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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: The Letter to the Hebrews

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Frameworks: Hebrews 5 & 6


(The objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses for verse-by-verse study or meditation. To focus each verse we have also added in italic a simple comment of what is happening)

GO TO Ch.6


FRAMEWORKS: Hebrews 5: Jesus, our high priest


v.1-4 The Role of the High Priest
v.5-10 The Example of Jesus the High Priest
v.11-14 We need to Grow Up in Understanding



v.1-4 The Role of the High Priest


v.1 (high priests represent the people) Every high priest is selected from among the people and is appointed to represent the people in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins .

v.2  (being like them they can be gentle with them) He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness.

v.3  (so he presents sin offerings for himself as well as them) This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people.

v.4  (he does it because he is called by God) And no one takes this honor on himself, but he receives it when called by God, just as Aaron was.



v.5-10 The Example of Jesus the High Priest


v.5 (so similarly Christ is our high priest because he is God's Son) In the same way, Christ did not take on himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him, “You are my Son;   today I have become your Father.” [Psa 2:7]

v.6 (but he's also similar to Melchizedek) And he says in another place, “You are a priest forever,   in the order of Melchizedek.” [Psa 110:4]

v.7 (he prayed in anguish and was heard for his obedience) During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.

v.8-10 (that obedience was his suffering on our behalf) Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.



v.11-14 We need to Grow Up in Understanding


v.11 (this is difficult to understand) We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand.

v.12 (you should have grown more by now) In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!

v.13 (you're still like infants struggling to understand righteousness) Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.

v.14 (mature believers can take more solid teaching) But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.



[Comment: The Flow of Writing: Having introduced the idea of Jesus being our high priest at the end of chapter 4, in this chapter he expounds on the role of a high priest – one who is there to represent us before God, who offers sacrifices for us, one who is called by God to do this on our behalf. He then further expands on Jesus being our high priest who prayed through to obedience and became perfect (complete in all he was and did) in bringing salvation to us. But he recognises that for many they had not grown up and matured in understanding and so we often find these things difficult to understand]







FRAMEWORKS: Hebrews 6: Warnings & Assurances


v.1-12 Warning Against Falling Away
v.13-20 The Certainty of God's Promise brings Assurance



v.1-12 Warning Against Falling Away


v.1-3 (let's deepen our learning) Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so.

v.4-6  (the apostate cannot be brought back) It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.

v.7 (land that receives rain and brings fruit is obviously blessed by God) Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God.

v.8 (but land that brings briers will be burned) But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.

v.9 (we hope the former will be you) Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are convinced of better things in your case—the things that have to do with salvation.

v.10 (God will remember your good works) God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.

v.11 (we want you to hold firm to the end) We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized.

v.12 (don't fall back but press on) We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.



v.13-20 The Certainty of God's Promise brings Assurance


v.13,14 (God had promised Abraham He would bless him) When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” [Gen 22:17]

v.15 (and thus He did) And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.

v.16 (when people make promises they do on the basis of someone greater then them) People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument.

v.17 (God had promised Abraham to confirm His intent) Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath.

v.18 (God – Himself and His trustworthiness bring us assurance and hope) God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged.

v.19,20 (this hope holds us, as it takes us into the inner sanctum with God where Jesus took us) We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.



[Comment: The Flow of Writing: Recognising, at the end of chapter 5, that we often struggle to understand some of these things, the writer exhorts us to grow in understanding, recognising that if we don't we tend to go backwards and can fall away and if that falling away is complete there is no coming back from it. The first half of the chapter is an exhortation to overcome. In bringing us reassurances, he reminds us that Abraham had to wait patiently having to trust in God's promises. We have hope for the future which is also built on God's promises and to take hold of that we sometimes have to flee into the inner sanctum, so to speak, to seek God, which has been made possible by Jesus acting for us as our high priest. In the following chapter, he explains at length the nature of Jesus' priesthood by comparing him to Melchizedek who Abraham encountered – see Gen 14:18-20]