This month, get Name above All Names for free.
Name Above All Names by Alistar Begg and Sinclair B. Ferguson covers seven of the many descriptions given to Jesus in the Bible. As the authors explain, “These pages are meant as a taster, a beginning exploration. Our joint prayer is that they will help some who are not yet Christians be an eye-opener to those who already are, serve as an encouragement for mature believers, and be a pleasure for all who love Christ.”
Begg and Ferguson describe the struggle the first readers of Hebrews (and many Christians) had to return to what’s comfortable rather than press on in pursuit of Jesus:
That was the situation of the first readers of Hebrews. No longer was their worship marked by the grandeur of the temple, the mass choir, the special moments. No longer did they catch sight of the high priest—the only man who, once a year, on the Day of Atonement, was allowed to enter the sacred room to seek God’s forgiveness for the people. No longer do they wait for him to reappear and raise his hands in the historic words of the Aaronic blessing, assuring them of the Lord’s benediction and his peace because “there is forgiveness with him.”
That visible sense that their sins had once again been covered and that the face of God was smiling upon them as his covenant people—it is all gone, never to return unless . . .
Unless they go back.
Some of them were tempted to go back.
Perhaps you are in a church that the whole congregation loves deeply, where the worship is God-centered, the preaching biblical, the fellowship caring, the vision for world missions strong, and the spiritual needs of the flock met. You have had dear friends whose company moved them to another location. They look for a new church home. But whenever you speak on the phone with them and ask how they are doing, they say, “Fine, except . . . oh, if only we could be back again in our old church; we just can’t find anything like it here!”
That was the situation for the first readers of Hebrews. In former days they could see and touch and even smell the worship services—the great company of people, the music, all of the glorious aspects of Old Testament worship that God had given. Now it was all gone.
Was it all gone—for nothing?
What was the answer? How could the author of Hebrews write anything to encourage them in this situation? His response is to say:
Don’t turn back. If you are tempted to it, then you have been looking in the wrong direction. You have been seeing things from the wrong perspective! You are not looking far enough! You’re not seeing clearly enough! Don’t you see what is really important? Get your eyes off buildings and liturgies and crowds and music. Fix your eyes on Jesus!