We often spend so much time engaged in our present-day trials that we fail to understand and learn from the experiences of Christians of the past.
The socio-cultural milieu before the writing of Hebrews created difficulties for the Jewish converts to the Gospel, who were deemed to be traitors.
As we approach the time of Christ's return, persecution will become increasingly intense, coming from places we least expect it. We must learn endurance.
When Hebrews was written, the newly converted Jew to the Way encountered persecution from the established religion and culture similar to what we experience.
John Ritenbaugh suggests that Matthew, a former publican, wrote an orderly account of the Gospel easily outlined and analyzed. This account included Christ's genealogy, the circumstances of His birth, John the Baptist's introduction of Christ, Christ's presentation to the local congregation, the sermon on the mount (a collection …
If we hold fast to principles, though it may seem initially uncomfortable and fearful, we will eventually receive respect and even admiration.
Like a marathoner or a soldier fighting a battle, we are admonished to endure to the end, standing firm, holding our ground, and resisting assaults.
Matthew 11 focuses upon the ruminations of John the Baptist, who, even though he was close to Christ, may have misunderstood the nature of Christ's mission.
Any syncretism with the world will lead to confusion. We must separate from the world in terms of its religious practices and its false gospels.
Our pilgrimage to the Kingdom will not be easy; we will suffer fatigue from difficult battles with serious consequences. We fight the world, Satan, and our flesh.