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May 01, 2023

Ep.1279: How Do We Positively Provoke Others Without Offending Them?

Powerful communication lessons from the book of Hebrews

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How did the Apostle Paul add credibility to his account of Jesus?

How does Paul provoke the Hebrew brethren to move beyond the Law and towards Christ?

How did Paul use the lessons of Christian love and faithfulness to the calling to positively provoke his audience?

Theme Scripture: Hebrews 10:24

We all know someone who has been in some kind of altercation that didn’t end well. When we go back and look at the events, we always want to know who started it. What we are looking for is who initially provoked the other party to cause the chain of events that led to someone on some level being hurt. The point is, provoking one another is not usually looked at as a good thing as we think of things like sibling rivalries or having someone “push your buttons.” However, with an appropriate approach, provoking others can be a powerful tool, as it can stimulate them to positive action and conflict resolution. So, how do we do that? How do we provoke others towards everything good and avoid provoking them towards anything bad?

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The book of Hebrews

The book of Hebrews is a very deep treatise that emphatically teaches the value of Jesus as the singular centerpiece of God’s plan. It was written (we believe by the Apostle Paul) to help the Jewish Christians of his time put their long-held belief in and reliance on the Mosaic Law to rest. This was no simple task, as keeping the Law was the only way many generations of God’s chosen people could remain in God’s favor. To abandon it and cling solely to Jesus was a quantum leap that many were not easily convinced they should make.

Out with the old!

The Apostle Paul crafted the book of Hebrews as a tool to fully and finally break this reliance on the old Law. In its place he would show them the more spiritual, more powerful and eternal power of Jesus. To do this, Paul used a masterful communication approach. If we examine the book of Hebrews by focusing on how he wrote, we can begin to see this amazing and incredibly practical process unfold.

Check out our May 1, 2023 podcast, “How Do We Positively Provoke Others Without Offending Them?” for the details. We break down the first 10 chapters of Hebrews and home in on how he communicated his message. We sum up each chapter with a summary of what he taught. What we find is a specific, step-by-step process that would open the door for his naturally skeptical audience to be able to hear his message.

This whole process began with the brilliance of not even mentioning his own name. By doing so, he took away any preconceived ideas about hearing from the former Pharisee who now spent so much time with former Gentiles. He next began to craft a common base of credibility that all of those Jewish Christians would be comfortable with. He then focused in on the Old Testament Scriptures as the primary source for his teaching. Paul continued to build his message with subtle power and with outright logic: Jesus was, is and always will be the most important part of God’s plan. Join us as we absorb this process and learn how to communicate with those we love but may disagree with.



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