In this episode, we explore the power of having Jesus as our King. Jesus overcame death through suffering and thereby completed the work God gave him to do. Jesus is the beginning and end of our salvation. He showed us the way – purpose through service. Love through sacrifice. We have all been given a beginning; Jesus is our firm foundation. The question is will we continue striving and receive the reward? Or will we neglect the opportunity?
We talked about superheroes and princesses, kings, and Harry Potter. Whatever hero you want to put in place. These hero stories that we like so much: Ironman, Spiderman, Superman, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Snow White. They all appeal to this desire to reign over our realm, to be bigger than what we are, and to do something great. Well, that’s what we’re supposed to be doing!
But it’s not happening right now because of sin and death. So we don’t see it happening; but we see Jesus.
And Jesus has tasted death for all of us so we can be restored, and he wants to bring many sons to glory. He wants to restore us back.
Going on with verse 10: To make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. What salvation are we talking about? Salvation from the effects of death in this world.
And how did Jesus overcome death? How was Jesus perfected? Through sufferings.
Now you’re going to get the theme of this book for us.
But before we go there, let’s look at perfect. It’s the Greek word teleiosai. I want to show you a couple of uses of this word that I think will help out because when you hear perfect, what do you usually think about? Flawless. So if you perfect something, what does that usually imply? It went from flawed to flawless.
Did Jesus go from flawed to flawless? No. So it doesn’t fit here. It just doesn’t fit. Now what in the world does this word mean? Because that application doesn’t work for us.
Let’s look at Acts 20:22. We’re going to see this same word. This is Paul speaking. “See now I go bound in the Spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, except the Holy Spirit testifies in every city saying that chains and tribulations await me. But none of these things move me, nor do I count my life dear to myself so that I may finish my race with joy; and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus to testify the gospel of the grace of God.”
Can you pick out which word is teleiosai? Finish. It’s not really flawed to flawless. It’s incomplete to complete.
Let’s look at John 4:34. “Jesus said to them, ‘My food—” This is when they’re trying to get Jesus to eat, and he says I have food to eat which you do not know. And the disciples said to one another, has anyone brought anything to eat? Verse 34: “Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work.” Again, finish is teleiosai.
Jesus wasn’t flawed trying to become flawless. Jesus was on a mission that was not yet finished. And he was dedicated to finish that mission. And what was the mission? To do the will of him who sent me. To finish his work. He gave me a job to do and I want to finish it. Teleiosai.
Let’s look at one more. John 19:28. “After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, ‘I thirst.’” Teleiosai. Which word? Accomplished. I made it. It’s done. I finished the work God gave me to do. This is my job. I’ve completed it. Teleiosai.
Hebrews 2:10 that the captain of the Salvation, captain is archi which is beginning. It’s also leader. The first. So you can be the first in authority. You can be the first in time. So you have the beginning and the end is the perfect, the teleiosai.
So he’s the beginning of our salvation; he’s the end of our salvation. He’s the beginning of our salvation because through faith in him, we get new birth. That’s how all this becomes possible in the first place. We can’t be restored without the new birth.
But then he gives us the power to overcome death. In experience. And the reward he wants to give us for completing that is to be a son. That’s a reward. Not a child. Everybody’s a child that’s born. But a son is sharing his throne with him. This is a reward. And it’s a reward for finishing.
Context of hebrews
Now let’s take a look at the context of Hebrews. Turn to chapter 10. Now let me go back and review our context here with this book because I want to bring this home to something very personal.
The context of this book is the writer—I’ve proposed it’s Paul. We don’t know that for sure. We know it’s somebody that was in the close proximity with Timothy. But I’m just going to say Paul. Even though it’s not certain. Paul is writing to people very familiar to him. He speaks to them in very familiar terms.
We know Paul is Jewish. We know that Paul never veered away from the customs of the fathers. He testifies at the end of his ministry, when he goes to Jerusalem, to the Jews there, I’ve never disobeyed the customs of our fathers. We know that he followed the law very meticulously even while he was telling the Gentiles, “You don’t need to follow the law.”
This was exactly the formula that was established in Acts 15. In Acts 15, it was determined we’re all saved by grace through faith, but the Jews are going to keep following the law because their Jews and the Gentiles don’t need to. They just need to stay away from pagan idolatry.
We know when Paul comes to Jerusalem, he meets with the elders, gives them a report of the Word and the power of God being spread throughout all of the Gentiles, and they’re happy.
And then they say, everybody here is going to know you came, and they’re going to want to know whether everything they’ve been hearing is true or not. And what they’ve been hearing is you’ve been teaching the Jews out among the Greeks not to teach their children to obey the law of Moses or to be circumcised, and we know you would never do anything like that. We know that’s a lie because we know you could certainly, scrupulously obey the law in all its respects. So go pay for these guys vow and shave your head yourself, then everybody will know that’s not true.
And Paul does it because Paul is Jewish, and that’s what Jews did. They went to the temple and did sacrifice. They followed the law.
When James is speaking on behalf of the elders he says, there’s been many myriads of Jews who’ve believed that Jesus is the Messiah, and they are zealous for the law. This is what the Jews did.
This is the context of this book. Very familiar.
The point of all this is going to be Jesus fulfilled all this stuff. It’s fine to perform these tasks. As a matter of fact, temple sacrifice is going to be reinstituted in the Millennial Kingdom while Jesus is actually sitting on the throne, which seems weird to us. Why would you do that? It’s a picture. It’s just part of the worship.
And the point is, what’s it pointing to?
See, we tend to use a Bible study as a form of reforming our flesh sometimes, and it’s not reformable. And what we’re supposed to do is have it point us to Jesus. That’s the whole point. And we’re going to hear that over and over and over as we get through here.
Don’t get mixed up between religious observance and Jesus, the point of the observance.
So back to the context: We’ve got this author, people very familiar to him. They’re Jews. They’re getting this letter from him. He calls it a “brief word of exhortation,” and now we go to 10:32.
Now when we get to chapter 10, once you understand all this message here, that what he’s really talking about is this massive, amazing reward that starts now and culminates at the Judgment Seat of Christ and in the new earth, is so unbelievably amazing that to miss out on it is just like throwing away your birthright to get a bowl of stew. And you can throw it away, and you do not want to do that! That’s the point of this book. It’s an exhortation of these guys.
In chapter 10, he really reams them. He tells them our God is a consuming fire. Don’t mess around with this! But in the midst of this real challenging rebuke and exhortation, he says this:
10:32, “But recall the former days, my friends—” here, familiar. “Recall the former days in which after you were illuminated—” you understood Jesus is Messiah, “—you endured a great struggle with sufferings, partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations—”
How could a Jew that received Jesus as Messiah get reproach? What do we know about that? What happened to the apostles for believing in Jesus? Were they reproached? Severely. The Pharisees, the Sanhedrin called them in, told them, “Stop speaking in this name.” They were imprisoned, beaten, martyred.
“—and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated.” You were yourself reproached, and you stood by those who were reproached. “For you had compassion on me in my chains.”
Here’s Paul. He’s in prison, and these people are ministering to him, the ones getting this letter.
“—and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods.”
They’re having their stuff all carted off, and what’s their response? “Yahoo. This is awesome!”
Why? “—because you know you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in Heaven. Therefore do not cast away your confidence.”
Your confidence in what? Your goods in Heaven! The promises! You’ve got the promises. They’ve been given to you. What do you have to do to possess them? You have to suffer.
“You have need of endurance.” What do you need endurance for? To finish! What did Jesus do? He finished! He was teleiosai. He completed the work that his father gave him to do.
And because he completed the work, what did he get? An inheritance. A possession.
What was that possession? A seat at the right hand of the father. The Son. A name. A name above every name. “To which of the angels has he said to me, sit here while I make all your enemies a footstool?” Angels don’t get that reward. Man. What is man that you care for him? What’s the son of man that you think of him? God, this is amazing.
Here’s Lucifer who’s powerful and wise and incredibly intelligent, and you’re displacing him with these nursing infants. These babes. And putting them in his place to rule over all creation. You’ve crowned them with glory and honor to rule over all creation.
But now we don’t see that happening. But we see Jesus. Who for the suffering of death tasted death for all men. And it was fitting for him as the beginning, the first of our salvation, the captain of our salvation, of our restoration, to bring many sons to glory to restore many of us back through the suffering of death.
And here’s going to be the whole point of Hebrews. We’ve all been given a beginning; that’s the new birth. The question is will we finish and receive this reward, or will we neglect it and throw it away? That’s going to be the point of the whole book.
Flesh or Spirit
And the question is how are you going to address suffering?
You know this world is tough. Your spouse won’t understand you. Your kids won’t understand you. Your boss won’t understand you. Your customers won’t understand you. The government won’t treat you right. The church won’t go the way you want it to. Your friends won’t do what they ought to do. You’re going to get old and decrepit. Your body’s going to wear out. You can’t do the things that you used to be able to do. People don’t understand you. If I keep going, I’ll start whining.
It’s just the way life is. And you can either embrace it and be joyful because it’s part of finishing. It’s part of being completed. And keep your confidence and say, “No matter what you do, I will love. No matter what you do, I will trust.”
Or you can walk the way of the flesh. You can put your confidence in religious stuff. You can set up a system to justify yourself.
We’ve all done this. We all do it. It’s natural.
It’s unnatural. It’s really not natural; it’s the way we were twisted. But it’s not the way we’re supposed to be.
Now we do not see man in the proper spot; but we see Jesus, who for the suffering of death was crowned with glory and honor.
Paul says it this way in his letters to the Gentiles: He says, “Put to death the deeds of the flesh and walk in the Spirit.”
And his book said, “As we walk in the Spirit, we will fulfill the law.” Romans 8.
It’s really a pretty spectacular picture.
And what we’re going to get in to as we go through here is all these examples of people who had the promise, and they didn’t finish; and they lost the possession of the experience of the promise.
And we’re going to see examples of people who had the promise and never fully got the fulfillment of the promise, and yet never let down. And because of that, they got a name.
We’re going to see example after example. Bad example, good example, bad example, good example.
All for us. It’s going to be really spectacular. And the opportunity that we’re given to follow in the steps of Jesus, the first and the last, and actually fulfilling his sufferings and being given the reward he was given or share in the reward he’s given, it’s really unbelievable. And that’s the opportunity we have.