When we get to chapter 13 it is an exhortation. That word exhortation means to incite, and it often implies the urging or admonishing of an orator or preacher. Well, some would say that we should use a better word such as to encourage but there is a difference between those two verbs. To exhort is to urge or to advise earnestly while encourage is to mentally support, to motivate, to give courage, hope or spirit.
The main object of the letter to the Hebrews is to put the excellence of Jesus in prominence. He is telling them that Jesus is superior to everything and everyone. The author focuses in on this precious, scriptural diamond that many have memorized over the years. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Does that mean that we have no choices? No! We always have choices and decisions that must be made in this life. However, Jesus as our foundation is our refuge and strength in a world that is changing rapidly. He is our anchor when we face many changes that can affect us deeply. Things in this life do not remain the same. Changes occur in our homes, in our jobs, in relationships, in nature, in our finances, in our health, in our culture, in our laws, in our government, etc. and changes can happen suddenly and traumatically. We need to remember that at those times when everything seems to go upside down we must rely on the unchanging GOD, who is our sure foundation. HE is as the Scriptures say, our Faithful Friend and HE will be there for us when things change and even when things are uncertain. He has promised to never leave us or forsake us. We may ask "why did this happen or that happen if HE has promised to never leave us?". When Jesus was on the cross everyone ,except for a few, forsook Him. He knew that would happen but He had the blessed assurance that His Heavenly Father would be with Him even in that time of loneliness. Remember even when everyone else has forsaken us we can trust the Lord to be with us.
The question we have to ask ourselves is what are the supreme marks of the Christian’s conduct? As you read through chapter 13 take a look at each of the verses. The author speaks of brotherly love, hospitality, helping the prisoners and the mistreated, purity in marriage, contentment, remembering your leaders and remembering your Source of life and our power - which is Jesus Christ. Since we are just looking at verse 8 it looks as if the author wants to give a greater emphasis to all that he has said so far. It appears to be a focus as a lasting remembrance for his entire life. The author reminds us that many leaders come and go and eventually they all die. However, the Source of our lives and power of this life will never leave and never passes away. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is forever present with us; and He never changes. For example, notice that His definition of sin is the same as it has been since Genesis 3 - it remains the same. We see the result of sin ever since Genesis 3 is that there would be sorrow and sadness and death and thousands of years later, we see that every day in this life.
The author is also showing us that Jesus Christ is superior to time. You see the strength and depth of His doctrine do not go out of style. We have people who base their careers on trends but Jesus Christ is not a trend or a fad. The important people of one age are forgotten by the next generation. Talk to some of the younger generation and when you mention someone you thought was a great person they look at you like who are they and what are you talking about????
Yes, Jesus Christ is consistent over the ages. If you had lived in Bible times, in the Middle ages or if you live in this modern era of the 21st century Jesus is the same. He is not a puppet master that forces you to be and do what He wants. Every generation finds interest in Him. He is the same today and points out to us ways not yet discovered. We sometimes forget that Jesus is always a friend and the longer we know Him time renders Him more intimate and admired.
Jesus Christ is the same with every generation. To Christ sin is sin and that is what the Bible speaks of when it speaks of the “sin nature”.
In contrast, this verse reminds us that man is not always the same. People do not treat everyone from the same point of view and with the same equality and love; but Jesus Christ does. We are moved by sympathy because we do not see the wickedness of some and then we exaggerate a small defect in another. It is different with Jesus; we all enjoy equal rights before Him.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday-in times past- Jesus Christ sacrificed everything for us, even to the point of dying for us. He even suffered and took our sins upon Him. All the heinous things that we see and classify as sins: murder, adultery, pornography, bestiality, sexual sins, drug addictions, alcoholism, you name the most despicable things that you can think of rape, molestation, sex trafficking terror, etc. He took it all upon Him. That is why the Father could not look at Him on the Cross.
Jesus Christ is the same forever, eternally. He lives eternally throughout all the ages of eternity. He lives eternally to meet our need forever and ever. He met all the needs yesterday, He meets all the needs today and He shall meet all the needs eternally. Yes, He met the needs of all believers who lived yesterday, in whatever culture they were in. He meets the needs of all believers today. He shall meet the needs of all believers forever, and ever and ever
What a blessed assurance we have. As Believers we often lose courage. We are often tempted to turn back from our Christian walk. But we have the reassuring and sure voice of the Master reminding us that Jesus Christ passed through similar pains and tiredness and discouragement. This verse should encourage us to continue our pilgrim walk with Jesus; walking hand in hand with the Master who walked this life .
Lord, help us to have courage and be strengthened by this verse today! It does not matter where you live, what is the color your skin, the generation which you are in. It does not even matter where or what part of the world you live in - Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever and He will take care of you. HE has ALWAYS been and ALWAYS will be!