We Seek the City to Come (4)

Going forth unto JesusHebrews 13:13-14 encourages us, “Let us therefore go forth unto Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For we do not have here a remaining city, but we seek after the one to come.” In these verses “Him” is Jesus, who suffered outside the gate (v. 12) and the city is New Jerusalem.

In preparing the prior post, I was noticed that “seek” is an active verb. We are not waiting passively for New Jerusalem but rather seeking it actively. The same verb is used in Hebrews 11:14 for the people of faith seeking a better country. New Testament reference books offer some synonyms for “seek” and indicate other verses where the Greek verb is used, but they do not illuminate our seeking action.

While considering in what way we seek New Jerusalem, I was impressed to consider the context. In verse 13 we “go forth unto Him.” Our seeking of New Jerusalem is firstly our going forth unto Jesus by prayer, especially by praying with His word. For example, with verse 12 we can thank the Lord for suffering outside the gate, then thank Him that His suffering was for our sanctification. We can also ask Him to give us more daily appreciation of redemption. With verse 13 we can thank Him that the way is open for us to go to Him and also ask Him to draw us daily into this going forth. Even when we don’t understand everything in a verse, we can still use its words in our thanksgiving and asking (Philippians 4:6). Here and here are more about this.

In verse 15 the context for our seeking New Jerusalem is that through Jesus we “offer up a sacrifice of praise continually to God.” Regardless of our situation, God is always worthy of our praise. For example, we can praise Him for any and all of His attributes: God is eternal, loving, righteous, holy, merciful, wise, patient, and so much more. Praise Him!

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3 Comments

  1. praise the Lord! We praise You, Lord, for all that You are!

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  2. According to verse 2, “Jehovah doth build up Jerusalem; He gathereth together the outcasts of Israel.” One would judge from these words that in the original the finite verbs occurred. But such is not the case. With the noun, Jehovah, occur participles which make the picture very graphic. The inspired psalmist, as onlooker, observes Jehovah as He is building up Zion and speaks of it as “Jehovah building Zion.” We could express the same thought by saying, “Behold, I see Jehovah as He is building up Zion.” In other words, the psalmist states that he was carried forward in vision and saw Jehovah as He carried on His work of reconstruction, making Jerusalem the praise and the joy of the whole earth. It is to be the beauty spot of the globe. “For these thoughts, see Psalm 48:1,2; Isaiah 62:7.” At this future time the topography of Palestine will be changed. The mountain of Jehovah’s house, the Temple area, will be lifted up above the mountains and the hills and will be a lone mountain, the dimensions of which will be 25,000 reeds by 25,000 reeds. The size of this mountain, given in English measurements, is 50 by 50 miles. The city of Jerusalem will be built on the southern section of this mountain. It will indeed be the joy spot of the world. These and many other facts may be gleaned from Ezekiel, chapter 40-48.

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