2.    What are different ways God showed up to speak in the Old Testament?

    3.    Name three different people you communicate to in three different ways and explain why you do this?

God is a personal God. Not only does He reveal Himself to us, but He knows us better than we know ourselves and He always chooses the best way to communicate to us.

God always meets us right where we are giving us exactly what we need to help move us take steps forward in his love. This is the key to understanding our inheritance.


    4.    Name a few famous young people who are heirs to a wealthy family and share some differences in the way they live and the way we live.

    5.    Jesus made the way for us to enter into the greater purposes of God as an inheritance from our heavenly Father? What are some differences in the way people live who understand this and the way people live who don’t?

Heb 2:1 We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. NIV


    6.    Share a situation that had a negative outcome because someone wasn’t paying attention or they were distracted.

    7.    What is Hebrews warning against drifting away from?

We must keep our spiritual focus on Christ. Taking our eyes off of Him, even if only for a moment can have long-lasting consequences. So, not only is it important to pay attention and avoid distraction, but who and what we are paying attention to matters.



It seems odd to have to say so, but too much religion is a bad thing. We can’t get too much of God, can’t get too much faith and obedience, can’t get too much love and worship. But religion—the well-intentioned efforts we make to "get it all together" for God—can very well get in the way of what God is doing for us.

The main and central action is everywhere and always what God has done, is doing, and will do for us. Jesus is the revelation of that action. Our main and central task is to live in responsive obedience to God’s action revealed in Jesus. Our part in the action is the act of faith.

But more often than not we become impatiently self-important along the way and decide to improve matters with our two cents’ worth. We add on, we supplement, we embellish.

But instead of improving on the purity and simplicity of Jesus, we dilute the purity, clutter the simplicity. We become fussily religious, or anxiously religious. We get in the way.

That’s when it’s time to read and pray our way through the letter to the Hebrews again, written for "too religious" Christians, for "Jesus-and" Christians. In the letter, it is Jesus-and-angels, or Jesus-and-Moses, or Jesus-and-priesthood. In our time it is more likely to be Jesus-and-politics, or Jesus-and-education, or even Jesus-and-Buddha.

This letter deletes the hyphens, the add-ons. The focus becomes clear and sharp again: God’s action in Jesus. And we are free once more for the act of faith, the one human action in which we don’t get in the way but on the Way.



Who wrote the book?

The author of the letter to the Hebrews remains shrouded in mystery. Even early in the church’s history, a Christian as learned as Origen had to admit his ignorance of the true author of Hebrews. Several theories regarding the author’s identity have been proposed over the years, but all of them contain significant problems.

Most of the churches in the eastern part of the Roman Empire believed Paul to have authored the book, leading to its early acceptance into the Canon by the churches in those areas. Even though Clement of Rome drew much from Hebrews in his late-first-century letter to the Corinthian church, many in the Western church pointed away from Paul as the source of the book. Authors such as Luke, Barnabas, Apollos, and even Clement have been considered as possibilities. The unknown authorship of this book should not shake our confidence in its authority. Hebrews makes important theological contributions to the biblical Canon, it has been drawn upon as sacred Scripture since the late first century, and Christians have for two millennia consistently upheld the divine inspiration and, therefore, the canonicity of the book of Hebrews.

Where are we?

The strongly Jewish character of the letter to the Hebrews helps to narrow down its date of composition, most likely AD 64–69. Significantly, the book makes no reference to the destruction of the temple at Jerusalem in AD 70, and the author wrote as if the sacrificial system were still in existence (Hebrews 10:1–2, 11). With its myriad references to Hebrew customs and the Old Testament, the book was likely sent to a Jewish Christian community, possibly in Rome.

Why is Hebrews so important?

Hebrews clearly lays out the present priestly ministry of Christ in the life of the believer. Jesus is both the divine Son of God and completely human, and in His priestly role He clears the way for human beings to approach the Father in heaven through prayer (Hebrews 4:14–16). The priesthood of Jesus is superior to the Old Testament priesthood of Aaron, because only through Jesus do we receive eternal salvation (5:1–9). Furthermore, Jesus became the permanent and perfect High Priest, going beyond all other priests by offering Himself as a sinless sacrifice on behalf of the sins of human beings (7:24–26; 9:28).

What's the big idea?

Throughout its pages, Hebrews makes clear that Jesus Christ exceeds all other people, pursuits, objects, or hopes to which human beings offer allegiance. Hebrews pictures Jesus as better than the angels, as bringing better lives to humanity through salvation, as offering a better hope than the Mosaic Law could promise, as a better sacrifice for our sins than a bull or a goat, and as providing a better inheritance in heaven for those who place their faith in Him (Hebrews 1:4; 6:9; 7:19; 9:23; 10:34). Jesus is indeed superior to all others.

This message of the superiority of Jesus would have been particularly important to Jewish Christians in Rome, who were struggling under Nero’s persecution and were considering moving back toward the Mosaic Law. The writer to the Hebrews showed these Jewish Christian believers that, though they were faced with suffering, they were indeed following a better way . . . and they should persevere.

How do I apply this?

The ancients created idols fashioned of wood and stone. Modern society has set aside that type of idol in favor of new idols—idols of fancy gadgets, material wealth, a comfortable lifestyle, and even our children. Human beings have seen and experienced the limitless bounty of idolatry, where we place some created object or person in the place of the one true God. What idols do you hold dear in your life?

The letter to the Hebrews makes clear that only one Person deserves to hold the primary place in our lives. While we are busy idolizing our move up the corporate ladder or placing all our hopes in our kids, Jesus offers us a better position, a better priest, a better covenant, a better hope, and a better sacrifice.

Only when we give Jesus His rightful place in our lives will everything else in life fall into its rightful place.