Loyalty To Jesus

W. Terry Varner
April 27, 2014

The epistle to the Hebrews is a powerful and passionate plea for Jewish Christians not to desert Christianity for Judaism. They were being tempted to do so for a variety of reasons. Jewish friends argued that Judaism was superior to Christianity because the prophets who preached it, the angels associated with its origin to man, Moses who gave the Law, and Aaronic priesthood gave it its glory. Paul meets the challenge boldly showing that Christianity is superior to Judaism because Jesus (a stumbling block to them), was crucified as a criminal, BUT was the Risen Messiah, Son of God, and the Lord of glory.

Paul does not mince words. He is not ashamed of the name of Jesus for the name tells only a part of the story. In Hebrews 13:7-17, Paul makes one last eloquent plea for loyalty to Jesus because of who He is, what he has done for man, and what He will do for us. Loyalty to Jesus is very important in Christianity.

Jesus Suffered Without the Gate. The Old Testament fives the ritual for offering sacrifices of an animal (Lev. 4:12-21; 16:27; Ex. 29:14; 32:26f) and Paul repeats it. “For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate” (Heb. 13:11-12). The comparison of sacrifices between animals and Jesus shows that He is the better sacrifice of the two because His sacrifice results in eternal redemption. Paul was not ashamed of the blood of Christ. The spiritual life is in the blood and Jesus gave His blood for us on Golgotha. He is the Lamb of God slain outside the city walls.

Jesus Calls Us to Come to his Side. Paul writes, “Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach” (Heb. 13:13). Living the Christian life opened one to danger. The Jewish Christian was encouraged to stand with Christ outside the gate and pale of Judaism rather than renounce Christ return to Judaism. The Christian life is a battle. The war is on and is a noman’s-land. The Christian needs safety. Jesus calls for the Christian to follow Him. Nothing is more needed today than open and courageous companionship of Christ, as Redeemer and Lord. We need to heed the call of Christ and stand by His side. If we join the cause of Christ it will ennoble our life, enrich our heart, open horizons that are boundless in scope, and empowers us to do the highest things for God.

We Need Courage to Break Away from Slackers. The Jews clamored for a return of the Jewish Christian to the faith of their fathers. There is always a tremendous pull in one’s group. It requires courage to step out alone from the group with which one has run. BUT we are not saved wholesale. We are saved one-by-one as we volunteer in our Lord’s service. If none others do so, we must!

Loyalty is a great word. It is one of the noblest words in our language. The brave soldier will fight alone like Al York in WW I. Dependability is a fine trait of character. Without it, for the Christian, there is little left that is worthwhile. The question for Christians is: Can Christ count on you to be true to Him regardless what others may or may not do? When Jesus hung on the cross some of those who scoffed Him had earlier hailed Him when He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. He was loyal to His mission of dying for lost men.