Hebrews 12: 4-29 – The World of the Text

This week we are going to be looking at Hebrews 12:4-29, especially verses 14-17.  We’ve been talking this month about staying the course and running the race that God has for us in this time. We’ve talked about stewardship, service, and being a part of the body of Christ.  Today we are going to look at the world of the text of this passage. What is happening on paper? 

One of the things that I’ve referenced many times this week is that this passage is so squarely rooted in the stories of the Old Testament.  When we are told that no one should be a bitter root springing up that is a direct quote from Deuteronomy 29:18: 

Beware that the heart of no man, woman, clan, or tribe among you turns away from the Lord our God today to pursue and serve the gods of those nations; beware that there is among you no root producing poisonous and bitter fruit. 

And of course the reference to Esau selling his birthright for a single meal.  

This passage is imploring us not to make that same mistake that Esau made to choose our preferences and our wants over holiness.  Holiness and peace are to be desired over a meal or what we may desire. But choosing that holiness is just that, a choice.  

Also, it is interesting to see in this passage that holiness is linked so closely to peace.  When we are aspiring to know God’s holiness and live in that way, we will live peacefully with God, with others, and with ourselves.  Holiness is the path to peace.  Let’s do our best to pursue both. 

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