Stand Out From the Crowd

September 1, 2020

Hebrews 13

“So let us go out to him, outside the camp, and bear the disgrace he bore.” Hebrews 13:13 (NLT)

Big Idea: With the Son of God, we are at home with God and exiled from the world.

In the final chapter of the book of Hebrews, the supremacy of Jesus is applied to ordinary life. If we have a better Word from God, better promises, and a better Priest, we ought to live in a better way. Some of the ways this works out are mundane, such as showing hospitality to foreigners or following the pastors of your church. Others are extreme, such as grieving with fellow Christians unjustly imprisoned. But they all point out that as Christians, we live in this world but are not of this world. We are pilgrims, only living here for a little while, but our true citizenship is not of Texas (in my happy case), the United States, or even the Earth. The cities of this world are passing away, but our eyes must be fixed on the New Jerusalem coming down from Heaven.

 Our faith is inescapably the faith of exiles, living where we do not belong. Even Jesus was crucified just outside the gates of Jerusalem, like the sacrifices of old were taken outside of the camp. These sacrifices were removed from the community because they were defiled by the sins of the people. As Christians, we must be ready to follow Him outside the camp. Sometimes it is because the message of the gospel is offensive or unpopular with the unsaved and sometimes it is because the fullness of the message is unpalatable to the religious. But we must go to Him. We must go where the Son of God is, even if it is a place of stigma and shame. We must go where the Son of God is, even if following Him means that we stand out from the crowd. We must go where the Son of God is, because He gives us a real home that we can never lose. The God of peace will give us peace, even when we are rejected.

Discussion Idea: Why is the idea of being rejected so painful for us? When does following Jesus make us lower in the eyes of other people?

Prayer Focus: Think of an area in your life where you are tempted to worry about what people think instead of what God thinks. Pray for the wisdom to follow Jesus wherever He leads.