Hebrews Chapter 13
In the previous twelve chapters Paul has identified several things that are better in the Kingdom of heaven than in the old law kingdom of Israel established at Mt. Sinai. Some of these things are: Christ is better than the angels; Melchisidec is better than Abraham; better hope; better testament; better covenant; better promises; better sacrifices; better and enduring substance; better
country; better resurrection; and a better thing. Thus, to the Jews who had not believed and to the Jews who had believed and been baptized, but now were wavering in their beliefs and thinking of returning to the old testament law service, Paul has abundantly shown that the Kingdom of God is far superior and better than the law kingdom established at Mt. Sinai.
With the above backdrop leading up to chapter 13, Paul turns to instructing the Lord’s people of how we are to behave ourselves in that better and superior kingdom.
Hebrews Chapter 13 Verses 1-6
:1 “Let brotherly love continue. 2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. 3 Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body. 4 Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God
will judge. 5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”
“Let brotherly love continue.” Brotherly love (Philadelphia) springs from Godly love (agape). We love God because he first loved us. The first of the nine-fold fruit of the Spirit is love. Love should be the single-most defining characteristic of a disciple of Jesus Christ. Love, by its very nature is sacrificial
and totally unselfish. The Lord said in John 15:13: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” All of our interactions with the Lord’s people in his kingdom should be done out of a desire to let brotherly love continue.
“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” There are several examples in the Old Testament of people entertaining angels unawares:
1. Abraham – Gen.18:1 “And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; 2 And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground,” The three men were the Lord and two angels. To Abraham’s initial view they were men.
2. Lot – Gen. 19:1 “And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;” Lot at first thought these were men who were traveling and he invited them to stay in his house and prepared a feast and unleavened bread for them. Later he was made to realize they were
3. Judges 13:3 “And the angel of the LORD appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son. 4 Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing: 5 For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a
Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines. 6 Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God came unto me, and his countenance was like the countenance of an angel of God, very terrible: but I asked him not whence he was, neither told he me his name: 7 But he said unto me, Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine
nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing: for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb to the day of his death. 8 Then Manoah entreated the LORD, and said, O my Lord, let the man of God which thou didst send come again unto us, and teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born.” At first, Manoah and his wife thought the man who appeared unto them to be a man of God, only later to find
out he was an angel.
If you knew that a person was an angel, how would you entertain them? In this same manner we are told to entertain strangers. How sad it is when a church has visitors and no one even bothers to find out their names or make them to feel welcome.
“Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.” There are many ways that a person can be in bonds. Prison and slavery are the first ways that generally pop into people’s minds when then think of bonds. However, people can also be in bonds of poverty; of persecution; of
tribulation; of physical health conditions or be in a nursing facility or under other bonds of restriction. God’s people and especially his disciples are in bonds of love. Whether we are currently in restricted bonds or adversity, we should have empathy for those who are. One thing is certain there will come a day in which, we being in these bodies of clay will be in restrictive bonds. Then we will want people to
think upon us and have empathy with us in our condition.
“Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” I once was asked the question: “Is sexual relations sin?” The statement above plainly shows us that within the bonds of marriage, the bed is undefiled. Moreover, there is a warning that God will judge whoremongers and adulterers. Whoremongers and
adulterers are those who engage in sexual relations outside of the marriage covenant.
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Covetousness is the greed for something that belongs to another. Covetousness leaves us not content. Covetousness is a plague in our society. There is the ever pressing desire to continually want
more than we currently have. Covetousness will rule our lives so that most of what we do will be to try to attain more stuff. Paul tells us that we should be content with such things as we have. Covetousness takes away our dependence upon the Lord. We get to thinking we can rely upon our accumulations of wealth. However, we should take heed to what Paul told Timothy in I Tim. 6:17 “Charge them that are rich in
this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; 18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; 19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”
“So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” When we are content with such things that we have and leave off covetousness, then we look to the Lord as our helper and have no need to fear what man shall do unto us.