To the Hebrews 13:1-25

13  Let your brotherly love continue.+  Do not forget hospitality,*+ for through it some unknowingly entertained angels.+  Keep in mind those in prison,*+ as though you were imprisoned with them,+ and those being mistreated, since you yourselves also are in the body.*  Let marriage be honorable among all, and let the marriage bed be without defilement,+ for God will judge sexually immoral people* and adulterers.+  Let your way of life be free of the love of money,+ while you are content with the present things.+ For he has said: “I will never leave you, and I will never abandon you.”+  So that we may be of good courage and say: “Jehovah* is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”+  Remember those who are taking the lead among you,+ who have spoken the word of God to you, and as you contemplate how their conduct turns out, imitate their faith.+  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, and forever.  Do not be led astray by various and strange teachings, for it is better for the heart to be strengthened by undeserved kindness than by foods,* which do not benefit those occupied with them.+ 10  We have an altar from which those who offer sacred service at the tent have no authority to eat.+ 11  For the bodies of those animals whose blood is taken into the holy place as a sin offering by the high priest are burned up outside the camp.+ 12  Therefore, Jesus also suffered outside the city gate+ in order to sanctify the people with his own blood.+ 13  Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the reproach he bore,+ 14  for we do not have here a city that remains, but we are earnestly seeking the one to come.+ 15  Through him let us always offer to God a sacrifice of praise,+ that is, the fruit of our lips+ that make public declaration to his name.+ 16  Moreover, do not forget to do good and to share what you have with others,+ for God is well-pleased with such sacrifices.+ 17  Be obedient to those who are taking the lead among you+ and be submissive,+ for they are keeping watch over you* as those who will render an account,+ so that they may do this with joy and not with sighing, for this would be damaging to you. 18  Keep praying for us, for we trust we have an honest* conscience, as we wish to conduct ourselves honestly in all things.+ 19  But I especially urge you to pray so that I may be restored to you the sooner. 20  Now may the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great shepherd+ of the sheep, our Lord Jesus, with the blood of an everlasting covenant, 21  equip you with every good thing to do his will, working in us through Jesus Christ what is well-pleasing in his sight, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. 22  Now I urge you, brothers, to listen patiently to this word of encouragement, for I have written you a short letter. 23  I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been released. If he comes soon, I will be with him when I see you. 24  Give my greetings to all those who are taking the lead among you and to all the holy ones. Those in Italy+ send you their greetings. 25  The undeserved kindness be with all of you.


Or “kindness to strangers.”
Lit., “the bound ones; those in bonds.”
Or possibly, “as if you were suffering with them.”
See Glossary, “Sexual immorality.”
That is, rules about food.
Or “your souls.”
Lit., “good.”

Study Notes


Christian Sacrifices of Praise Far Superior to Animal Sacrifices
Christian Sacrifices of Praise Far Superior to Animal Sacrifices

Depicted here, a Christian preaches to two Jews as they stand at the base of the temple mount in Jerusalem. Hebrew Christians living in Jerusalem had to be courageous in order to preach to fellow Jews about salvation through Jesus Christ, the true Messiah. Many aspects of everyday life of the people around them were based on the Mosaic Law and various Jewish traditions. At the magnificent temple in Jerusalem (depicted in the background), the Levitical priests were offering up animal sacrifices according to the Mosaic Law. The Jews may have pointed to these visible things to prove that their way of worship was superior. However, about the year 61 C.E., Paul wrote a letter to the Hebrew Christians in which he showed that the Christian way of worship is far superior to that of Judaism. He pointed out that Christians have a superior temple, a spiritual one, and a superior High Priest, “Jesus the Son of God.” They also have a superior sacrifice, which needed to be given only once for all time. Paul explained all these heavenly realities. (Heb 4:14; 7:27, 28; 9:24, 25) That spiritual outlook no doubt motivated the Hebrew Christians and gave them the courage they needed to carry out their worship of Jehovah God. An important part of that worship is the offering of sacrifices of praise, which Paul describes as “the fruit of . . . lips that make public declaration to [God’s] name.” He adds: “God is well-pleased with such sacrifices.” (Heb 13:15, 16) In contrast, after 33 C.E., the animal sacrifices offered at the temple had no value for gaining God’s approval.