The church was reaching a critical phase. Persecution was escalating, and even those who were not being physically persecuted were losing jobs, family, and relationships because of their commitment to Jesus. The entire world around them could not and would not tolerate the claims that Jesus alone was God’s Son and the only way by which we can experience forgiveness. In the face of these pressures and pain, some in the church were beginning to wonder if it was all really worth it. After all, following Jesus shouldn’t be this hard. It shouldn’t cost this much to be His disciple.
These words could easily have been written about the church today, but these words describe the situation of the church to whom the book of Hebrews was written. If we are honest, we’ve all been there. We’ve all experienced pressures and pain from following Jesus. We’ve all experienced the cost of being His disciple. If we are really honest, we have probably even had moments when we’ve wondered if it was all really worth it. The book of Hebrews offers us the same encouragement to us that it offered to its original audience. Jesus is greater than the pressures and pain. Jesus is greater than whatever we may lose. Jesus is greater than our traditions and experience. Jesus is greater than our very lives. Jesus is greater than…well…everything.