Read This Week’s Passage: Hebrews 10:23–39

One Complete Sermon

Have you ever imagined what it would be like to hear Jesus or one of the apostles preach? We possess written excerpts and summaries of some of their sermons, but these provide only a limited idea of what it was like to hear them. God preserved in the Scriptures at least one complete sermon for us, however: Paul’s letter to the Hebrews.

Paul, the author of Hebrews, referred to his own work as a “word of exhortation” (Heb. 13:22). This expression was used to identify sermons both at the synagogue (Acts 13:15) and at Christian worship (1 Tim. 4:13). Thus, it has been argued that Hebrews is the earliest “complete Christian sermon” that we have. Hebrews was addressed to believers who accepted Jesus but then experienced difficulties. Some were publicly shamed and persecuted (Heb. 10:32–34). Others faced financial problems (Heb. 13:5, 6). Many were tired and had begun to question their faith (Heb. 3:12, 13). Can any of us today relate?

The apostle Paul, in a stirring sermon, challenged them (and, by extension, us) to persevere in faith in Jesus and to fix their eyes upon Him who is now in the heavenly sanctuary.