Monday, 27 May 2019
And I appeal to you, brethren, bear with the word of exhortation, for I have written to you in few words. Hebrews 13:22
The author now makes a final appeal as a part of his closing comments by calling his audience “brethren.” He is writing to believers, and – as is the case in the Greek – the masculine stands for both males and females. There is no reason to change modern Bibles to read “brothers and sisters” as is becoming so common. Females are included in such an address and the only reason for such a change is political correctness.
He then gives his appeal which is for them to “bear with the word of exhortation.” The idea here is that his tone has been direct, purposeful, and at times rather complicated in what was relayed. He is asking them to understand the necessity for these things. Further, it is certainly an appeal to not only understand this, but to consider what has been presented, apply it to their lives, and walk in accord with the principles he has laid out. The author is calling for the words he has written to become a part of the life and doctrine of all who read it (or hear it read).
With that understood, and almost as a slight apology, he says, “for I have written to you in few words.” This would further explain the words, “bear with the word of exhortation.” What he is saying is that if he had written more words, with a deeper explanation of the direct, purposeful, and at times rather complicated letter, they might have an easier time understanding the complexities of what has been presented.
However, the letter is inspired by God, and it is exactly what He intended for the reader to have. What this means is that God is asking us to not only read the letter, but to search out Scripture where the letter is hard for us to understand, and to then think on the reason for what has been presented.
In other words, we are being asked to study the whole counsel of God in order to show ourselves approved. Hebrews is not a stand-alone letter. It is an explanation of many issues and doctrines which are found in Scripture, but which can only be fully understood by understanding the rest of Scripture as well.
Life application: Considering the cost in both time and materials in writing an ancient epistle such as Hebrews, this verse may be a bit more easily understood. The author wrote a short letter on the Person and work of Jesus. There are several such verses in the New Testament and they remind us of the infinite riches of Jesus that we weren’t privy to. How blessed we will be when we have a complete understanding of all that wasn’t included. Such a note leaves us wanting more!
However, God left nothing out of His word that we need and included nothing in His word that is superfluous. In other words, God’s word is exactly what we need to live our lives in a manner pleasing to Him and to have sufficient knowledge of Him for our edification. Considering the incredible complexity of the structure of Hebrews, and also its orderly detailing of the superiority of Jesus over the law, over angels, over the high priest of Israel, and so on, we have a beautiful display of God’s wisdom.
The selection of the book’s author, who has such a masterful skill of presenting these concepts, brings glory to Jesus. It perfectly presents Him as all-sufficient in those areas that were once lacking. Truly He is “greater than” in every way. When you read your Bible, take careful time to cross-reference key points between other books and to think on how they unite into one perfect whole. By doing so, you can have a much fuller understanding of the points which may not be explicitly stated anywhere in the Bible. Such is the study of God’s word. It is a lifetime adventure into His will and intent for you, His precious child. Just as you cherish a love letter from someone, never fail to cherish the greatest Love Letter of all time – the Holy Bible.
Thank you for Your precious word, O God. Help us to understand it, love it, and share it with others. When a passage is difficult, please open our minds and eyes to understand it properly that we may be fully equipped to be pleasing in our walk with you. This is our prayer today, and it is made in the name of Jesus. Amen.