Learning to walk inevitably involves failure. But we don’t chastise toddlers for not making it across the room because we understand they are acting their age. However, if two years later they still cannot walk without falling, that would be a problem for babies are supposed to mature. The author of the letter to the Hebrews equates physical growth with spiritual growth.
“Scripture in the trade language only hits the surface, but in the Biangai the message goes deep. If everyone hears this they will all repent,” the youth pastor exclaimed with a wide grin. My parents, missionaries in Papua New Guinea, had just tested a newly translated passage of the New Testament on some local believers.
I regularly speak about rest. The author of the New Testament letter of Hebrews also speaks about rest. But a thorough study of the text reveals that this is a different kind of rest than I typically speak of. Since Hebrews is all about presenting Jesus as superior to all else, I wonder if this rest is also better?
Public insults. Conflict. Persecution. Prison. Confiscated Property. The readers of the the New Testament letter of Hebrews experienced all this in the early days of their walk with Jesus. While I cannot attest to this kind of suffering, I do know trial—wrecked car, bureaucracy headaches, ant infestation, health issues, the passing of loved ones. Like the early Christians, I too need the author’s counsel on facing trying times.
I feel like I've done a bunch of things wrong lately. I feel like I’ve done something morally wrong. Like I’m a criminal, or a bad person. Like I’ve been caught with my hand in the cookie jar when I never actually put it in. Or accidentally put it in. The fact is I’m a rule follower and I don’t like looking bad.