As my wife can attest, I’m not the most observant person in the world. Case in point…While we were dating, we attended a small country church, that probably averaged around 20-25 each week. One Sunday morning I got up in the middle of the service to use the restroom during the singing. When I returned I walked down the aisle, found my wife-to-be, stood next to her, and resumed singing. There was just one problem–I wasn’t standing next to my wife! In fact, I had walked past my wife into the pew in front, and stood next to another young lady of similar size and almost identical hair (and, ironically, had the same first name). It just so happened that this young lady grew up in this church, so her entire family had a good laugh at my expense. Actually, there were probably only a few there that day who didn’t witness my blunder!
The Author of Hebrews warns us of the importance of paying attention, though the stakes are much higher than suffering a little embarrassment.
In Hebrews 2:1, he writes:
“1 We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. 2 For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, 3 how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. 4 God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.”
These verses serve as an exhorting conclusion for everything he had written in chapter one, where he wrote about how God is now speaking to us through His Son. In the past God spoke to us through the prophets, but now it is through the Son of God himself (1:1)! Just as this mediator between God and man is superior to all other mediators (prophets, angels, priests), his message and his ministry is superior to theirs as well!
Therefore, we must pay more careful attention! As Hebrews 3:12-14 says:
12 See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.