Friday, September 10, 2010

More Ruminating on Hebrews 2

At Hebrews 2:1 we find the first imperative of the letter.
Therefore, pay closer attention to what you've heard, lest you drift away from it.
Now, you've probably heard or read that in the Bible the imperatives (what we should do) always follow from indicatives (about God and what God has done). In this case, there are indicatives about Jesus, stated just prior to this passage, from which follow this imperative. In chapter one the author shows (indicates) the supremacy of Christ. Christ is enthroned on high. Christ is eternal. Christ is greater than angels. And then comes the "therefore":
pay closer attention to what you've heard.
Otherwise:
you might drift away.
I like to ask the simple questions when I read the Scriptures. Like: what does he mean by "what we've heard"? And: how is it we can drift away from what we've heard?

Answer to the first question (methinks): the message we heard about Jesus. It is uniquely important.

Answer to the second question: I'm not sure. But I'm put in mind of something Jesus said (through the apostle John) to the church at Sardis(in The Revelation):
“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. “‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. (Revelation 3:1-3 ESV)
Note again, the indicative (about Jesus) comes first (as in all the letters to the seven churches), and then the imperative. The imperative here is essentially the same as in Hebrews:
Remember, then, what you received and heard.
See? As in the Letter to the Hebrews, behavior . . . walking the walk . . . begins with remembering a message, and not drifting away from that message. The whole Bible unpacks that message for us, but at it's core there stands One who holds stars in the palm of His hand. Imagine that.

1 comment:

n. davis rosback said...

yes. now THAT is the core.