A Study of Hebrews 13:8
“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”
What a mercy, my hearers, that our Jesus, on whom we build our souls’ eternal all, is “the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever”!
Whatever we look at, save the God of our salvation, we see changing. Look at the world and the things of the world – its fashion is changed. The Psalmist David had his mind awed with a view of the world, as we find in the concluding part of Psalm 102; and Paul brings David’s language forward in Hebrews 1, showing that all things are fleeting, but the Lord is unchangeable.
“He weakened my strength in the way; he shortened my days. I said, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days; thy years are throughout all generations. Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure; yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed; but thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.”
Our Jesus was in the beginning the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and all that therein is; our Jesus is the same Almighty God today, and He will be the same tomorrow and for ever. O what a mercy that our Jesus, the God of our salvation, is so unalterable, so eternally immutable!
Again, on the negative side of the question: if we look at nations, and empires, and monarchs, they rise and fall; but there is no alteration in our Jesus. Hear His voice: “By me kings reign and princes decree justice;”
He upholds one and puts down another at His sovereign pleasure. God’s ministers are to exalt Him: “Say unto Zion, Thy God reigneth” as the God of nations, and will cause all things to work together for His honour and the good of His chosen family.
Further, if we look at families, what changes there are in them!
Where are our fathers?
Do they live for ever?
No; one generation goes, another comes. But not so with our Jesus: “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore.”
Look at churches; what changes take place in them! Ministers that have stood on Zion’s walls and blown the silver trumpet of the everlasting gospel are removed. They are the subject of mortality, like the high priest under the law; and the loss is frequently greatly felt. But our Jesus, the great Shepherd and Bishop of souls, will never die; He is “the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever;” and the church is as near and dear to Him as ever it was. But as we see the Lord’s servants removed from the sphere of usefulness into the immediate presence of the divine Master, we are to “pray… the Lord of the harvest that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.” The residue of the Spirit is with Him.
John Kershaw – May 26th, 1853