Written by 9:08 pm Bible Studies, Hebrews

Benedictions | Hebrews 13:20-25

20 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

22 I appeal to you, brothers, bear with my word of exhortation, for I have written to you briefly. 23 You should know that our brother Timothy has been released, with whom I shall see you if he comes soon. 24 Greet all your leaders and all the saints. Those who come from Italy send you greetings. 25 Grace be with all of you.
– Hebrews 13:20-25 (ESV)

Here we are. This is the end of the Hebrews letter. In just over a year, we’ve journeyed through this magnificent letter. Not bad. When I posted the very first post announcing this study, I was sure that I would beat my time. I thought for sure I would’ve finished in November. If you recall, in the Facebook group, I posted a proposed schedule of articles that left December as an overflow month in case I fell behind. Reality settled in around September. On the glass board in my office, I added January and February as overflow. And I’ve used them to the brim.

As I’ve listened to teachers and preachers over the decades, it seems that few give serious time to closing remarks. Often they are filled with remarks about or from the friends of the author. I know why these closing remarks get skipped. They’re not teachable moments. But that doesn’t mean they’re unimportant. The benedictions often give us glimpses into the network of friendships that Peter, Paul, Luke, and the other NT authors formed while they served the Body of Christ. It reminds us that we’re members of a blood-bought family, not a sterile institution. Remember:

That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers, 12 saying,
“I will tell of your name to my brothers;
in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.”
– Hebrews 2:11b-12 (ESV)

Before I offer you my own personal benediction, let’s examine the author’s benediction.

May the God of peace

This isn’t merely a fluffy sense of well being. This is the peace obtained by Christ’s blood between God and man (Romans 5:1). It’s the peace that is mediated to us by our RISEN Savior. It’s the peace granted to us by the rod and staff of our Great Shepherd. It’s the peace that comes from being forgiven through the blood of a covenant that will never end.

Equip you with everything good

The New Testament has so much to say about the gifts that the LORD gives us by the Holy Spirit. James wrote that every good and perfect gift comes from the Father of lights (James 1:17). Peter wrote that we’ve received everything we need to live godly lives (2 Peter 1:3-4). Yet with all this talk about gifts, it’s easy to forget their purpose. That you may do His will. He has prepared good works for us (Ephesians 2:10) and we renew our minds so that we might know His will (Romans 12:2) and use His empowering gifts for those works.

Working in us … through Jesus Christ

When we use His gifts to do His work, He works in us to bring about that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ. It is not us at work when we use His gifts for His work. It’s Jesus through us (Galatians 2:20).

To whom be glory forever and ever

Because everything we do is of Him, through Him and to Him, none of the glory belongs to us, but all goes to Jesus (Romans 11:35).

Then after this wonderful doxology, the author made a final plea for his readers to obey what he wrote. Then he dropped Timothy’s name and said he was released from prison and mentioned his hope to visit with Timothy. Then a final clue was dropped. The author was apparently in Italy where he was in contact with fellow believers who sent their greetings.

Sounds like the person I said I wouldn’t speak of again. I told you this chapter was a strong support for a certain late Apostle.

Grace and peace.

My Closing Remarks and Benediction

To say that I’ve been enriched by this study would be an understatement. I have gained so much. I can’t count the number of times that what I’ve learned during this study became alive and applicable. When I began, I was sure that my understanding of eternal security would be altered, but quite the opposite happened. That belief only strengthened. But that wasn’t the primary thrust of this letter.

The big picture is that in every possible way, Jesus Christ is better. He is always greater. He is forever superior. The way the letter began was only amplified louder and louder as you kept going. Belief in Him, then, is the greatest priority. And that’s one of the cornerstones of this letter: belief. Enduring in belief is how we enter the Father’s promised rest.

Do you know whom you have believed in? Perhaps if I were to plant a flag on this letter, it would have that question embroidered on it. Now that I’m at the end of this letter, one man continues to come to mind. The man who brought his son to Jesus for healing, and looked at Jesus and plainly said, “I believe. Help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). Don’t think too harshly of the men and women who were tempted to return to the Old Covenant. Their struggle is also ours. We wrestle with unbelief just like they did. So this message may have been written to believing Jews, but it is for all of us. We all must endure in belief if we want to enter the Father’s rest.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the journey as much as I have.

I pray that the LORD’s blessings will be poured out upon you and that your time reading through Hebrews with me will yield much fruit in your walk. Walk with Him in the light, and be led by the Holy Spirit as you journey.

Grace and peace.

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Last modified: February 25, 2024