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Hebrews 13:20-21 – A Concluding Benediction

Summary

The author of Hebrews asks that God would make the book's readers complete, so that they might do God's will.

Analysis

The final benediction in Hebrews brings together many themes of the book. God is identified with peace because God provides ways to atone for human sin, thereby restoring relationships with people. Jesus' death is the means by which God inaugurated the new or eternal covenant, which offers forgiveness of sins. The work of God and Christ point toward a future, when all things will be made complete in the heavenly Jerusalem, but also draw people into lives of obedience in the present. Examples of what is pleasing to God appear earlier in the chapter: mutual love, hospitality, concern for the afflicted, faithfulness in marriage, integrity in financial matters (13:1-6). This final benediction asks that the God who brings people into faith will continue to work in people's lives so that they may continue living in faith now and in hope of the life to come.

Hebrews 13:20-21

Benediction

20 Now may the God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21make you complete in everything good so that you may do his will, working among us* that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

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10 February 2011

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