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Hebrews 13:20-25 meaning

The Pauline Author ends his letter with a prayer on their behalf and an encouragement to pay attention to the words he wrote to them. 

After requesting that these believers pray for him, the Pauline Author ends his letter with a prayer offered for his readers: Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen (vv 20-21). 

He begins with a reminder of who God is: the God of peace who raised Jesus from the dead. Jesus is the Shepherd of all those who believe in Him and His blood that was shed provided the foundation for the new eternal Covenant.

This New Covenant is what allows us to receive justification (from hell to heaven) when we first trust Christ, and it is what allows us to remain faithful and obedient if we rely on Jesus as our greater high priest. Our reliance on Jesus is what equips us to do good works according to His will. Hebrews 10 explained that we have a high priest in the house of God who allows us to draw near, which gives us cleansed consciences in order to do good deeds (Hebrews 10:21-24). God is not leading us to rules or regulations, He is interested in us drawing near to Him so that He can equip us for love and good deeds.

The Pauline Author asks his readers to hear and put into practice the words he has written to them: But I urge you, brethren, bear with this word of exhortation, for I have written to you briefly (v 22). Back in chapter 5, the Pauline Author reprimanded his readers for still needing milk instead of moving on to more important spiritual things. He implores his readers again to heed his words.

The Pauline Author lets his readers know that Timothy has been released from prison, presumably for sharing the Gospel: Take notice that our brother Timothy has been released, with whom, if he comes soon, I will see you (v 23). Timothy's imprisonment was not recorded elsewhere in the Bible, but Paul did encourage him not to be ashamed or afraid of suffering for the Gospel (2 Timothy 1:8). The fact that Timothy is mentioned here is one reason we have presented Hebrews as written by Paul, although that is not certain.

The Pauline Author asks that they greet their leaders and all of the other believers on his behalf. The Pauline Author sends greetings on behalf of believers in Italy, which implies he wrote the letter from Italy, although it could also mean those believers who had once lived in Italy but had left due to persecution: Greet all of your leaders and all the saints. Those from Italy greet you (v 24).

The Pauline Author ends saying grace be with you all (v 25). The whole of the epistle to the Hebrews reminded his readers of the grace available to them through Christ who is our greater high priest interceding on our behalf, who gives mercy and grace to those in need. If we take advantage of Christ's work, we will be able to faithfully endure, finish ("teleo") well, and ultimately inherit the promises of God, as mature Sons and co-heirs with Christ (Hebrews 2:9-10, Romans 8:17).

Jesus was willing to walk in faithful obedience, thus the honor of being called "Son" was awarded to Him. 

At its core, the book of Hebrews is about salvation through sonship. The sonship the Pauline Author has written about is something that comes through faithful service. Every believer in Jesus is born again as a child and will spend eternity with God. But not every child of God goes on to maturity and becomes a son. 

Even Jesus, the author of our salvation, reached an end goal ("teleo") through sufferings. He completed His work and was rewarded for it. He did not inherit the earth before He died for our sins, but afterward, when God resurrected Him and raised Him into heaven to sit at His right hand (Revelation 3:21). 

We have the opportunity to share in that reward by being delivered currently from sin, choosing to suffer the world's rejection instead. The salvation (the deliverance, the rescue) spoken of throughout this book is the experience of being fully and completely delivered from the Fall of Man, and to ultimately be restored to our original appointment to steward the earth (Hebrews 2:5-8). 

This is the salvation we do not want to "neglect"(Hebrews 2:3). We receive restoration to the "glory and honor" of ruling with Christ in the earth in His kingdom if we also participate in the "suffering of death" with Him, by setting aside ourself and walking in obedience to the Spirit (Hebrews 2:9). 

The believer who does not ignore this salvation (to be fully restored to our original design) will be given the title of "son" by God. The message of this book is to be a faithful believer who matures, who grows into someone God calls a son.

This is the path to absolute fulfillment, and this letter of Hebrews offers an exhortation to take our walk with God seriously and not miss the opportunity to mature into "sons" (Hebrews 2:10).

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