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  • Joe Norton

Joy In Serving (5/5/2024)

Obey those who have the rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you” (Hebrews 13:17).


This verse is set in the middle of an extended piece of teaching to Jews who have been converted to Christ; the problem is that some of them have grown weary spiritually and are considering turning back to the law of Moses.


Rather than following their weakened inclinations, the writer says they are to listen to those in authority over them: that is, to the elders who are the designated leaders for their congregation. They are to “obey and be submissive” to them.


The writer also designates that the elders have the responsibility of watching out for the souls of the members because they are accountable for them to God.


One of the key words in this verse is “joy,” defined as “a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.” An elder is to carry out his work as an overseer, not with resentment but with a sense of happiness because he desires to serve and to assist others in fulfilling their responsibilities to God.  


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