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Sabbath School Lessons on Hebrews
About the Author
Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 37 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 1: Jesus and the Book of Hebrews *
Introduction: Why study the book of Hebrews? One reason is that it is
sort of the "missing link" in the New Testament. It is unique because
it fills an important gap. The gospels and Acts bring us to the point
where Jesus floats off into the sky. Revelation predicts how Jesus
will return in power and glory. What is Jesus doing in between His
ascension and His return? What is going on in God's life between Acts
and Revelation? Hebrews answers that question. It explains to us
what Jesus is doing now and why. Let's pull back the curtain on what
our Lord is up to these days by jumping into an overview of our
thirteen-week study of Hebrews!
- Jesus the Communicator
- Read Hebrews 1:1. Our text tells us that God revealed His
will to us in the past through His prophets and "in
various ways." What are some of these ways? How else did
God communicate with His people? (God thundered from Mount
Sinai when He gave the Ten Commandments ( Exodus 20:18). He
directed His people through the stones on the breastplate
of the High Priest (Ex. 28:30). He sent angels with
messages ( Judges 6:12). He even spoke to Balaam through
his donkey (Num. 22:28).)
- Read Hebrews 1:2. How has God communicated to us now?
(Through Jesus, His Son.)
- How would you compare getting the word of God by
these other means, as opposed to getting it from
- How important a communicator is Jesus? What qualifies
Him to give us God's word? (Verse 2 tells us some
astonishing things about Jesus. It tells us that
Jesus made the universe. It also tells us that Jesus
is the heir "of all things.")
- Why do you think these two descriptions of Jesus
were chosen to be used here? (It shows that
Jesus is the beginning (the creator of the
universe) and the end (the heir of all things).
This reminds of the text in Revelation that
Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and
the end ( Revelation 22:13).)
- Read Hebrews 1:3a. Is Jesus God?
- What is the radiance of God's glory? (Radiance is
what emanates, what we see. Jesus is the glorious
part of God that we can see.)
- How is this true?
- When the text says that Jesus is the "exact
representation of [God's] being, tell me what is the
difference between Jesus and a clone? (It seems none.
I understand this text to say that Jesus is exactly
- Who is the power of the universe? (Jesus sustains all
- What do you find interesting about the
revelation that Jesus' word sustains all things?
(He doesn't have to strain, He only needs to
speak. That is power!)
- Read Hebrews 1:3b. Where is Jesus right now? (Now we begin
to see what Jesus is doing. The thread of logic we have
read tells us this about Jesus: He came to our world to
reveal God. He is God and because of that He was able to
provide the purification for our sins. Now He has retaken
His position of authority in heaven.)
- Read Hebrews 1:4-5. Why does the text compare Jesus to the
angels? (Other than the Godhead, the angels are the only
other heavenly beings about which we know. This text
tells us that we should not think Jesus was just an
- To summarize this section, what kind of communicator is
Jesus? (The best - because He is God and because He came
to live with us.)
- Our Obligation to Listen
- Read Hebrews 2:1-3. What kind of attention must we pay to
what Jesus has told us? (Careful.)
- What is the danger of not paying close attention? (We
will "drift away.")
- Do you know any Christians like that? Has that
happened to you at some time in your life? How
about your attention right now?
- The text seems to equate "ignore" with failing to pay
close attention. Is that fair?
- What happens to us if we "drift?"(If we ignore our
opportunity for salvation we will receive our "just
punishment." The point is that if Jesus is speaking
we should pay special attention.)
- Add Hebrews 2:4 to what we have read. How can we know that
Jesus is the "real thing?"
- How can we know that the gospel message is the "real
thing?" (The signs, wonders and miracles that
testified to Jesus' work show He is the real thing.
The gospel today should be confirmed by the gifts of
the Holy Spirit.)
- How about the gospel that you preach - is it attested
to by the "gifts of the Holy Spirit?"
- The Subject of the Communication
- Read Hebrews 4:14-16. When I say the name "High Priest,"
what comes to your mind in the context of the Old
Testament? (The sanctuary service that was the method for
the removal of sin. See, for example, Leviticus 16.)
- Jesus is described as our "great" High Priest.
Why?(There are several reasons why "great" is the
right term - let me give you just one. As we will see
in more detail in later lessons, Jesus gave Himself
as a permanent sacrifice for our sins. He was not
like the High Priests of the Old Testament who
repeatedly offered animal sacrifices for themselves
and others. ( Hebrews 7:27-28))
- Jesus, we are told, has gone "through the heavens."
What do you think that means? I thought we learned
that Jesus was "in" heaven, not rocketing through
them. (If you are looking at the KJV, you will see it
says "into the heavens." This translation is not as
accurate as the NIV's "through" the heavens. This is
a reference to the ascending order of heavens. 2
Corinthians 12:2 speaks of being "caught up to the
third heaven." Simply, put, Jesus has moved up to
heaven's penthouse. He has arrived at the "top
- When you think of Jesus, as a High Priest,
passing "through" something, what comes to mind?
(One commentary I read noted that the High
Priest in the earthly sanctuary service passed
through the veil from the holy to the most holy
place on the Day of Atonement. We now have Jesus
passing through the various levels of heaven to
reach the throne of God. Just as the Most Holy
place was for the presence of God, so Jesus now
is in the presence of God in heaven.)
- What does it do for our faith to know that Jesus is
our High Priest working on our behalf in heaven?
(Verses 14-16 suggest that it should increase our
faith in two ways. First, this knowledge should help
us to "hold firmly" to our faith. Second, we have a
sympathetic High Priest because He knows what we are
going through. The result? It gives us confidence to
approach God for help.)
- Friend, we are just beginning our study of the book of
Hebrews. We have learned this week that Jesus has
important lessons for us that we need to carefully
consider. What Jesus is doing for us right now as our High
Priest is one of those important lessons. Why not stick
around and learn more this quarter as we explore the book
- Next Week: Jesus, Our King.
* Copr. 2003, 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.