Hebrews – God’s Action in Jesus
As a teacher of young lives we would encouraging ask first graders painting for the first time, “So, tell me about your picture” instead of “What in the world is this?”. See the difference? Each person was willing to enthusiastically tell you what they had in mind as they painted. Those who listened to instruction worked hard to paint their own masterpiece…in their eyes.
Although that is a place to start in learning to create and grow as an artist, there is much more to learn. Most Van Gogh’s and Picasso’s don’t stop with elementary teaching. Obviously, they kept learning and growing until they created masterpieces!
Our passage today gets serious with this growing and maturing in Christ way of life. The writer reprimands those who do not listen and refuse to grow up. He describes their lives as those who still fingerpaint in Kindergarten, refusing to grow up.
Our passage also stings a bit when we learn that going backwards in our maturing in Christ, turning our backs on Him, going back to our own self help ways and means actually puts Christ back on the Cross to be RE-CRUCIFIED again. The writer uses the term “repudiation” which means we are now claiming, with our behavior, that Jesus is invalid and false! It also means that we are rejecting or renunciating our duty or obligation (as under a contract); anticipatory repudiation. WOW. Listen. Don’t turn a deaf ear as many have done. Don’t accept Jesus, then turn around and deny knowing Christ in living life. This is worse than not accepting Him in the first place!
Yes, this growing up thing is serious! We cannot use the excuse of “I didn’t know.” We do know when we say yes to Christ, repent, receive His salvation from ourselves and sin and then live for Him according to His teaching. This is NO TIME to turn back now! “Keep at it till the finish. Don’t drag your feet. Be like those who stay the course with committed faith and then get everything promised to them.” Yes, and Amen!
Hebrews 5/6, The Message
11-14 I have a lot more to say about this, but it is hard to get it across to you since you’ve picked up this bad habit of not listening. By this time you ought to be teachers yourselves, yet here I find you need someone to sit down with you and go over the basics on God again, starting from square one—baby’s milk, when you should have been on solid food long ago! Milk is for beginners, inexperienced in God’s ways; solid food is for the mature, who have some practice in telling right from wrong.
1-3 So come on, let’s leave the preschool fingerpainting exercises on Christ and get on with the grand work of art. Grow up in Christ. The basic foundational truths are in place: turning your back on “salvation by self-help” and turning in trust toward God; baptismal instructions; laying on of hands; resurrection of the dead; eternal judgment. God helping us, we’ll stay true to all that. But there’s so much more. Let’s get on with it!
4-8 Once people have seen the light, gotten a taste of heaven and been part of the work of the Holy Spirit, once they’ve personally experienced the sheer goodness of God’s Word and the powers breaking in on us—if then they turn their backs on it, washing their hands of the whole thing, well, they can’t start over as if nothing happened. That’s impossible. Why, they’ve re-crucified Jesus! They’ve repudiated him in public! Parched ground that soaks up the rain and then produces an abundance of carrots and corn for its gardener gets God’s “Well done!” But if it produces weeds and thistles, it’s more likely to get cussed out. Fields like that are burned, not harvested.
9-12 I’m sure that won’t happen to you, friends. I have better things in mind for you—salvation things! God doesn’t miss anything. He knows perfectly well all the love you’ve shown him by helping needy Christians, and that you keep at it. And now I want each of you to extend that same intensity toward a full-bodied hope, and keep at it till the finish. Don’t drag your feet. Be like those who stay the course with committed faith and then get everything promised to them.
LET’S DO IT!
“So come on, let’s leave the preschool fingerpainting exercises on Christ and get on with the grand work of art. Grow up in Christ.”
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for your patience with us as we grow up in You! Thank you for feeding us Your Word that reminds us to mature in our faith so that we can be all you intended for us to be…your masterpiece. Continue to transform me. I’m listening. I want to grow up still.
In Jesus Name, Amen