Experienced sailors know the perils of drifting off course or running ashore on dangerous ground. The remedy is simple: pay attention to your surroundings. Only then can you avoid drifting into dangerous territory.
Our passage today offers similar advice for the Christian life. If we are not careful, we can find ourselves drifting away from God and His Word. The remedy is equally simple: “pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard” (v. 1). Given the author’s statement about Christ in chapter 1, we are now called to give our full attention to its truth.
The argument proceeds by reminding the readers of the attention they would have given to angels. Scripture tells us that angels played a central role in communicating God’s will (Gen. 18:1–8), protecting God’s people (Ps. 91:11), and even giving God’s Law (Acts 7:53). Every Jewish person knew that violating the Law that was mediated by angels would require a just punishment. How much more important, then, would it be to pay attention to the salvation brought by Christ, the Son who was shown in the opening chapter to be superior to angels?
Moreover, the work of the Son is not an imagined fable. It was “confirmed to us by those who heard him” (v. 3), that is, the disciples who lived with Christ and heard His teaching. Likewise, the identity of Christ’s Sonship was also accompanied with “signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will” (v. 4).
The author of Hebrews will have much more to say about Christ’s work, but before continuing, he pauses to give us this important call to re-focus our attention on what truly matters.
Would you pray today for the Copy Center on Moody’s Chicago campus? We are grateful for its many years of faithful service helping many departments with their printing needs.