Read for This Week’s Study:
Memory Text: “For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise” (Hebrews 10:36, NKJV).
Have you ever imagined what it would be like to hear Jesus, or one of the apostles, preach? We possess written excerpts and summaries of some of their sermons, but these provide only a limited idea of what it was like to hear them. God, however, preserved in the Scriptures at least one complete sermon for us: Paul’s letter to the Hebrews.
Paul, the author of Hebrews, referred to his own work as a “word of exhortation” (Hebrews 13:22). This expression was used to identify the sermon, both at the synagogue (Acts 13:15) and at Christian worship (1 Timothy 4:13). Thus, it has been argued that Hebrews is the earliest “complete Christian sermon” that we have. Hebrews was addressed to believers who accepted Jesus but then experienced difficulties. Some were publicly shamed and persecuted (Hebrews 10:32-34). Others faced financial problems (Hebrews 13:5-6). Many were tired and had begun to question their faith (Hebrews 3:12-13). Can any of us today relate?
The apostle in a stirring sermon, however, challenged them (and, by extension, us) to persevere in faith in Jesus and to fix their eyes upon Jesus, now in the heavenly sanctuary.
Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, January 1.