Hebrews 13:17-25

17 Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.

18 Pray for us; for we are confident that we have a good conscience, in all things desiring to live honorably.

19 But I especially urge you to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner.

20 Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,

21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

22 And I appeal to you, brethren, bear with the word of exhortation, for I have written to you in few words.

23 Know that our brother Timothy has been set free, with whom I shall see you if he comes shortly.

24 Greet all those who rule over you, and all the saints. Those from Italy greet you.

25 Grace be with you all. Amen.

obey (v.17) = trust, be persuaded (the same word is translated “confident” in verse 18) — in light of the strange doctrines in verse 9

those who rule over you (v.17) — the apostles in Jerusalem? (my own thought, not in any commentary that I saw)

with joy and not with grief (v.17) — referring to the giving of account for their leadership

restored (v.19) — the writer was known to the recipients and had been with them in the past

brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead (v.20) — the only specific mention of Christ’s resurrection in Hebrews

There can be no doubt as to the identity of the great shepherd or the sheep:

He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those who are with young (Isaiah 40:11).

These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matthew 10:5-6).

Now I say that Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers (Romans 15:8).

Jesus said “I am the Good Shepherd: The Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep” (John 10:11), and since the Messiah came not but to the lost sheep of Israel, it is folly to suppose otherwise.

By exhorting the reader to perform well-pleasing works, it should be noted that the book of Hebrews is perfectly situated in that James follows, and James has as its theme those well-pleasing works which are to accompany tribulation Israel’s faith and commandment-keeping. — McLean, page 199.

complete (v.21) = equipped for service

bear with (v.22) = endure, don’t become impatient

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