Hebrews overview

The author of this book is unknown. Suggested authors have included Paul, Luke, Barnabas, Silas, or Apollos. The most common opinion is that the letter was written by Paul. (that’s not my opinion…what is yours?)

Much is unknown about the audience of Hebrews. Though it is addressed to both Jewish and Gentile Christians (since it mentions the Gentile Christian leader Timothy), much of the book emphasizes Christianity in relationship to Jewish teachings. Maybe that is why they titled it “Hebrews.” The theme of persecution is strong, and the temple sacrificial system appears to still be in practice, indicating a time before the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. In Rome, a likely audience was Jewish converts to Christianity during Nero’s persecution of Christians between AD 64 and 68.

The thirteen chapters of Hebrews address five main themes:

  1.  The superiority of Jesus.  Jesus is superior to the angels and is greater than Moses.
  2. The priesthood of Jesus.  Jesus, Himself is The High Priest.
  3. The ministry of Jesus as the High priest.
  4. The many privileges believers have through Jesus.
  5. The behaviors that are important to living for Jesus. These include how believers treat others and how they are to relate to the Lord.

Just like Romans was a foundational book for the Gentiles, this is the counterpart to the Jews in Jerusalem.

Something to chew on…

Think about this for a minute, before Christ came, all Jewish people were taught to make atonement for their sins through animal sacrifice.  It is an extremely important part of religion and their way of life.  So Christ comes as the Promised Messiah to fulfill all the ritual acts, specifically handed down from God himself.  Before Christ, they lived a legal life of order, sacrifice, hierarchy, priests…etc. So now that Jesus did come, and many Jews came to believe, what do you do with all they were taught their whole life? (some of you may be going through this personally as we read this New Testament together).

As long as there is a standing temple (and it won’t be for long), the Jews (even Christian Jews) will feel this human effort to make sacrifices to the Lord.  It makes sense; it would be tough to literally change everything taught for 2000 years.  So God breathes this letter through an unnamed author,  confirming all the Law was a SHADOW of The Christ to come.  ALL of it. 

  • The tabernacle,
  • The temple,
  • The animal sacrifices,
  • The feasts,
  • The Priests

Shortly after this book is written to the Christian Jews, the Temple in Jerusalem will be destroyed, so God is preparing them for what is to come since only sacrifices and priests are part of a Temple Worship. (that is why Jews do not currently make sacrifices.

God needs to eliminate the temple to focus on Christ, not on ritual.  See, all that we learned in the Old Testament WAS a Shadow of Christ.  Partaking in any exercise that we think earns favor with the Lord in Salvation eliminates our Faith in the Messiah.

And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace. Romans 11:6

Of course, I had to put this…

My dad just sent me this Jewish dad joke : dadjokes

Prayer Request

Please pray for one of our faithful readers,  Norma. Unfortunately, she is not healthy this morning and needs our prayers.

14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

1 John 5:14

1 Peter

This is going to be REALLY hard to keep short!  LITERALLY, Every scripture could be an individual post.  Hey, maybe in 2022, we pick one book and do that?  Dissect EACH verse of one book?

Peter will discuss facing persecution for their faith.  In the first 9 verses, Peter uses the word ‘Faith’ a lot.  In chapter one (if you want to go back and find all the keywords), you will see Peter pointing out the Holy Trinity.

Paul suddenly mentions “the Prophets.”

10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. 

The entire Old Testament pointed to Jesus’ suffering on the Cross for our Salvation.  Peter will quote the Old Testament 25 times in this book (See if you can find them: like a where’s waldo picture 😂).  Without reading the Old Testament, the New Testament would not make sense.

Before the Creation, God already had a plan to bring us back to Him.  This was a mystery…but all the clues were given in the OT but were revealed at the Birth of the Messiah (like that ‘aha’ moment in a suspense movie). 20 He was chosen before the world’s creation but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21 Through him, you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

In this chapter, we are called “foreigners.”   This world is temporary for us.  But while we are here, we are to foreigners set apart from the rest of the world, just as He was. 16 for it is written: “Be holy because I am holy.”


22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. 23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 

(This is the power of the Word of God).  It is the food that saved you when you were starving to death.

24 For,

“All people are like grass,
    and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers, and the flowers fall,
25     but the word of the Lord endures forever.”

And this is the word that was preached to you.

If putting the Word in your hearts nourishes you.  Stop eating junk food!  KEEP EATING, READING, and STUDYING.  What are you going to study in 2022, or are you going to go back to ‘junk food’-malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. (our version of ‘Fake News’)

Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

Now that you have read the Bible.  You can now hear a familiar scripture,  or a song verse, or sit in church and know the context of the Sermon-10 times deeper than the Pastor will have time to get into it; what now?- Grow in your Salvation.  Keep studying.

We are just getting to Chapter 2, and I am already unglued and hyper. So I will try to write less and encourage you to read the whole book a second time.  It is worth it.

The Cornerstone | Cornerstone, Bible mapping, World religions

The Cornerstone:  We know that the most important part of a structure is the cornerstone.  When they were cut, the builders would lay them so carefully.  If it wasn’t perfect (I mean perfect), they would have to reject it.  The entire structure was leveled and balanced on it.  If it wasn’t perfect, the structure would fall.

Being the most important part of a foundation, the cornerstone was examined, measured, and chosen VERY carefully.  MANY were rejected by the builders.

The Stones of Herod's Temple Reveal Temple Mount History - Biblical Archaeology Society

It was the plumbline to build something huge like this.

Istoria Ministries Blog: The Stone the Builders Rejected Is the Cornerstone

As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says:

You are-

  • a chosen people,
  • a royal priesthood,
  • a holy nation,
  • God’s special possession,
  • called out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Your Cornerstone looks like this:

5th Sunday of Easter - 1 Peter 2:4-7

The rest of the book highlights that we are foreigners in this world- What do we look like?  What do we sound like? What do we do?  If you are a list maker, here is your list:

  • to abstain from sinful desires
  • Live such good lives among the pagans accuse you of doing wrong
  • Submit yourselves to human authority: (emperor, supreme authority, or governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and commend those who do right.)
  • For it is God’s will that you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people by doing good. (not with words or Facebook posts)
  • Live as free people, but live as God’s slaves. 
  • Show proper respect to everyone: love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.
  • Submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate but also to those who are harsh.
    • Why? Because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his steps.
  • Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives,
  • Husbands, in the same way, be considerate as you live with your wives and treat them with respect
  • Suffering for Doing Good

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 

Let’s keep adding to your checklist:

  • Always be prepared to answer everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect (Now that we have read the Bible, we CAN do this!!).
  • Be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.
  • Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 
  • Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. (This one will be hard for me, my husband likes to entertain, I want to be by myself)
  • Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others

Suffering for Being a Christian

Many of us have suffered because of decisions made in our past or current lives.  These are not sufferings but consequences.  TWO very different things.  Please know that.  Not every trial we are faced with is a ‘from God’.  We create many of them on our own.  BUT God can still be Glorified from both of them.

If you have been marinating in Church for most of your life, what are you doing with it?  Anything??  Ponder on that!  What are you supposed to be doing?

  • Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them— Who are you mentoring??

If you are newer in the Church, what are you doing?

  •  submit yourselves to your elders. (If they are versed in the Scriptures)
  • Humble yourselves:  Say, “What does this mean? Can you explain this scripture or book?”


 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy, the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

We think we can recognize the devil trying to devour us: like this…Watch Out!!! – Marty Payton

In REALITY, it might be more like this:

Illustration of a man with angel and devil on his shoulders

Peace to all of you who are in Christ. ❤️