Hebrews: Greater Than… Part 3

Hebrews: Greater Than… Part 3 Entering the “rest” of Jesus Hebrews 3:1-4:16 May 12, 2019

I. Jesus is GREATER than MOSES. (3:1-19)
A. Moses is IN, Jesus is OVER. (3:2-5)
B. A WARNING from the BACKSTORY. (3:6-11,16-29; Num.13:26-33)
C. From backstory to OUR STORY. (3:12-15)

The writer of Hebrews reminds the readers of their history…and it’s not the most favourable picture. The people refused to listen to Moses and enter the promised land, despite the promise of God to them. Their unbelief cost them rest. If not listening to Moses can do that, how much more important is it that we listen to Jesus, who is greater than Moses?

1. Kids question: When have you done something that you later regretted?
2. How do you like it when people bring up your mistakes from the past? What role of reflecting on the past play? When is it counter-productive for you?

A. Moses and the HISTORICAL REST. (3:16-19)
    1. UNBELIEF leads to HARDNESS… (3:7-8,12,19; Num 13:31-33)
    2. …and EXCLUSION from the promised REST. (3:11,18)
B. Jesus and the REST for us TODAY. (4:1-18)
    1. BELIEF leads to REST. (4:1-9)
    2. Making every EFFORT to BELIEVE. (4:9-11; Jn 6:29)

Hebrews 3 and 4 draw these lines that help us to see that we are confronted with a choice just like the children of Israel had in the desert. It’s scary to move forward and follow God where He leads. If we think we have the right stuff to accomplish what needs to happen we don’t understand the gravity of the situation. But we aren’t trusting in our ability. We are trusting in God’s promise.

3. How would you describe what it means to have a “hardened heart” toward God? Have you ever felt that? Why?
4. In 4:9-11 it speaks of resting from “works” and yet “making every effort” to enter that rest. How do those two ideas fit together?
5. Would you describe your faith as “restful”? Why or why not?

III. KEEPING your heart SOFT. (4:11)
A. FOCUS your THOUGHTS on Jesus. (3:1)
B. ADMIT the TRUTH. (4:12)
C. EMBRACE the STRIPPING away. (4:13)
D. Keep MOVING toward JESUS. (4:14-16; Heb. 12:1-3)
E. Rest in the OBEDIENCE that comes from FAITH. (Rom. 1:5; 16:25-27)

So how do we “make every effort” to “rest from our works”? (4:9-11) Isn’t that contradictory? There is a process that we are called to engage, a counter-intuitive walking toward Jesus, letting ourselves be seen for what we really are. Along the way something happens in us that is beyond us.

6. What steps can you take to better keep your daily focus on Jesus and what He has done and is doing for you?
7. Would you say that you tend more toward “embracing” or “avoiding” when it comes to the “stripping away” of our own baggage? Are you happy with that?
8. What might an obedience that comes from faith look like in your own life?