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Lesson 4: Jesus Our Faithful Brother *

Introduction: I’m blessed with a faithful brother. How about you? There are so many tragic relationships among family members. Siblings who will not talk to each other. Parents and children who dislike each other. All of my family relationships are great, and I think an important reason for this is that we all love the Lord. Our lesson this week is about Jesus as our faithful brother. Let’s jump into our study of the book of Hebrews and learn more!

  1.         Redemption of Property

  1.         Read Leviticus 25:23. What was the basic rule about property for the Hebrews entering Canaan? (God owned all of the land. But, the people were allowed certain property rights consistent with that basic rule.)

  1.         Read Leviticus 25:24-25. What is God’s primary goal here? (To keep property within the family. You can sell and buy property, but God wants a family to ultimately retain its property.)

  1.         Why is that a goal? What if the family are not very good farmers? (Property was the means by which you could make a living. This rule should protect people from poverty.)

  1.         Read Leviticus 25:26-28. If you were an investor in property, is this a good law? (You could lose money on a crop failure, but not on the land. If the land was redeemed, you had the use of the land in the interim and you got all of your money back for the future years. I think, as a practical matter, this is the same as shortening a contract.)

  1.         What about the Jubilee - the return of the property to the original owner after 50 years? Is that unfair? (If I were a purchaser, I would look at this like a 50-year lease, and would not pay as much as if I were permanently purchasing the land.)

  1.         Let’s get back to my question about incompetent or lazy farmers getting their property back after selling it.  Does this system seem fair to you? Does it reward hard work and competence? (It is a capitalistic system for it reinforces private property rights.  It also encourages the efficient use of property.  Imagine losing your land for fifty years! This would be an incentive to work hard.)

  1.         What does this rule about property do to family relationships? (It places the primary responsibility for the efficient use of property in the hands of the family. These are the people who best understand the individuals involved.)

  1.         Our Redeemer Brother

  1.         Read Hebrews 2:14-15. Has Jesus redeemed us, His family members?

  1.         Notice the phrase, “who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.” What does that mean? (It means that sinful humans no longer have to fear death. We are no longer slaves to this fear.)

  1.         Read Hebrews 2:17. What relationship do you see between Jesus’ redemption of us and the Levitical redemption of property? (The parallel idea is that Jesus, by becoming one of us, understands our situation very well. By placing property redemption within the family, those who best knew the situation best were given the responsibility to fix it.)

  1.         Outside the Camp with Jesus

  1.         Read Hebrews 13:12 What does it mean that Jesus suffered “outside the gate?” (Read John 19:16-17. Jesus was crucified outside the gates of Jerusalem.)

  1.         Read Hebrews 13:13-14. Notice that this references two points we have been studying: our special relationship with Jesus, and our property rights in relation to God. What does it mean for us to go “outside the camp” with Jesus? (That we will identify with Him instead of with the world.)

  1.         This decision has to do with property rights. What property does Jesus have in mind for us? (We are not looking for a city here, we are looking for the New Jerusalem - the city that will come.)

  1.         Read Hebrews 13:15. What is the primary way in which we associate with Jesus and not the world? (We praise Jesus. We acknowledge Jesus. This is a spoken thing. It is the “fruit of lips.”)

  1.         Read Hebrews 13:16. How else do we associate with Jesus? (We do good and share what we have.)

  1.         There is a trend today for people to decide to share what others (who they think can afford it) have. These are people who generally do not give much to charity, they merely want to force others to give. Is that within the scope of what is suggested here? (No. The reference to “sacrifice” means you have contributed from your own property.)

  1.         Learning From Our Brother

  1.         Have you learned something positive from your siblings? My brother was always very outgoing. Others were attracted to him. Even though he was my younger brother, I learned a lot from him with regard to being open and friendly with others.

  1.         Read Hebrews 12:1. Who are these “witnesses?” (This is a reference back to Hebrews 11 which recites the names of many heroes of the Bible.)

  1.         Why are these witnesses helpful in laying aside “every weight and sin” what we have? (Their lives encourage us.)

  1.         Look again at Hebrews 12: 1. Notice that the “weights” in life are contrasted with “sins,” and the context is running a “race.” What does weight do for you in a race? (It slows you down. It might prevent you from finishing.)

  1.         What are the “weights” in life that harm our performance in our life race? (These are harmful attitudes and emotions. They are not sins, they just slow us down.)

  1.         Is sin something that we should be concerned about? (Yes. It harms us in running our race in life.)

  1.         Read Hebrews 12:2. What can we learn from our Brother Jesus? (We have the example and encouragement of the witnesses of Chapter 11, and we have the example of the “Founder and Perfecter of our faith!)

  1.         What, specifically, does this verse say that we should learn from Jesus? (That whatever is going on in our life, we should keep our focus on the joy that we will have in heaven.)

  1.         I enjoy life. I’m not hiding the fact that I am a Christian. How about you? Is your life going pretty well?

  1.         How many people do you think are enduring something like the pain and shame of the cross? (Not many - at least not many reading this lesson.)

  1.         If you were Satan, what would you do to distract people from keeping their focus on the joy of heaven? (Suffering keeps us focused. Enjoying life is less likely to keep us focused.)

  1.         Read Hebrews 12:3-4. What is the situation with the Hebrews? (They are struggling and facing hostility. They face the real fear of growing fainthearted and weary.)

  1.         Is this counsel applicable to us today? (Serious Christians face increasing hostility in my country. But, it is not as serious as this.)

  1.         When Hebrews 12:4 speaks of “your struggle against sin,” is it referring to your personal sins? (Perhaps. Look back over the verses in Hebrews 12 that we have just read. The writer refers to a competitor or an adversary that we might face in a race. Whether the struggle is with something inside or outside you, the call is to remain faithful.)

  1.         Friend, Jesus is our Brother. He has redeemed us much like the family redeemed property in the Levitical system. He has suffered, on our behalf, more than we will ever suffer. He has won the victory for us! Will you agree to join Him today and share with others your identity as His sibling?

  1.         Next week: Jesus, the Giver of Rest.
* Copr. 2022, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.

© 2022 Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
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