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We have to understand that it was no easy task for the Hebrew Christians to put away the old covenant and receive the new one. These were Israelites who had lived under the old covenant for the past few thousands of years. Yet the greatest 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 Old Testament laws, the Jews could easily accuse the Hebrew Christians of apostasy and rebelling against God – a sin punishable by death! Stricken with such fear by the Jews, where could they find the courage to completely abandon the Old Covenant laws and to practice and live entirely according to the New Covenant? For that would be courting their own death!

For this reason, the author encouraged 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, and to leave their relatives and friends. To be like Jesus who was being regarded as a criminal forsaken by His own people, being mocked, ridiculed, whipped and finally died on the cross alone. They should also follow the footsteps 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 were truly the ones the world was not worthy of.

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.