Jun 9, 2014

Thoughts on Hebrews 13:25

The Book of Hebrews provides a powerful encouragement to press on in faith. This exhortation runs to the very end of the book. Recently while teaching through Hebrews I came upon this comment on Hebrews 13:22–25.

"The declaration that ‘I encourage’ you as brothers to hold on to the word of the ‘encouragement’ emphatically underscores that what the author has composed in this letter is indeed a homiletic word aimed at encouraging his audience (13:22). Noteworthy is that the author’s final and climactic greeting, ‘the grace with all of you!’ (13:25), contains no explicit verb. This facilitates its multiple functions as a speech act whose purpose begins to be accomplished in the very hearing of it. First, it affirms that ‘the grace has been with all of you,’ thus reminding the audience that they have already received the grace of God in the past, in accord with the fact that Jesus tasted death on behalf of all by the grace of God (2:9). Secondly, it asserts that ‘the grace is now with all of you’ thus indicating to the audience that the grace of God is now presently being given to them in and through hearing and heeding of the letter itself as the author’s word of encouragement (13:22). Finally, it prays that ‘the grace will be with all of you,’ thus assuring the audience that the grace of God will continue to be available to them in the future. This accords with the encouraging exhortation, ‘Let us approach then with boldness the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and may find grace for timely help’ (4:16).”

John Paul Heil, Worship in the Letter to the Hebrews (Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2011), 274.

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