Farewell Greetings

Greet all your leaders and all the saints. Those who come from Italy send you greetings. Grace be with all of you” (Heb. 13:24–25).

- Hebrews 13:22–25

We come today to the final four verses found in the book of Hebrews. Having reminded his readers of the superiority of Christ and the way they must live in light of so great a salvation, the author now brings his letter to a conclusion.

In 13:22, the author makes one final appeal to his audience to hear his words. He first asks them to “bear with” his word of “exhortation.” He knows that the admonitions and warnings that have been given throughout his letter may have been difficult for them to hear. Thus, at the end, he appeals to their goodwill to hear what he has said and to apply it to themselves. Importantly, he also greets them again as “brothers,” which serves as a reminder that though the apostles brought God’s Word to His people, they also sat with the rest of the covenant community under the authority of the Word. As “brothers” with us, the apostles also needed admonishment and direction.

In verse 22, the author also calls on his readers to bear with his teaching, because it has only been a brief letter. Given the depth of doctrine found in this epistle, it is hard for us to see Hebrews as only a brief letter. However, given that more could have been written about the themes he covered (see 9:5), this letter is brief indeed.

Another important point to note is that this letter is called a “word of exhortation” (13:22). Although the doctrinal section was vital in providing a foundation upon which to exhort, we must note that Hebrews was written not primarily to teach particular doctrines. Rather, the main point of it was to call us to cling to Christ. The doctrine was not given as an end in and of itself but in order to show us how worthy Jesus truly is of our heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Verses 23–24 contain greetings that would have been especially meaningful to the original audience. Of special note is the mention of Timothy. This is probably the same Timothy who accompanied Paul, and it explains why some have said that Paul wrote this letter.

To an audience that perhaps felt too harshly the castigations of its author, the book concludes on a note of hope. The author declares that grace be with them all (v. 25). From this letter, they would know that this grace is theirs if they have approached the throne of God (4:16) and if they worship the risen Christ.

Coram Deo

The prayer for grace to be with the people of God is no mere wish or vain hope. Rather, the predestinating work of the Father, the effectual work of the Son, and the sealing work of the Spirit all work together to provide the grace we need. Go before the Lord today, confessing your need for God’s sustaining grace.

Passages for Further Study

Num. 6:22–27
Ps. 134
2 Tim. 4:22
Philem. 25

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