Sunday, 19 May 2019
For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. Hebrews 13:14
Here we are reminded of the promise which has already been stated twice. In verse 11:10, Abraham was said to wait “for the city with foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Verse 12:22 then specified what that city is by saying, “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem.”
The words, “For we have no continuing city,” are speaking of the current Jerusalem and everything associated with it, meaning the law, the temple, the sacrifices, and so on. Everything about that was a part of the types and shadows which looked to Christ, but it is earthly and temporary.
For those who “go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach,” there is a better hope. Those who leave the life of Judaism behind, to pursue what was promised by God in Christ, have suffered no loss at all. They have, in fact, gained heaven. As the author says, “but we seek the one to come.”
As has been stated numerous times, the book is written to the Hebrews. It is referring to their life before God. It is not exclusive of the Gentiles who have come to Christ, but verses like this one speak of life under the law, life of those who have rejected Christ and pursue Judaism as a means to an end, and so on. It is true that those Gentiles who have been duped into this “Hebrew Roots Movement,” like those who follow the Judaizers of all ages, are putting themselves in the same position. However, this letter is specifically given to the Hebrew people to leave Jerusalem of this earth behind, and to seek the one which is to come.
That is the eternal home for God’s people, and it is the replacement of that which is temporary and which has no true foundations.
Life application: What keeps you from being an active, faithful, and heartfelt follower of Jesus Christ? Really, think it over. What is it that robs your joy? What is it that steals your attention? What is it that you cherish having, or cherish doing, above all else? Every single thing and every single person around you is part of a decaying system and is temporary at best.
For the believer in Christ – Jew or Gentile – our current “camp” can be equated to where we reside in this world – surrounded by the things which hold our attention and which deprive us of time spent with the Creator. Understand that all things He gave us are blessings for which we should be grateful. By being grateful for them, we are including Him in the process. However, when He is excluded because of whatever has completely captivated us, we are forgetting the fundamental truth that only He can truly satisfy.
The Bible asks us to go to Him outside the camp and not worry about, or be consumed by, the things of this world. If we can emulate Christ now, how insignificant is the cost compared to that which is prepared.
Thank You Heavenly Father for the promise of an enduring city! One where things will never wear out, people won’t grow sick and die, and especially one where we will be Your people and You will be our God – in Your very presence. Until that day, give us steadfast hearts to bear any disgrace for the eternally exalted name of Jesus. Amen.