Hebrews – Chapter Thirteen XXXV

by Ed Urzi

“May the God of peace provide you with every good thing you need in order to do his will, and may he, through Jesus Christ, do in us what pleases him. And to Christ be the glory forever and ever! Amen” (Hebrews 13:21 GNB).

There is something about the restoration process that seems to hold a great deal of appeal for many. For instance, there are video and television shows, “how to” guides, and dedicated organizations that focus upon the restoration of homes, automobiles, electronics, furniture, appliances, farming equipment, timepieces, and practically anything else imaginable. If someone built it in the past, the odds are good that someone is probably interested in collecting and restoring it today.

As mentioned earlier, there is an inherent appeal in taking an object that has ceased to function and returning it to a state where it can serve its intended purpose once more. There is also a great deal of satisfaction for the restorer when he or she takes something that is seemingly beyond all hope of recovery and refurbishes it to a point where it is just as good, or better, than new.

That brings us to a question related to our text from Hebrews 13:21. If human beings take pleasure in recovering and restoring such things, is it implausible to consider the possibility that God takes similar pleasure in recovering and restoring human beings who are created in His image? Perhaps this is what Hebrews 13:21 is referencing when it speaks of the One who can “Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight” (KJV).

But perhaps even more significant from a human perspective is the opportunity for God’s people to participate in this restoration process. The following paraphrase of 2 Corinthians 5:18-21 discusses that privilege…

“All these new things are from God who brought us back to himself through what Christ Jesus did. God has given us the privilege of urging everyone to come into his favor and be reconciled to him. For God was in Christ, restoring the world to himself, no longer counting men’s sins against them but blotting them out. This is the wonderful message he has given us to tell others. We are Christ’s ambassadors…” (TLB).

Thus we can say along with the following commentary, “The prayer, then, is that the people addressed may be spiritually equipped for every form of good work, and thus fulfill God’s will as He operates in them ‘both to will and to work, for his good pleasure’, as Paul would put it (Phil. 2: 13).” (1)

(1) The New International Commentary On The New Testament – The Epistle To The Hebrews, F. F. Bruce, General Editor © Copyright 1964, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. Grand Rapids, Michigan [pg. 412]