Lifeway Women: Lisa, what inspired you to write the Hebrews: The Nearness of King Jesus study?
Lisa: In my experience, many modern day believers spend the bulk of their Bible study time hanging out in the New Testament. Of course I can understand why. I’d rather marinate in the Jesus-filled narrative of the Gospels than ponder the nasty wound-care procedures in Leviticus, too! However, when we skip over the Old Testament part of God’s covenant with mankind—which contextualizes our need for redemption—the glory of His incarnation and resurrection tends to pale a bit. We rascals need to understand our absolute inability to fulfill God’s law in order to fully appreciate the unconditional love we’ve been lavished with through Christ! And Hebrews is the lens through which it all weaves together into a gorgeous tapestry of grace.
Lifeway Women: What did God teach you through the development and writing process?
Lisa: He reminded me that His Word is powerful—that it’s not a stagnant piece of ancient literature but is instead a living conduit of His Spirit. There were several times when I was writing really late at night and it was as if the Holy Spirit seeped off the pages of my Bible into the living room. To engage with Scripture is to quite literally connect with the Creator of the Universe. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1) isn’t a pithy platitude. It’s true!
Oh, and He also taught me that meeting deadlines goes hand-in-hand with consuming copious amounts of caffeine. Preferably infused with chocolate and topped with whipped cream.
Lifeway Women: Did the Hebrews project require more research or study than others in the past?
Lisa: I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed. As evidenced by my foolish assumption that since I’d written a trade book on Hebrews several years ago plus had studied it in seminary, it’d probably be easier to write than previous projects. My guess is that angels giggled at my idiocy while that thought was still forming in my pea brain! The Nearness of King Jesus ended up being the most time-consuming Bible study I’ve had the privilege of working on so far but I enjoyed every minute of it. In fact, I had so many “aha” moments along the way that it often felt like a first date and I pretty much fell in love with Jesus all over again!
Lifeway Women: What do you hope the result is for people who do this study?
Lisa: My hope and prayer is that people would recognize the accessibility of Jesus. That He laid down His royal scepter and condescended to inhabit human form TO. BE. WITH. US. Yet while God’s Son is perfectly holy He is not some faraway dictator but is an up-close, empathetic Redeemer who longs to be in a real relationship with us. When you begin to believe and experience even a smidgen of THAT truth…everything changes. Captives turn cartwheels out of prison, formerly blind folks kick their white-tipped canes to the curb, and even Baptists begin to dance. Well, at least in their hearts!
For a free sample of Hebrews, click here.