Questions in Today's Society
Should Christians adapt to a changing culture to prevent persecution?
Why does God allow suffering for his people?
Was Jesus really God?
Wasn't he just an angel / prophet / good moral teacher?
Is there any other way to God apart from Jesus?
It's not completely correct for me to say that these are questions in just today's society. These questions have been asked since the beginning of Christianity and these are addressed in this letter-sermon to Jewish Christians. So keep these things at the back of your mind as you read this letter.
An Outline of Hebrews from the Bible Project
(They're an awesome group and you should definitely subscribe to them)
As you read Hebrews ask these questions so you can get the flow of the letter:
- How is Jesus superior in these chapters?
- Why should I remain faithful despite challenges?
- What are some verses that challenged / struck me? Why?
- What are some verses that need clarification?
The Great "Therefore"
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
All of Hebrews chapter 1-10 argues for the supremacy of Jesus over all things and the greatness of the promises that come through him. Also, the letter argues that consequences are more severe if we turn from our only hope for salvation. Faith is then defined by the author in chapter 11 and he gives examples or "witnesses" for us to follow.
After all this, is the paragraph that the whole of Hebrews was written for -- the great "therefore" of chapter 12.
An awesome and highly recommended message on this passage by John Piper:
God to desiringgod.org for more resources!