Hebrews – Chapter Thirteen XXVII

by Ed Urzi

“But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased” (Hebrews 13:16).

The need to do good and share with others is one of the first things a good parent seeks to teach a young child. Such lessons are important, for even small children can exhibit the characteristic qualities of greed, selfishness, or envy. Unfortunately, those attributes do not fade away in the lives of those who fail to learn such lessons. They simply become more sophisticated in disguising them as they grow older.

Thus, we have this reminder from Hebrews 13:16: “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have…” (ESV). This directive aligns with a similar passage from 3 John 1:11 where we are told, “He who does good is of God…” It also corresponds with another portion of Scripture in Galatians 6:10: “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

In addition, Hebrews 13:16 illustrates the realistic nature of the Scriptures when it comes to various aspects of human nature. For instance, this passage clearly acknowledges the fact that doing good and sharing may involve a sacrifice. Nevertheless, we can take comfort in knowing that such sacrifices are pleasing to God. We should also note that Jesus leads by example in this area, as illustrated by His teaching from the Beatitudes…

“But I tell you this: Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you. In this way you show that you are children of your Father in heaven. He makes his sun rise on people whether they are good or evil. He lets rain fall on them whether they are just or unjust” (Matthew 5:44-45 GW).

Finally, the Biblical book of 1 Peter identifies the practical effect of these qualities on a specific group of individuals: “For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people” (1 Peter 2:14 ESV). One source offers the following insight in commenting on a related concept from Galatians 6:10…

“Christians have a measure of responsibility to all people to do good, when the occasions arise. When Jesus fed the 5,000, both saved and unsaved participated. So the benevolence of Christians should not be restricted, except that believers are to have the priority. As in a home, family needs are met first, then those of the neighbors.

This passage then speaks clearly about Christian social responsibility, but it should be noted that it is addressed to individual believers. The church is not an agency for social work, though individual Christians are charged to minister in this way as they are able and have opportunity (cf. Rom_12:17-21)” (1)

(1) John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, Bible Knowledge Commentary [p.610]