The Author and the Audience
Before we begin our study, it is helpful to consider what we can discern about the document itself. Who was the author, and what can we now about him? Who read this letter? For what purpose was it written? Each of these questions provide valuable insight as we try to engage the text in our day, and determine what we share with the original audience and as a result, what we also can gain by the study of a letter written to someone else.
The letter begins with some simple contrasting language;
- “In the past…” / “but in these last days”
- “to our ancestors” / “to us”
- “through the prophets” / “through his Son the heir”
The Message: One simple truth is clear; the author intends to connect his readers directly back ‘to the Hebrews’ of the Old Covenant, and to bring a message to them that is both ‘old’ and ‘new’.
The Messenger: No longer are we listening to the voice of prophets, who gave us revealed words from the Godhead, but now we hear from from the Son Himself. And these are not just words that communicate, but He is the Word that creates and created! No priest standing day after day in the Temple or Tabernacle, but seated, on the throne at the ruling right hand of God Himself.
Whatever else we are about to hear, this message is unlike the messages of old, for the Messenger is unlike any other. This Messenger is regent, priest and purifier of his people, he is eternal, and He will be heard.