Meditation on Hebrews 13:20-21 Taken from – “The Poor Man’s Commentary” by Robert Hawker
“(20) Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, (21) Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:20-21
As the Apostle had begged an interest in the prayers of the people; so here, in concluding his Epistle, he looks up in prayer for the Church, and pours forth his earnest supplications for the people. But I beg the Reader to observe some of the several weighty things by which he mentions his desires, for a blessing on the Church. He calls God the God of peace. This is a blessed title, and comes with peculiar energy, after the many precious proofs the Holy Ghost had given the Church, in this Epistle, of God’s being at peace with his redeemed, in the blood of the cross. And the bringing Christ again from the dead, as the Great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood, of the everlasting Covenant; is specially mentioned, I should humbly conceive, on purpose to shew, that Christ had made our peace by that blood; and God’s Covenant promises of peace, were all included in that high administration. Reader! pray mark this in the deepest memorandums of your life. Beg of God the Holy Ghost to mark it, with his deep impressions on your heart, for the testimony of it is sweet. Never would the Lord have taken to himself so precious, and blessed a name, as it concerns his Church; had not Christ fully made that peace, and paid down on the mercy-seat the full price of his Church’s redemption, in bags richer than gold, even in blood. Oh! the blessedness of it. God saith, in confirmation, I have found a ransom, Job_33:24; 1Pe_1:18-19; Gen_23:16.
I admire the preciousness, as well as the strength of the argument the Apostle useth, from this view of the God of peace raising Christ from the dead, in confirmation of the Covenant in his blood; . when he makes this the bottom, and foundation, for the Lord’s making the Church perfect. For, in fact, this is the same principle which now worketh in them, which then worked in Christ. And not only so, but from the same cause. It is covenant-work from covenant-engagements. Reader! do you understand this? If so, the Lord give you also to see, that it is a firm, and sure principle, a certain principle, a covenant principle, and never can fail. It is a part of the same first cause, which began in the free, unpurchased, unmerited, unlooked-for, unheard-of grace, till revealed, at regeneration, by the Holy Ghost. When God first chose the Church in Christ, and to be without blame before him in love, all the blessed things included in this choice, were folded up, as the seed to all future generations of that fruit, is in the first acorn. The same grace which chose, the same grace completes. So that, the resurrection of Christ gave a confirmation to all included in Christ. And in like manner, the same power which was exerted, by virtue of Christ’s resurrection, to raise the sinner, then dead in trespasses and sins, is engaged, and will assuredly go forth, in every subsequent act, to make perfect every good work, to do his will, working in his redeemed that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ.
I detain the Reader, just to observe the sweetness with which the Apostle closeth his prayer. To whom be glory forever and ever, Amen. Surely there was somewhat more than merely a form of words in the minds of the Apostles, when we find all of them uniformly, with one heart, and one voice, thus closed up their writings. You will say, they were inspired. To which I answer Yes! they were. And these things are no small proof of it. But while we see, that their hearts were so filled with divine love, their tongues, and pens, could not fail to give testimony to the same, when out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh; I would ask, how is it that the consciousness of their inspired frame of mind, doth not affect us more? We read those blessed words but as ordinary things. We are accustomed to find the holy Apostles beginning their Epistles with the gracious salutations, such as Grace, mercy, and peace be with you; and ending them with giving glory, and praise, and power, unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb: and we accept both but as words of course. Reader! Is it so with you? I acknowledge with shame, and sorrow, it is but too often so with me. Oh! for grace to both Writer and Reader, to be more alive to those precious things; and never more read those divine words, but with the most awakened affection.