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7 Mar | Persevere in Faith

7 March • Tuesday of the Second Week in Lent

Hebrews 2:1-9

1. Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. 2 For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, 4 while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

5. For it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are

speaking. 6 It has been testified somewhere, “What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him?


7. You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honour,

8. putting everything in subjection under his feet.”

Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. 9 But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

 

Meditation

Letter to the Hebrews, also called Epistle to the Hebrews is an anonymous New Testament letter traditionally attributed to St. Paul the Apostle but is now widely believed to be the work of another Jewish Christian. Some traditions hold that the author may have been St. Barnabas or perhaps one of Paul’s other associates or later disciples. The letter was composed sometime during the latter half of the 1st century and is the 19th book of the New Testament canon. To judge from its contents, the letter was addressed to a Christian community whose faith was faltering because of strong Jewish influences.

Followers of Christ have suffered persecution through-out history. Stolen property, beatings, imprisonment and martyrdom have been the fate of countless Christians. Some reports showed that Christ's followers are being persecuted more than ever in our own day. For those of us who are not suffering in these ways, it is hard to imagine the temptations that persecution brings. Christians who live in peace and safety often compromise their faith even without threats. But can you imagine how tempting it would be to compromise what you believe to protect yourself, your spouse, your children and closest friends from serious harm? How could we possibly encourage fellow believers in these conditions?

This was the challenge that faced the author of the book of Hebrews. He wrote to a group of Christians who had suffered in the past and were threatened with even more suffering. They had done well years ago, but the author of Hebrews feared that they might now turn away from Christ to avoid further persecution.


To fortify Christian beliefs, the author describes the perfect priesthood of Christ, who, unlike the Jewish high priest, offered but one sacrifice as God’s own Son, thereby redeeming all of humankind once and for all. The Christians are then warned against apostasy and the fearful prospect of judgement that awaits those who have spurned the Son of God. They are urged to persevere in their faith following the heroic example of others well known to them, living the same faith in the New Normal, which our Lord Himself has taught us.

 

Prayer

Lord God, we thank You for the gift of Salvation You wrought for us once for all on the Cross. We realise the pain and the ridicule that You suffered for us. Today, as Christians when we face persecution in different parts of the world because of our faith in You, we pray that You would grant us Your grace not to drift away from You or deny You; instead to stand firm and persevere in our faith in You, knowing the great Salvation that You have gifted to us. Amen.

 

Action

Remember our brothers and sisters who are persecuted for their faith in Jesus, our Lord. Let us uphold them in our daily prayers so that God would grant them the courage to hold on to God in the midst of all challenges, and never to deny or forsake their faith in Jesus Christ.

Rev Dr M. Mani Chacko

General Secretary

The Bible Society of India


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