The Way of Jesus is not a lonely journey. We walk it together as a community. As we wake up to the fact that Jesus is more than enough (better then prophets, angles, Moses…you name it) we simply have to respond. That is why the writer of Hebrews challenges us with the phrase “Let us…”. A series of specific ways we as a faith community react to the grace of God in our lives. (see Hebrews 10:22-25; 12:1-3, 28)
Now it’s one thing to start a journey, it’s another thing to finish it well. I think that’s why in Hebrews 13 we are bombarded with a series of last minute encouragements to “Keep on”, “Don’t forget”, and “Remember.” The message is simply- continue.
But “continue” in what? “Let brotherly love continue” (v1). Jesus demonstrated true love, instructed us in it, and commanded us to live it (Jn 13). If you are a disciple of Jesus you already have the seeds of His love in your heart, but will you live it out in the world? Will we as a church live dangerously and let His love work it’s way through us in service to others?
In verses 2-6 we are challenged with four practical ways that we as a community can respond to Jesus’ grace and continue in love. They revolve around these words – Hospitality, Empathy, Honor, and Contentment. But who really wants to let people into your private life and provide for their needs? Or rub shoulders with the down and out? Keep a lid on our lust? Or not charge now, pay later when the urge comes on for that new fill in latest burning desire here? But this is what we are called to, the way of Love, the way of Jesus.
Struggling with this?
Remember: God is with you, on your side (v5). Delight in Him and He will bring contentment. Don’t forget leaders (parents, friends, teachers, pastors) who have invested in your life. Model them, follow them, obey the truths they planted in you (v17-19). And of course continue on in the reality that Jesus is the same all the time – He is good and He is for you! (v8). Identify with Him (v11-14) and be strengthened by His grace (v9).
Result: as WE continue on in love we will find ourselves putting a smile on the Father’s face (v15-16).