Hebrews – Chapter Thirteen XIV

by Ed Urzi

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

An old maxim tells us that change is the only constant in life. For example, it is often surprising to see how people change over time. If we happen to meet someone we’ve lost touch with, we may be surprised to find that he or she has grown to become someone who looks and acts differently from the person we once knew. Such examples serve to remind us of the impermanence of life.

There are those who seek to fulfill their longing for permanence in a person or thing. For instance, we might attempt to fulfill that desire through a relationship, a home, a tradition, or a philanthropic endeavor. While such things are often good in themselves, the problem is that relationships eventually end, homes and traditions grow obsolete, and philanthropies inevitably run out of money.

With these things in mind, let’s consider this reference to Jesus from Hebrews 13:8: “…[He is] the same yesterday, today, and forever.” As mentioned earlier, we use the word “immutable” to define this characteristic. This passage thus testifies to Jesus’ eternal, unchanging nature and serves as the foundation for the following insight…

“The great difference between God and us is that we are mutable and he is immutable. In other words, we change, but he does not. How do we change? We grow older, for one thing. We have changing emotions, and we must learn new skills to grow intellectually. But God does not change. He has no weaknesses or defects that demand improvement or lead to decay. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever…” (1)

In His divine nature, Jesus is unchanging; therefore, He is entirely dependable. We need never be concerned that Jesus will grow tired of us or change His mind about us. He is completely reliable, trustworthy, and will always be gracious, loving, and compassionate to those who accept Him. And since Jesus’ divine, unchanging nature resides with His human nature, He is completely familiar with the struggles and challenges associated with the human condition.

Thus, as we read earlier in Hebrews 4:14-16…

“We have a great high priest, who has gone into heaven, and he is Jesus the Son of God… Jesus understands every weakness of ours, because he was tempted in every way that we are. But he did not sin! So whenever we are in need, we should come bravely before the throne of our merciful God. There we will be treated with undeserved grace, and we will find help” (CEV).

(1) Sproul, R. C. (1992). Before the face of God: Book 1: A daily guide for living from the book of Romans (electronic ed.). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House; Ligonier Ministries. Page 25.