Episode #205. Today we’ll read Hebrews chapter 1 together: The author writes about the nature of the Son of God and His superiority to the angels.
Joy: You’re listening to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Episode #205. Today we’ll read Hebrews chapter 1 together: The author writes about the nature of the Son of God and His superiority to the angels.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast. I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me as we simply read God’s word together. Some things require discipline and sometimes that’s just not easy to muster by yourself, no matter how badly you want to do it or how much you know you should. It’s just easier to do it with a friend. So refill your coffee or tea, get comfortable in your favorite chair and follow along as I read aloud. I’m so glad you’re here!
Welcome to the book of Hebrews. For reals, no more letters from Paul. However, I suppose some would argue this point. You see, there’s something different about the book of Hebrews…no one knows who wrote it. Of course, there’s lots of speculation – Paul, Apollos, Barnabas – but no clear winners. Even though it was attributed to Paul in the early centuries of the church, most today don’t think that’s the case.
You’ll notice right off that if doesn’t look or sound like any of Paul’s earlier letters. He doesn’t identify himself, there’s no from/to, the writing style is different…it just doesn’t sound like Paul. It reads more like a white paper. Lots of facts, very analytical, very cerebral. Personally, my vote is on Apollos. He was so smart, and, as we know from reading Acts, once Priscilla and Aquilla set him straight on the Gospel, he was unstoppable. He would preach the Gospel from wherever he happened to be.
Like a Sermon
But regardless who actually authored it, you’ll see right away why it was included in the canon. It is spot on in its theology and its overview of the Gospel. Like a sermon, Hebrews is full of encouragement, exhortations, and stern warnings. And the theme is powerful and is stated this way on esv.org: Jesus Christ is greater than any angel, priest, or old covenant practice. Christians must not forsake the great salvation that Jesus has brought about. They must hold on by faith to the true rest found in Christ, and they must encourage others in the church to do the same.
Hebrews has thirteen chapters, so we’ll park here for a little longer than the most recent reads. Trust me when I say that you will know the tenets of your faith better after finishing Hebrews. I look forward to your comments at Lifting Her Voice.com, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Hebrews Chapter 1
The Nature of the Son
Long ago God spoke to our ancestors by the prophets at different times and in different ways. In these last days, he has spoken to us by his Son. God has appointed him heir of all things and made the universe through him. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of his nature, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. So he became superior to the angels, just as the name he inherited is more excellent than theirs.
The Son Superior to Angels
For to which of the angels did he ever say,
You are my Son;
today I have become your Father,
I will be his Father,
and he will be my Son?
Again, when he brings his firstborn into the world, he says,
And let all God’s angels worship him.
And about the angels he says:
He makes his angels winds,
and his servants a fiery flame,
but to the Son:
Your throne, God,
is forever and ever,
and the scepter of your kingdom
is a scepter of justice.
You have loved righteousness
and hated lawlessness;
this is why God, your God,
has anointed you
with the oil of joy
beyond your companions.
In the beginning, Lord,
you established the earth,
and the heavens are the works of your hands;
they will perish, but you remain.
They will all wear out like clothing;
you will roll them up like a cloak,
and they will be changed like clothing.
But you are the same,
and your years will never end.
Now to which of the angels has he ever said:
Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies your footstool?
Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve those who are going to inherit salvation?
The author dives right in without preamble of any kind. He quickly tells us exactly who Jesus Christ is, His purpose and how He came about. Notice here that God speaks several times of sharing His glory with Jesus. We know from Deuteronomy 6:4 that there is only one God: Listen, Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.
In addition to that, Isaiah 42:8 says this: I am the LORD. That is my name, and I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols. And in John 17:5 Jesus prays, Now, Father, glorify me in your presence with that glory I had with you before the world existed.
And one of the most moving passages claiming Jesus’ deity was written in the first four verses of John’s Gospel: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. In him was life, and that life was the light of men.
Jesus is God
What does this tell us except that Jesus is God. In another person, another manifestation to be sure, but God nonetheless. This is a revelation not to be taken lightly. It is powerful and unexplainable and bigger than we are.
And that’s okay.
But don’t contemplate the Triune God too long. It will make your finite head hurt.
In this chapter, we also get a clear sense that angels are not the pink-cheeked cutie-pies that we have been led to believe by Hallmark. They are winds and fiery flames. They are heavenly workers, strong and ever present. Valuable in God’s sight but not equal to Jesus.
The power – the oneness – of our Almighty God reverberates throughout this chapter. The author spurs us on to worship and awe as he describes the Father and the Son. Let’s pray.
Father, thank You for revealing Yourself to us. How would we ever know You and know what You did for us without Your Word. Help us to practice our attitudes of praise, Lord. The knee-bending, heart-stopping worship for which You are due. Amen.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray God will grow in you what has been planted and watered here. In this time of unprecedented struggle worldwide, we can look to God for guidance and comfort. Be sensitive to those in your circle of influence who need a word of encouragement and invite them to join us. If you like this show, it would be great if you give it a five-star review. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you right here tomorrow. Be well!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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