<span id=printer_friendly>Printer-friendly version</span>Printer-friendly versionSend to friendSend to friend

We have to understand that it was no easy task for the Hebrew Christians to simply put away the old covenant and receive the new covenant. These were Israelites who had lived under the old covenant for the past thousand years. Yet the worst hindrance did not come from themselves but from their own Jewish people. If the Jews had treated Jesus with such hostility, could they as His followers expect anything less? Just by quoting any one of the laws of the Old Testament, the Jews could have easily accused the Hebrew Christians of committing apostasy and cite rebelling against their Jewish religion and God – a sin punishable by death. Stricken with such fear by the Jews, where could they find the courage to completely forsake the Old Covenant laws and practices and to live entirely according to the New Covenant? For they would be courting their own death!

The author however encourages the Hebrew Christians to learn from the Lord’s example, to go outside the camp; to leave the synagogues of the Jews and to leave the Holy City of Jerusalem¸ to leave their own tribe and people, their friends and relatives. To follow after the example of the Lord, who was deemed a criminal, forsaken by His people, who was mocked and ridiculed, who was whipped and chained and suffered death on the cross alone. Also to consider the faith of the spiritual giants of old; who were imprisoned, pelted with stones, sawn to death, hid under the coats of sheep, suffered poverty and hardship, left to wander with no place to call home – for they are truly the ones that are undeserved of this world.

In conclusion, the Hebrew Christians should therefore no longer yearn for the understanding or recognition of their fellow Jews nor should they consider it a loss to be forsaken by their own tribe and nation. In this world there is no place or country for believers, what we ought to look forward to is something far better, that glorious and eternal home.