The last chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews gives the letter a personal touch. The writer reveals his pastoral concerns for the believers and makes his desire known to be in their midst again.
The content of this chapter does not consist of some loosely connected exhortations. The writer encourages the readers to express their Christian love in the social context of their day: love for the brothers and sisters in the Lord, love toward the traveler in need of a roof over his head at night, and loving compassion and empathy for prisoners and people who are mistreated. From the love for the neighbor in the narrow and broad senses, the writer moves to the love in the home; that is, the bond of marriage, the husband’s relationship to his wife and vice versa. He includes the admonition not to love money, but to be content and trust God. The first section of this last chapter, then, delineates the requirements of the summary of the law, in reverse order: love your neighbor as yourself, and love the Lord your God.
In the second part of the chapter the author enumerates some ecclesiastical duties and concerns. He begins with an exhortation to remember those leaders whose service on earth has ended. Imitate their faith, he says, and look at the lives they lived. From the topic of church leaders the author goes to that of doctrine. Stay away from doctrines that deviate from the truth. Rather, consider the work of Jesus, who suffered and died in disgrace outside the city gate. Thankfulness for salvation comes to expression by confessing God’s name, doing good deeds, and sharing with others. Church leaders and church members ought to work together harmoniously so that the obedience of the members is a source of joy to the leaders.
The last section of the chapter includes a personal request for prayer, a beautifully worded benediction, an announcement of the writer’s intended visit accompanied by Timothy, greetings to leaders and people of the church, and greetings from Italian friends. The letter ends with the final greeting, “Grace be with you all.”