“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
Jerusalem falls; Jeremiah’s dire predictions all come true, in gruesome detail. Nearly everyone is carted off to Babylon.
The king of Babylon makes provision for Jeremiah to be taken care of. The Ethiopian who rescued Jeremiah from the cistern is reassured with lovely, quotable lines God gives Jeremiah to speak to him (39:16-18).
Given the choice to come to Babylon or remain, Jeremiah opts to stay, and is given an allowance. Expat Judeans, hearing that a remnant has been left in the land, return themselves; they “gathered wine and summer fruits in great abundance” (40:12). The newly appointed governor sees through a bit of treachery.
As it winds down, Hebrews moves to practical aspects of day-to-day living: mutual love; hospitality; remembering those in prison; faithful marriage; avoiding greed; contentment (v. 1-6); respect for leaders; prudence about “strange teachings” and “regulations” (v. 9); doing good and sharing what you have (v. 16).
A wonderful image about Jesus (v. 12) leads to the invitation to “go out to him outside the camp and bear the abuse he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we are looking for the city that is to come” (v. 13-14).
Requests for prayer, a benediction we hear in our services, and greetings conclude this powerful letter.