Hebrews 13:1-5
Heb 13:1 (KJB)
Let brotherly love continue.
Continue - Abide, last, be permanent
Here is a command given to us in Scripture and that is to let brother love continue. The word “continue” carries with it the meaning of ”abide or be permanent.” Unlike worldly people who forsake their friends when tough times come to them, the Christian is to show a real love and concern for their fellow Christian. When times get hard in a Christian’s life is not the time to forsake them but to draw closer and be available to them. True Christian love is not just words or a feeling but it is action. Can a husband tell his wife he loves her and then proceeds to do nothing to confirm that love? That is not love, just empty words. God loved His Elect and gave His only begotten Son to die for them, God’s love is active and not passive, and so should ours.
Heb 13:2 (KJB)
Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
Entertain strangers - To show hospitality
Angels - Messengers or envoys from God
Unawares - Be hidden or physical concealment
In the Middle East, hospitality to others is a part of life. Christians were supposed to do the same thing as they were to show hospitality to those that they knew and also to strangers. When we look at some of the angelic visitations in the Old Testament, we see that Lot and Abraham entertained angels. Quite frankly, I do not know if this happens today because I hear stories but they are always unverifiable. One of the principles taught in this verse is concerning the word “angels” which could also be translated as messengers. In the Scriptures, people are also called “messengers.”
(James 2:25 KJV) Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
In James 2:25, the word “messengers” is also the word “angels.” Now James 2:25 reverts to the time that Joshua sent the spies into Jericho and Rahab hid them. Now they were human and not heavenly beings.
(Luke 7:24 KJV) And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind?
These were the messengers sent to Jesus by John the Baptist. They were human and not heavenly spiritual beings. In the seven churches of Revelation, the Scriptures were written to the “angels.” These “angels” were no doubt the leaders of each church who would have been humans and not spiritual heavenly beings. A principle seems to emerge here in that we are to be kind and hospitable to all, even unbelievers, because they may become saved and unknowingly we may be entertaining future believers who will be messengers of the Gospel and that would invoke verse one as letting brotherly love continue or abide permanently. Brotherly love does not go on hiatus, it is permanent part of a Christian’s lifestyle.
Heb 13:3 (KJB)
Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.
Remember - Be Mindful
Bonds - Prisoners
Suffer adversity - Being evil treated
Here is one of the major principles of the Christian life. We are never to forget those Christians who were placed in prison because of their Christian faith. This happened to many in the first century and the writer wanted the Hebrew Christians to identify with them, that is, not to hide or conceal the fact they too were Christians. In our time, there are still many countries that imprison people for being Christians, in fact, many Islamic countries do not even prosecute those who kill Christians. In our time, we are not to forsake those who are in prison or are evilly treated for being Christians. It is possible that any of us can have trumped up charges thrown at us and be sent to prison. The word “remember” is in the Imperative Mood making it a command. We are to continue to identify ourselves with the persecuted church and one way we can remember them is to continue to evangelize and spread the gospel without wavering. As Christians living in a hostile world, we are subject to the same situations other Christians face, none of us are or will be exempt.
Heb 13:4 (KJB)
Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.
Honourable - Precious, esteemed, or respected
Undefiled - Pure or unsullied
Whoremongers - Male prostitutes or those who visit prostitutes
While the subject of love is the topic, the writer is informing these Hebrew Christians that marriage is to be honored. In Jewish culture, the women are just chattel but here the marriage relationship is to be respected, which means the wife is to be respected and esteemed as a person of equal value. In marriage, the marriage bed is considered undefiled because sex is only to be enjoyed within the confines of marriage. Then the verse goes on to give strong warnings about the abuse of sex. Those who fornicate before marriage and those who commit adultery while married will be judged by God Himself. Under the umbrella of whoremongers, sodomy, premarital sex, and prostitution are also included.
Heb 13:5 (KJB)
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
Conversation - Manner of life
Be content - Be satisfied
If there is one word which defines our society today, it would be “dissatisfaction.” No one seems to be happy with their lives and no one seems to be happy with the amount of this world’s goods they possess. Quite frankly, I moved to a new residence ten months before I wrote this commentary on Hebrews and never realized how much junk I had when I moved. I was glad to start getting rid of some of it and the less peripheral material goods I have, the easier life is to manage. We have enough troubles managing the necessary things such as computer, house, car, and things associated therewith. When we continue to covet things, it builds up a dissatisfaction in our lives because enough is never enough. Look at the two quotes below from two of the richest men in the world.
How Much is Enough?
Years ago a reporter asked John D. Rockefeller, the richest man of his day, “How many millions does it take to satisfy a man?” The answer was simple: “The next million.” Someone asked Andrew Carnegie, a man who had amassed an immense fortune in steel, “How much is enough?” To that question, Carnegie replied, “Just a little more.”
-----Excerpt from The Lutheran Hour broadcast of: November 23, 2003
The Lord does not want us to live for the purpose of amassing great wealth. If it happens, use it to the glory of God, if not, use what you have to the glory of God. (Luke 12:15 KJV) And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. The Lord stated that a man’s life does not consist of their possessions. This is because the Lord could take us at the age of 30 and all the material goods we sought will be of no value to us and will be left for greedy relatives to fight over. Then following Luke 12:15 comes the parable of the man who built the bigger barns because he thought that he would have many years to enjoy his wealth not knowing that it was the same day that he would die. God said to Abraham that He was His great reward. (Gen 15:1 KJV) After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. This also applies to all believers that God is our great reward also. He promises to never leave us nor forsake us. Having much money does not bring security, in fact, the more money you have the more insecure you are, simply because you are always worrying that you may lose what you have but we can never lose the promise of God.
(Deu 31:8 KJV) And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.
(Deu 31:6 KJV) Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
(Josh 1:5 KJV) There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
There is only one place that you can store your money and that is in Heaven. (Mat 6:20 KJV) But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: This means that whatever you give away for missions, you are storing up in Heaven. This does not mean there is a bank of Heaven because the treasures you are investing in are convertibles, that is, converting the money into salvation of souls. (Luke 16:9 KJV) And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations. When you get to Heaven, those who became saved through your ministry and your giving will welcome you into Heaven. Now that is an ROI (return on investment).