Series: God's Word for You #26
on March 1, 2021
Genres: Non-Fiction, Christian Life, Theology
Applied expository guide to Hebrews—a book that shows us how and why Jesus is better than anything else.
We are all tempted to drift away from Jesus, but in the book of Hebrews God gives us an anchor: a detailed understanding of how and why Jesus is better than anything else.
Seminary professor Michael J. Kruger unpacks this rich book verse by verse. He explains the Old Testament background, gives plenty of application for our lives today, and shows us how Jesus is the fulfilment of all God's work on earth. He encourages us to live by faith in Jesus: the only anchor for our souls.
This expository guide can be read as a book; used as a devotional; and utilised in teaching and preaching.
Hebrews for You is a Bible study supplement that’s clear and well-written, with a deep attention to historical context. Michael J. Kruger breaks down this complicated book of the Bible into smaller groups of verses, and shares insight about each piece of the larger whole. Kruger clearly engages with the Bible book’s original audience of Jews who had converted to Christianity but were considering going back to their old practices. In response to their uncertainty, the author of Hebrews provides a profound explanation of Christ’s sacrifice and why he is absolutely enough, and Kruger argues that Christians today can only fully understand and appreciate Hebrews if they understand biblical history regarding sacrifices and priests. He provides a strong foundational basis for people who may not be familiar with these elements of the Old Testament, or who need to refresh their memories.
Kruger provides clear explanations of complex historical and spiritual concepts, and helps readers understand Hebrews in a deeper way. He includes practical illustrations and application ideas throughout, and balances a theological focus with an understanding of how Hebrews should change our lives, especially as we grow in understanding how Jesus has done everything required for us to be united with God, is mediating for us right now, and guarantees that we will never be condemned. Kruger emphasizes how Christians should move away from shame and self-righteousness, but also addresses the issues of apostasy that come into Hebrews, exploring ideas related to falling away from the faith.
I think that this part of Hebrews for You could have been more sensitive, since many people leave the church not because they are rejecting Jesus, but because of ways that people have misrepresented Jesus to them. What Kruger wrote is scriptural and fair, but I wish that he had differentiated between people who reject Christ and those who go through crises of faith because of church-related trauma. We should avoid apostasy, and should remain consistent in the faith, but we should also be sensitive to the reasons why some people lose faith, knowing that it’s sometimes not about their rebellion, but other people’s sin against them, which gives them a skewed and distorted image of Christ.
However, even though I think that this element of the book could have been more sensitive and complete, this is a great guide to Hebrews which addresses lots of different theological issues, practical applications, and gospel encouragements. Each section ends with discussion or reflection questions, and this could be helpful for personal reading, family devotions with older kids, a Bible study group, or a reference for sermon preparation. It is very well-written and carefully organized, and can help give readers a deeper understanding of this complex, theology-heavy book of the Bible.