1 In the past God spoke to our ancestors at many different times and in many different ways through the prophets. 2 In these last days he has spoken to us through his Son. God made his Son responsible for everything. His Son is the one through whom God made the universe. 3 His Son is the reflection of God's glory and the exact likeness of God's being. He holds everything together through his powerful words. After he had cleansed people from their sins, he received the highest position, the one next to the Father in heaven. 4 The Son has become greater than the angels since he has been given a name that is superior to theirs. 5 God never said to any of his angels, "You are my Son. Today I have become your Father." And God never said to any of his angels, "I will be his Father, and he will be my Son." 6 When God was about to send his firstborn Son into the world, he said, "All of God's angels must worship him." 7 God said about the angels, "He makes his messengers winds. He makes his servants flames of fire." 8 But God said about his Son, "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. The scepter in your kingdom is a scepter for justice. 9 You have loved what is right and hated what is wrong. That is why God, your God, anointed you, rather than your companions, with the oil of joy." 10 God also said, "Lord, in the beginning you laid the foundation of the earth. With your own hands you made the heavens. 11 They will come to an end, but you will live forever. They will all wear out like clothes. 12 They will be taken off like a coat. You will change them like clothes. But you remain the same, and your life will never end. 13 But God never said to any of the angels, "Sit in the highest position in heaven until I make your enemies your footstool." 14 What are all the angels? They are spirits sent to serve those who are going to receive salvation.
1 For this reason we must pay closer attention to what we have heard. Then we won't drift away [from the truth]. 2 After all, the message that the angels brought was reliable, and every violation and act of disobedience was properly punished. 3 So how will we escape punishment if we reject the important message, the message that God saved us? First, the Lord told this saving message. Then those who heard him confirmed that message. 4 God verified what they said through miraculous signs, amazing things, other powerful acts, and with other gifts from the Holy Spirit as he wanted. 5 He didn't put the world that will come (about which we are talking) under the angels' control. 6 Instead, someone has declared this somewhere in Scripture: "What is a mortal that you should remember him, or the Son of Man that you take care of him? 7 You made him a little lower than the angels. You crowned him with glory and honor. 8 You put everything under his control." When God put everything under his Son's control, nothing was left out. However, at the present time we still don't see everything under his Son's control. 9 Jesus was made a little lower than the angels, but we see him crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death. Through God's kindness he died on behalf of everyone. 10 God is the one for whom and through whom everything exists. Therefore, while God was bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was the right time to bring Jesus, the source of their salvation, to the end of his work through suffering. 11 Jesus, who makes people holy, and all those who are made holy have the same Father. That is why Jesus isn't ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. 12 He says, "I will tell my people about your name. I will praise you within the congregation." 13 In addition, Jesus says, "I will trust him." And Jesus says, "I am here with the sons and daughters God has given me." 14 Since all of these sons and daughters have flesh and blood, Jesus took on flesh and blood to be like them. He did this so that by dying he would destroy the one who had power over death (that is, the devil). 15 In this way he would free those who were slaves all their lives because they were afraid of dying. 16 So Jesus helps Abraham's descendants rather than helping angels. 17 Therefore, he had to become like his brothers and sisters so that he could be merciful. He became like them so that he could serve as a faithful chief priest in God's presence and make peace with God for their sins. 18 Because Jesus experienced temptation when he suffered, he is able to help others when they are tempted.
1 Brothers and sisters, you are holy partners in a heavenly calling. So look carefully at Jesus, the apostle and chief priest about whom we make our declaration of faith. 2 Jesus is faithful to God, who appointed him, in the same way that Moses was faithful when he served in God's house. 3 Jesus deserves more praise than Moses in the same way that the builder of a house is praised more than the house. 4 After all, every house has a builder, but the builder of everything is God. 5 Moses was a faithful servant in God's household. He told [the people] what God would say in the future. 6 But Christ is a faithful son in charge of God's household. We are his household if we continue to have courage and to be proud of the confidence we have. 7 As the Holy Spirit says, "If you hear God speak today, don't be stubborn. 8 Don't be stubborn like those who rebelled and tested me in the desert. 9 That is where your ancestors tested me, 10 although they had seen what I had done for 40 years. That is why I was angry with those people. So I said, 'Their hearts continue to stray, and they have not learned my ways.' 11 So I angrily took a solemn oath that they would never enter my place of rest." 12 Be careful, brothers and sisters, that none of you ever develop a wicked, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 Encourage each other every day while you have the opportunity. If you do this, none of you will be deceived by sin and become stubborn. 14 After all, we will remain Christ's partners only if we continue to hold on to our original confidence until the end. 15 Scripture says, "If you hear God speak today, don't be stubborn. Don't be stubborn like those who rebelled." 16 Who heard God and rebelled? All those whom Moses led out of Egypt rebelled. 17 With whom was God angry for 40 years? He was angry with those who sinned and died in the desert. 18 Who did God swear would never enter his place of rest? He was talking about those who didn't obey him. 19 So we see that they couldn't enter his place of rest because they didn't believe.
1 God's promise that we may enter his place of rest still stands. We are afraid that some of you think you won't enter his place of rest. 2 We have heard the same Good News that your ancestors heard. But the message didn't help those who heard it in the past because they didn't believe. 3 We who believe are entering that place of rest. As God said, "So I angrily took a solemn oath that they would never enter my place of rest." God said this even though he had finished his work when he created the world. 4 Somewhere in Scripture God has said this about the seventh day: "On the seventh day God rested from all his work." 5 God also said in the same passage, "They will never enter my place of rest." 6 However, some people enter that place of rest. Those who heard the Good News in the past did not enter God's place of rest because they did not obey God. 7 So God set another day. That day is today. Many years after [your ancestors failed to enter that place of rest] God spoke about it through David in the passage already quoted: "If you hear God speak today, don't be stubborn." 8 If Joshua had given the people rest, God would not have spoken about another day. 9 Therefore, a time of rest and worship exists for God's people. 10 Those who entered his place of rest also rested from their work as God did from his. 11 So we must make every effort to enter that place of rest. Then no one will be lost by following the example of those who refused to obey. 12 God's word is living and active. It is sharper than any two-edged sword and cuts as deep as the place where soul and spirit meet, the place where joints and marrow meet. God's word judges a person's thoughts and intentions. 13 No creature can hide from God. Everything is uncovered and exposed for him to see. We must answer to him. 14 We need to hold on to our declaration of faith: We have a superior chief priest who has gone through the heavens. That person is Jesus, the Son of God. 15 We have a chief priest who is able to sympathize with our weaknesses. He was tempted in every way that we are, but he didn't sin. 16 So we can go confidently to the throne of God's kindness to receive mercy and find kindness, which will help us at the right time.
1 Every chief priest is chosen from humans to represent them in front of God, that is, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sin. 2 The chief priest can be gentle with people who are ignorant and easily deceived, because he also has weaknesses. 3 Because he has weaknesses, he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins in the same way that he does for the sins of his people. 4 No one takes this honor for himself. Instead, God calls him as he called Aaron. 5 So Christ did not take the glory of being a chief priest for himself. Instead, the glory was given to him by God, who said, "You are my Son. Today I have become your Father." 6 In another place in Scripture, God said, "You are a priest forever, in the way Melchizedek was a priest." 7 During his life on earth, Jesus prayed to God, who could save him from death. He prayed and pleaded with loud crying and tears, and he was heard because of his devotion to God. 8 Although Jesus was the Son [of God], he learned to be obedient through his sufferings. 9 After he had finished his work, he became the source of eternal salvation for everyone who obeys him. 10 God appointed him chief priest in the way Melchizedek was a priest. 11 We have a lot to explain about this. But since you have become too lazy to pay attention, explaining it to you is hard. 12 By now you should be teachers. Instead, you still need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word. You need milk, not solid food. 13 All those who live on milk lack the experience to talk about what is right. They are still babies. 14 However, solid food is for mature people, whose minds are trained by practice to know the difference between good and evil.
1 With this in mind, we should stop going over the elementary truths about Christ and move on to topics for more mature people. We shouldn't repeat the basics about turning away from the useless things we did and the basics about faith in God. 2 We shouldn't repeat the basic teachings about such things as baptisms, setting people apart for holy tasks, dead people coming back to life, and eternal judgment. 3 If God permits, we will do this. 4 Some people once had God's light. They experienced the heavenly gift and shared in the Holy Spirit. 5 They experienced the goodness of God's word and the powers of the world to come. 6 Yet, they have deserted [Christ]. They are crucifying the Son of God again and publicly disgracing him. Therefore, they cannot be led a second time to God. 7 God blesses the earth. So rain often falls on it, and it produces useful crops for farmers. 8 However, if the earth produces thorns and thistles, it is worthless and in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned. 9 Dear friends, even though we say these things, we are still convinced that better things are in store for you and that they will save you. 10 God is fair. He won't forget what you've done or the love you've shown for him. You helped his holy people, and you continue to help them. 11 We want each of you to prove that you're working hard so that you will remain confident until the end. 12 Then, instead of being lazy, you will imitate those who are receiving the promises through faith and patience. 13 God made a promise to Abraham. Since he had no one greater on whom to base his oath, he based it on himself. 14 He said, "I will certainly bless you and give you many descendants." 15 So Abraham received what God promised because he waited patiently for it. 16 When people take oaths, they base their oaths on someone greater than themselves. Their oaths guarantee what they say and end all arguments. 17 God wouldn't change his plan. He wanted to make this perfectly clear to those who would receive his promise, so he took an oath. 18 God did this so that we would be encouraged. God cannot lie when he takes an oath or makes a promise. These two things can never be changed. Those of us who have taken refuge in him hold on to the confidence we have been given. 19 We have this confidence as a sure and strong anchor for our lives. This confidence goes into the [holy] place behind the curtain 20 where Jesus went before us on our behalf. He has become the chief priest forever in the way Melchizedek was a priest.