Moses by John August Swanson. Image from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, Tenn. Original source © 1983 by John August Swanson.
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Preaching Series on Hebrews
Hebrews 1:1-4 Commentary
by Craig R. Koester
Initial impressions of Hebrews might suggest that the writer is detached from any context.
The opening chapter takes people into the heavenly realm of the angels. In what follows the author seems to live in the world of the Old Testament rather than his own. He quotes passage after passage from the Psalms, ponders the relationship of Jesus to Aaron, then takes people on a tour of the tabernacle that is described in Exodus. One might wonder: What’s the point?
That impression changes when you realize that the writer is addressing issues facing his congregation. He gives us glimpses into three moments in the congregation’s life.
First, his readers began their faith journey on a high point. They had a vivid sense of the goodness of the gospel and the power of God’s Spirit working in their lives (2:2-4).
Second, their newfound faith created tension with others, who did not share their beliefs. They found others marginalizing them and acting with hostility. Yet that negative social pressure made Christian community all the more important, and the congregation pulled ...
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2019-20 Worship resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL185: Preaching Series on Hebrews
August 09, 2015
Narrative Lectionary podcast on the 5-week preaching series on Hebrews (Aug. 9 - Sept. 6, 2015).