About Jesus     Steve Sweetman

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The Meaning of Hebrews. 13:8 - Jesus, The Same Yesterday Today And Forever

In Heb. 13:8 we read that "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever". This is a well known text that preachers use to prove that Jesus never changes and therefore He still performs miracles today as He did while He was on earth. I agree that miracles and the gifts of the Spirit as seen in 1 Cor. 12 did not end with the death of the last apostle. Yet as I say this, is the primary point to Heb. 13:8 really about Jesus performing miracles today?

Look at the context of these words. Verse 7 says, "remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith".

The Hebrew people to whom this letter was written to were told to "consider the outcome" of their leaders "way of life". The outcome of their leaders lives was in direct relation to their faith. That’s why the readers were told to imitate their leaders faith. If they’d follow in the steps of their leaders faith, the outcome of their lives would be the same as their leaders. Why? Because Jesus doesn’t change from one generation to another. The same Jesus that worked in their leaders lives yesterday, can work in their lives today.

You might want to ask, "what is meant by the outcome of the leaders way of living"? Their lifestyle was productive in that it produced a good outcome. Some results of their lifestyle might be; many people coming to salvation, the gospel message being preached far and wide, and the Kingdom of God growing in miraculous fashion. I’m sure you can add to this list. Thus if these Hebrews followed in their leaders faith, they’d be just as productive as their leaders.

The same would apply to us today. We should consider the outcome of our forefathers way of living, because in the same way Jesus was with them, He’ll be with us, and we’ll be productive as well.

There is no direct mention of miracles in this text. Miracles for today could be implied by inference because they were part of their leaders lives, therefore can be a part of the readers lives. Thus the idea of miracles for today is a secondary point to the text. The primary point to this yesterday, today and forever verse is for the reader to consider the outcome of their leaders lives and imitate their faith. If they do this the result of their faith will be the same as their leaders in many respects, not just miracles.

The idea that Jesus still performs miracles today because He doesn’t change is a Biblical truth, but it’s not the prominent point to Heb. 13:8. If we consider the life of the apostle Paul and others like him, and imitate their faith, Jesus will be with us as He was with them. This is the point of Heb. 13:8 as seen in its context.

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