A FINAL APPEAL

A FINAL APPEAL By Benjamin Wilson for Servants of Grace

HEBREWS 13:22-23

I appeal to you, brothers, bear with my word of exhortation, for I have written to you briefly. You should know that our brother Timothy has been released, with whom I shall see you if he comes soon.

After the beautiful benediction (Heb. 13:20-21) the letter now ends. As it does, we see the pastoral heart of the author. And we find out that this is not a normal letter as we would think of it. It is a word of exhortation; it is a sermon.

I APPEAL TO YOU

The ESV translates this opening phrase as I appeal to you, but other translations translate it as I urge you (See the NASB and CSB). He is making an urgent call to them. But why is he so urgent?

He wants them to bear with his word of exhortation. He wants them to receive it. The same word Greek word that is translated bear with is used in 2 Timothy 4:3“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching.” The word endure in 2 Timothy is the same as bear with here in Hebrews.

Here the author is exhorting his readers to do the opposite. He urges them to endure what he has written to them. This truth does not deserve a one-time reading only. They need to stick with it. They need to endure in it,

What he has written is not to be moved on from quickly. They need to think about what he has written and not look for something new.

WORD OF EXHORTATION

I’ve been calling Hebrews a letter, but it is more than that, it is a word of exhortation. This phrase “designates what we call a sermon: a spoken exposition and application of Scripture.” (Dennis Johnson, ESV Expository Commentary)

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