Hebrewsby Robert M. Solomon
One of the greatest joys of an aging teacher is to meet former students who have now become important people, but who greet their teachers with love, gratitude, and reverence. Here the writer urges his readers to ″remember″ their former teachers and leaders (Hebrews 13:7). The word for ″remember″, mnēmoneuō, means to hold in memory, keep in mind, and cherish. The people to be remembered were former leaders who had taught and mentored others in the church. Many had by now departed (note the word ″spoke″ in v. 7, which denotes an action in the past), but they continued to inspire those who remembered them, what they taught (the Word of God), how they lived (″the outcome of their way of life″), and their faith (v. 7). Such faithful and exemplary teachers continued to influence their former students even if they were no longer around. The saying ″God buries his workmen, but he carries on his work″ is so apt here.53 The life and teachings of those who have taught and mentored us, whose godliness and love for God continue to stand out as a testimony of God's grace, must be remembered. Not only are we to remember our personal or corporate mentors, such as former pastors and teachers in the church, we must also learn to rediscover an illustrious line of great teachers throughout church history, such as the church fathers, the reformers, pastors, theologians, missionaries, and preachers. There is a great need to remember great Christian biography and the history of Christian doctrine and devotion. These people have left behind an outstanding heritage, and we would do well to emulate and be inspired by them. We are to ″imitate their faith″ (Hebrews 13:7; see 6:12; 11:2) so that we end up imitating Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1; 1 Peter 2:21; 1 John 2:6). We remember well when we realise that God's purpose is that we be conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29).
This brings our attention to the ultimate leader (the Head; Colossians 1:18) in the church-the Lord Jesus Christ. All faithful leaders and teachers follow the Lord Jesus Christ. It is not possible to be a godly leader without being a faithful follower of Christ. He is ″the same yesterday and today and for ever″ (Hebrews 13:8; see 1:12; Psalm 102:27). Hence all godly leaders who are faithful followers of Jesus would be faithful to His character, grace, and purposes, which are unchanging.
53Stedman, Hebrews, 153.
Make a list of those who have mentored and taught you. What do you remember of their life and teachings? Thank God for them. Who are you presently teaching and mentoring?
Remembering our mentors should lead us to remember Jesus. In what way are you imitating Jesus? How does the truth of the unchanging Jesus help you to remain faithful to Him?