These are, of course, just friendly greetings. But even a greeting has its purpose.
The author of Hebrews was a Christian leader and a Bible teacher. He has mentioned his desire to travel to the church that his readers belonged to (Hebrews 13:23). Probably, he would want to teach there.
But that church already had leaders (Hebrews 13:17). By his greeting, the author showed clearly that he respected those leaders and their authority. He would not oppose them or cause trouble for them. The author was not trying to make himself important – he was serving God.
So the author asked his readers to greet their church leaders on his behalf. He also asked them to greet the ‘saints’. That word just means ‘the holy people’, or, in other words, God’s own people. That is a description of all Christians (1 Peter 2:9-10). The author was asking his readers to give his greetings to all the other Christians whom they knew.
Then, some Christians from Italy had asked the author to send their greetings to his readers. Christians in one country wanted to greet Christians in another country. We do not know whether they already knew each other or not. But clearly, they could not know each other well. However, they still wanted to be friendly.
And that is how it should be. Wherever they may live, all Christians have God as their Father. So all Christians are brothers and sisters in God’s family, even if they have never met (Hebrews 2:11-12). It is God’s command that they should love each other (1 John 3:23).
Next part: A blessing (Hebrews 13:25)
Please use the links at the top of the page to find our other articles in this series. You can download all our articles if you go to the download page for our free 450 page course book.
© 2014, Keith Simons.