Damn, what’d Esau do to you? – Hebrews 12-13 (NTiR)
Let’s hit the ground running…
One must continue running the race set before them, enduring the obstacles put in one’s paths. If motivation is needed, one should look to Jesus. Christ fought against sin to the point that he shed his own blood; this is the example one must follow. There’s also a bit about discipline, how God disciplines a person as a father disciplines his son (what about mothers and daughters?). This should be accepted, as it will lead a person to better choices down the road.
The unknown author warns against becoming like that brings something to mind: Why was Esau treated so harshly? Reading the bible literally, Esau was guilty of nothing except for trying to get more food to eat. Not a lot, either, just a bowl of food. Esau then had another slap in the face when his brother Jacob tricked their father into giving Jacob the blessing that was Esau’s. I don’t see how Esau could be considered “immoral or godless.” The poor guy got screwed twice. And in the end, forgave and reunited with his brother.
This chapter ends with a very confusing logical argument: the author reads scripture, where God says “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also heaven.” The author says that the “once more” means everything that can be shaken is removed, leaving only what cannot be shaken. I am totally and completely baffled by this interpretation. It seems like the author of Hebrews is making a huge assumption, and reading in a lot more than is actually given in the passage. I don’t know where he was getting this from, but my guess is he was pulling it out of his ass.
The letter finishes up with a list of commands that should be followed. People in the church should continue to leave one another. Strangers should be greeted with hospitality. Don’t commit sexual sins. (DRINK!!! Oh, no, wait, I think I said the drinking game was specifically for Paul disparaging sex.) Avoid the love of money and unusual teachings. Be generous, obey your leaders. Etc. Boiler-plate stuff, but the sentiment is good.
Hebrews is…. interesting. It was actually one of the harder books to get through. I am not part of the intended audience, nor are Christians, really. This letter was targeted specifically at Jewish believers who were converting to Christianity. As such, Hebrews is chock full of Jewish laws and customs, most of which I cannot relate to. It’s no wonder I was warned about Hebrews!
I did really like the history lesson given in Chapter 11. Otherwise, though, this book is far too droll, far too unrelatable. I am glad it is over!
Up next: Hello, James!
New installments of The New Testament In Review will be posted each Monday and Thursday. The new posts will always be on my blog, http://biffster.org. The entire series is accessible via http://biffster.org/ntir. If you are one of my Facebook friends, you can get an advance preview on my Facebook page. You can also follow me (@biffster) on Twitter to be alerted to new posts.