Hebrewsby Robert M. Solomon
This closing benediction ″must rank among the most powerfully worded blessings found in Scripture″.57 It asks for God's blessings on His people so that they thrive in His grace and love. ″God of peace″ (Hebrews 13:20) refers to the mission of God to bring peace to our broken and alienated lives. Paul echoes the phrase (Romans 15:33; 16:20), reminding us that God's redemptive intervention in our lives brings us peace with God (Romans 5:1) and with one another (Ephesians 2:14-16). God achieves our salvation through His Son Jesus Christ, ″that great Shepherd of the sheep″ (Hebrews 13:20) who, as our great and unique High Priest, ″lays down his life for the sheep″ (John 10:11). The blood shed by Jesus is the ″blood of the eternal covenant″ (Hebrews 13:20; see 8:10). This is the better covenant that surpasses the earlier one (7:22), replacing the old religious rituals and law with the reality of Christ.
Though Jesus died, God raised Him from the dead (Hebrews 13:20, the first direct reference to the resurrection in this book; see 1:3; 7:11, 15-16), thus proving Christ and His claims to be true. The resurrected Jesus is alive and present in our lives as He reigns above, being seated at the Father's right hand. We can trust Him as He watches over us in His sovereign grace. God is presently at ″work in us″ (v. 21), something many Christians forget or neglect. As God works in us, He equips us ″with everything good″ (v. 21). And will God our heavenly Father ever refuse us such good gifts (Matthew 7:11)?
The purpose of this equipping (the word implies mending)58 is that we may please God by doing His will (Hebrews 13:21). God's will is that we should ″be conformed to the image of his Son″ (Romans 8:29) and that ″in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work″ (2 Corinthians 9:8; see Hebrews 13:15-16) that God in His grace has ″prepared in advance for us to do″ (Ephesians 2:10). We have all we need in Christ so that we can live life fully for God's glory and please Him in every way.
57Stedman, Hebrews, 157.
58Morris, ″Hebrews″, 155.
Reflect on what the God of peace has done for us. What does all this mean for you personally?
What roles do Jesus and the Spirit play in your blessings? What does doing God's will mean for you today?