Did you know that there is a lettuce patch in the Bible? It’s true. There’s a lettuce patch in the tenth chapter of Hebrews. No kidding. “Let us draw near... Let us hold on... And let us consider one another” (Hebrews 10:22-24). “Let us... Let us... Let us...”
The Jewish Christians to whom the Epistle of Hebrews was addressed were discouraged, downcast, demoralized. They were ready to give up on Christianity and return to Judaism with its familiar traditions. They were growing weary of the wrathful response of the religious establishment and considering a return to the life of works and moral effort and a complicated religious system of commandments and restrictions.
The author of Hebrews makes an impressive argument based upon the superiority of Jesus. He says that Jesus is better than the prophets, better that the angels, better than the Levitical Priesthood. In short, God’s grace is better than the Law, and a relationship to a living and loving God is better than “do this” and “don’t do that.”
After making those arguments, the writer gets to the lettuce patch. “Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have boldness to enter the sanctuary through the blood of Jesus - he has inaugurated for us a new and living way through the curtain (that is, through his flesh) - and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water. Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, since he who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:19-25).
Because the Gospel of Jesus is far better than the Law, we must draw near. The author uses the same word as Matthew used in his Gospel. The man with leprosy drew near to Jesus and was healed (Matthew 8:2). The disciples came to Jesus in the storm. The Master stilled the wind and the waves and the disciples were saved (Matthew 8:25). And blind Bartimaeus and his buddy approached Jesus, and their sight was miraculously restored (Matthew 9:28). By faith, we are invited to draw near. “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens—Jesus the Son of God—let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin. Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need” (Hebrews 4:14-16).
Let us draw near, and “let us hold on” (Hebrews 10:23). Holding on is not something we do to keep ourselves saved, but it is evidence that we are saved. By faith, we persevere, we persist, we keep on keepin’ on.
Let us draw near, let us hold on, and “let us consider one another in order to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24). “Let us consider” other believers and, by our faithful example, encourage them to be true to Christ.
All Scripture quotations, except as otherwise noted, are from
Holman Bible Publishers’ Christian Standard Bible.