Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Heb 12

12:11. Somewhere along the line you've had similar experiences to apply to what we've been reading in Hebrews. Let me tell you a couple of mine.

Who hasn't, in a math class, trying to read a chapter of a math book, wanted to skip to the problems?

Second, when I was learning repelling, there was a learning session back in camp, and a learning session on the site, before we attempted to each try it. In the learning sessions, it all seemed so theoretical, and everybody (maybe) was having a hard time concentrating. We wanted to get into the practical stuff.

Same with Hebrews here. There has been all kinds of theoretical stuff about comparing ceremonies with Jesus, and this and that line of priests and what had to be repeated and what didn't. All kinds of stuff hard to concentrate on when you want to just get to the practical part, what I'm supposed to do.

In my repelling experience, so I got up there on the mountain, waited for them to stop talking, took it all in, belay on, on belay, and all that -- and promptly landed on my rear, the very thing they just finished guaranteeing would NOT happen if we followed what they said.

But Hebrews is gonna do the same thing to people who "skip" to the practical part, as they do sometimes in Romans, to get to the "good stuff," what we get to be doing.

However, Hebrews has another trick up its sleeve besides the technique of Romans, to do the training first. (Paul, in Romans, finishes the (more) theoretical part, and then commences in 12:1 with "Therefore...".)

Sneaky Hebrews starts weaving the practical stuff in slowly, a little at a time. And then, he refers back to the theoretical stuff right in the middle of the practical stuff.

In 12:3 he sneaks in a veiled reference to EVERYTHING he's said so far, in the two little words "consider Him."

The writer's whole practical concern is for his readers that they won't "grow weary and lose heart." Instead of barking "STOP IT" he writes chapters and chapters of foundational stuff, points out some pitfalls, gives them the foundation, and starts talking more and more practically about faith in chapter 11. So we're comfortably settled in to get our work done -- and he sneaks in his theory again in 12:3! "Consider Him!"

He sticks you with the summary of his theory right there in the practical part, where you weren't expecting it.

Might work.

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