Lesson 2 of 5
In Progress

Outline of Hebrews

1. Introduction (Hebrews 1:1-2:9)

The author engages readers with a vivid depiction of Christ in glory, notes how different this is from the readers’ ordinary lives, then points to the story of Jesus, who moved through suffering into glory.

A. Introductory Description of the Exalted Christ (Hebrews 1:1-2:4)

The book begins with a vivid depiction of the Son of God enthroned in heaven, worshiped by the company of angels.

B. The Theme (Hebrews 2:5-9)

God promised people glory and honor, yet daily life often seems far from the kingdom of God. Readers must therefore find hope by looking to Jesus, who suffered on earth but was brought to glory in heaven.

2. Journey into God’s Sabbath (Hebrews 2:10-6:20)

As followers of Jesus the pioneer, readers are taken on a journey like that of Israel through the wilderness, looking ahead to rest in the presence of God, before being reminded of God’s faithfulness.

A. Jesus the Pioneer of Salvation (Hebrews 2:9-18)

Jesus suffered in order to make a way to glory for others, to whom he is a brother, savior, and merciful high priest.

B. The Faithfulness of Jesus and Moses (Hebrews 3:1-6)

Moses was faithful as a servant of God, and Jesus is faithful as God’s Son, offering encouragement to all who belong to God’s household.

C. The Promise of Rest (Hebrews 3:7-4:13)

People of Moses’ time were promised rest in the land of Canaan, but they did not trust the promise and perished in the wilderness. This gives readers incentive not to follow the example of the people of Moses and to trust that God will truly bring them to eternal rest.

D. Jesus as Compassionate High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-5:10)

A high priest like Aaron had to show compassion for weak human beings, offering sacrifices on their behalf, and Jesus the high priest shows extraordinary compassion by undergoing severe testing and sacrificing himself.

E. Exhortation to Persevere (Hebrews 5:11-6:20)

The author warns readers about the danger of giving up on the message they received, while encouraging them to persevere in the confidence that they will receive the salvation God has promised.

3. Journey into the Heavenly Sanctuary (Hebrews 7:1-10:39)

Christ is the high priest, whose death makes full atonement for sin and inaugurates the new covenant, making it possible for people to enter God’s heavenly sanctuary.

A. Jesus as High Priest after the Order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 7:1-28)

God promised that the one exalted to his right hand would serve as a high priest after the order of Melchizedek (Psalm 110:1, 4). Through his resurrection and ascension Jesus has fulfilled this promise, now interceding for others in heaven.

B. High Priest and Heavenly Sanctuary (Hebrews 8:1-6)

Earthly priests make sacrifices in an earthly sanctuary, but Jesus the high priest ministers in a heavenly sanctuary.

C. Mediator of the New Covenant (Hebrews 8:7-13)

Jeremiah promised that God would make a new covenant, and through the work of Jesus the high priest, God brings this promise to fulfillment.

D. Earthly and Heavenly Tabernacles (Hebrews 9:1-14)

Priests ministering in the tabernacle that was built under the first covenant offered sacrifices of atonement each year, but Christ has now entered into the heavenly tabernacle, having offered himself once for all as atoning sacrifice.

E. Eternal Inheritance (Hebrews 9:15-28)

The new covenant is like a last will and testament in that it provides inheritance as a gift. Like the covenant under Moses, this covenant is established with blood, though here it is Christ’s own blood.

F. Jesus’ Sacrifice Is Once for All (Hebrews 10:1-18)

Animal sacrifices were offered in an ongoing cycle, but Jesus offered himself once for all as the definitive sacrifice of atonement.

G. Exhortation to Draw Near to God (Hebrews 10:19-39)

Given what Christ has done, readers are called to draw near to God in faith, not shrinking back but persevering in hope.

4. Journey to the Heavenly Zion (Hebrews 11:1-12:27)

Tracing the story of faith, the author leads people through the history of Israel to a vision of God’s heavenly city, where the purposes of God are made complete.

A. The Faith of Israel’s Ancestors (Hebrews 11:1-22)

Faith is called into being by the word of God and brings assurance of life with God, as can be seen in the examples of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, and their descendants.

B. The Faith of Moses and Later Generations (Hebrews 11:23-40)

Moses, Rahab, the judges, prophets, and martyrs showed steadfast faith in the face of severe challenges, offering vivid examples of faith’s power.

C. Running the Race of Faith (Hebrews 12:1-17)

Readers are pictured as runners on a race track, called now to run their own race of faith with the kind of perseverance shown by earlier generations, confident that in Jesus they too have a future with God.

D. Mount Sinai and Mount Zion (Hebrews 12:18-27)

At Mount Sinai people trembled at the darkness and gloom, but the heavenly Mount Zion is where hope for the future lies, for there the company of the faithful will gather in the presence of God.

5. Conclusion (Hebrews 12:28-13:25)

Hebrews concludes with comments about ways in which service of God takes shape in daily life and with final greetings.

A. Acceptable Worship of God (Hebrews 12:28-13:19)

Since readers have the hope of a place in God’s unshakable kingdom, they can serve God with lives of service to others here and now.

B. Final Remarks (Hebrews 13:20-25)

Prayers for the well-being of the readers and final greetings bring the book to a close.