Wednesday, November 08, 2006

hebrews begins

Last week I began what will be a yearlong series on the Book of Hebrews. This book is not a letter but instead is more than likely a sermon. We will explore this sermon together and see how wonderful and awesome Jesus is and the message that he brought.


The author of Hebrews begins (1.1-.3) by telling the reader about God’s indirect communication thru prophets and other ways to the direct communication thru the Son. He then goes on to describe the Son ending in verse 4 with the Son being over the angels. Why this initial focus on angels? Angels are the spiritual messengers of God. God uses angels to speak to prophets such as Moses, Isaiah and others. They seem to be the first ones after sin entered the world to bring God’s message to humanity. They are important and powerful spiritual beings but do not compare to the Son.


The relationship between the Son, God and angels is described in the next 10 verses of chapter 1. (1) The Son’s name is greater than the names of angels (Hebrews 1.4). Don’t think of this as his first or last name. Instead this is referring to his “title” or position. His title is “the Son” while, as we will see the angles are servants. The relationship between Jesus and God is a father son relationship. No angels, has ever been called the son! (Hebrews 1.5 & .6) (2) Angels show their inferiority to the Son by worshiping him and show him the respect that he deserves (Hebrews 1.6). (3) Angels the Son’s Servants and ((Hebrews 1.7) 4) he is their master (Hebrews 1.8 & .9). (5) Unlike the Son who is eternal and has always been, angles are created being and part of creation. (Hebrews 1.10 - .12) (6) The Son sits are the right hand of the Father and rests until his enemies are made his footstool. (Hebrews 1.13) The author sums all this up in verse 14 by describing angels as ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation. If you turn this verse around you discover that angels are sent by their master and are to serve and minister to God’s people. They are not all powerful beings who decide when and where they will go but are the LORD’s servants.


The reason for the comparison becomes obvious at the beginning of chapter 2. (Hebrew 2.1 - .4) It begins with a warning not to drift away but pay careful attention to the message we have heard from the Son. The message the angels brought was binding and people were punished for violating it. Now the message comes straight from the Son! If the servant’s message was binding how much more so is the SON’s message? What is the message the Son brings? It is the message of a great salvation. The LORD himself first announced it. It then was confirmed to the readers by eyewitnesses who had heard the message from the Lord. It was also confirmed and testified to by signs, wonders and miraculous signs from God. Finally gifts from the Holy Spirit confirm the message.


Just like the original readers we too need to be careful and not drift away from the great salvation that was announced by the Son. The message of this great salvation is the SON himself. We need to not drift away. This is the image of a ship drifting away because now one was paying attention. We need to pay attention to the message we have heard and we need to hold on tight to this wonderful message of salvation we have heard!
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