14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:
Verses 14–16 are one sentence in Greek. It is an exhortation to the church Hebrews addresses.
This verse contains two commands to resolve the reversion problem in Hebrews—that is, the desire to revert to Judaism’s system of types rather than the Antitype.
14 Pursue peace with all people,
The Greek of the word “pursue” means to diligently and conspicuously go after peace with other people. Literally, it means to seek after eagerly. There is an urgency to seek peace with everyone. The context may relate to the central problem of Hebrews—the desire of Hebrew Christians to revert into Judaism. These people missed the grace of God (He 12:15). They needed to be at peace among themselves regarding this. The purpose of the author of Hebrews was to restore those who wanted to revert to Judaism.
It is one thing to keep the peace, but it is another to “pursue” it. This is not a passive issue but something that Christians must “pursue.” For this to come to reality, there needs to be action taken (Ps 34:14). Peace will not happen by Christians sitting on their hands. It takes work to be at unity with friend and foe alike. No believer is an island.
Our settled peace with God compels us to have peace with fellow believers.
Disunity is a serious problem from God’s viewpoint. However, God does not expect the believer to settle for peace at any cost (Ro 12:18). It is not always possible to obtain peace with some people. It takes two to tango. We are not to pursue peace at the cost of truth or holiness. The main thrust is that we are to seek or pursue peace with eagerness; that is, we are to make every effort to achieve peace with others.
There is a difference between peace with God and the peace of God. All Christians have peace with God because Jesus resolved the enmity between man and God. Christians have the status of righteous standing before God. Since the Christian has peace with God, he or she should be at peace with all people. Believers are to “pursue” peace with everyone, but that is not always possible. It takes two to make peace. It is not always possible to be at peace with all men (Ro 12:18). However, the burden rests on the Christian to make sure that he is not the cause of division. Whether others treat us with antagonism or not is nothing on which the believer should rely. Belligerence from others is no excuse for us to express hostility toward them.