Hebrews 13:17-19 Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.
Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way. I particularly urge you to pray so that I may be restored to you soon.
We must give our respect and obedience to those who are in authority over us. And we must pray for our leaders. I once heard this suggestion, “If you want a better pastor; pray for the one you have!”
Hebrews 13:20-24 May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Brothers, I urge you to bear with my word of exhortation, for I have written you only a short letter. I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been released. If he arrives soon, I will come with him to see you. Greet all your leaders and all God's people. Those from Italy send you their greetings.
The first 2 verses of this prayer draw a perfect picture of God and of Jesus. Each is in 3 parts.
1. God is the God of peace. Even in the worst of times God can bring peace to men’s souls. IT is only God that can put a man into a right relationship with Him, with other men and with eternity.
2. God is the God of life. It was God who resurrected Jesus. God gives us triumph over death. It was to obey the will of God that Jesus died. And it was the same will of God that brought Him back. For the man who obeys the will of God: death is conquered. The end is the beginning.
3. God shows us His will and He equips us to do it. God never gives us a task without giving us the power to do it. When He sends us out, He sends us armed and equipped.
The 3 things about Jesus are:
1. Jesus is the great shepherd of His sheep. This is a very familiar picture to us, though Paul never uses it and the author of Hebrews only uses it once. Sheep are foolish creatures and a shepherd puts up with that foolishness and has compassion for them. He watches them and has patience with them and goes after them when they stray.
2. Jesus established the new covenant. It was Jesus who showed us what God is like. It was Jesus who opened the door for us. It was Jesus who took away the terror and showed us God’s love.
3. Jesus is the one who died. Our relationship with God cost the blood of Jesus. He died to give us eternal life.
My application Bible wraps up the book well. It says, “Hebrews is a call to Christian maturity. It was addressed to 1st century Jewish Christians, but it applies to Christians in any age or of any background. Christian maturity means making Christ the beginning and end of our faith. To grow in maturity we must center our lives on Him, not depending on religious ritual, not falling back into sin, not trusting ourselves and not letting anything come between us and Christ. Christ is sufficient and superior.