Saturday, July 28, 2018

2018.07.28 Hopewell @Home ▫ Hebrews 13:23-25

Questions for Littles: What does the apostle call Timothy in v23? What does he want them to know? What is he confident will happen to himself soon through their prayers (cf. v18-19)? If Timothy comes by soon, what will Paul do with him? Whom does he first tell them to greet (v24a)? Whom else does he greet (v24b)? Who greet them (v24c)? How does he himself greet them—what does he say (v25)?
From the Scripture for this week’s sermon, we heard in v22 about how loving one another means helping one another hear preaching and give themselves to it. That’s a form of brotherly love that might be less obvious, but now in vv23-25 he models for us a few ways that are more obvious.

Those who love one another as brethren are interested in what is going on in one another’s lives—especially in the alleviation of suffering. When a brother has been ill, we want to know that he is recovering. When a brother has been imprisoned, we want to know that he has been set free. It’s a subtle emphasis, but we see it in v23 where he says “Know that brother Timothy has been set free.” We are interested—not in a manner of gossip, but in genuine care—to know that things are going well with our brothers.

Those who love one another wish to see one another. Like John at the end of 2John and 3John, this apostle is eager to see his readers—so much so that if Timothy wants to come along, he better get back there quickly! The apostle isn’t even released yet, but he’s planning to see them soon.

Those who love one another greet one another. They don’t just wish their loved ones well, they express to their loved ones that they wish them well. Yes, the apostle is greeting the leaders of their church and every last member of their church. But, he is also setting an example for them, and instructing them, to greet them. Otherwise, v24 would be redundant with v25, as he sends his own closing greeting to them all. Those who are with the apostle in Italy, due in part to his own example, send their own greetings.

And, those who love one another seek primarily for one another not what comes from ourselves but what comes from the Lord. Our working definition of grace is blessing for those who deserve only curse (cf. Eph 2:1-9) and strength for those who have only weakness (cf. 2Cor 12:9-10).

Yes, we serve one another however the Lord gives us privilege to be able to, but much more than that we are seeking for one another God’s grace: God’s joy and God’s strength. Isn’t this what leads us to desire them to receive the preaching, as we saw at the beginning of the passage? Grace be with you!
In whose life are you interested? Whom do you make effort to see? To whom do you express greetings? For whom are you seeking God’s own gladness and strength?
Suggested Songs: ARP197 “Christian Unity” or TPH409 “Blest Be the Tie That Binds”

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