Today we begin the book of Hebrews. It contains one of the Bible’s most beautiful, thoughtful and thorough presentations of who Jesus is and what He has done. Here is some background on the book of Hebrews that you may find helpful:
– The book of Hebrews is known as the only truly anonymous book in the New Testament, as the author does not reveal his identity. Some have suggested that the apostle Paul wrote this book, although many scholars agree that this is unlikely. For reasons that we won’t get into now, it seems that a strong argument can be made that Luke, the one who wrote both the Gospel of Luke and Acts, was the one who authored this book. Whoever the author was, it is clear that the author knew Paul’s disciple Timothy well (see 13:22).
– Many scholars agree that Hebrews was written in approximately 69 AD before the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed (otherwise, the author would likely have mentioned this event when talking about how the old sacrificial system of the Jews had been replaced by a new system ushered by the blood of Jesus).
– The intended original readers of this book is also not known with certainty, although a good argument can be made that the writer of Hebrews wrote this book to Jewish believers or even Jewish priests who had converted to Christianity, to teach them the importance of who Jesus is and the difference Jesus makes in how we worship God.
Today’s passage is Hebrews 1:1-14. Let’s go!
On verses 1-3: Chapters 1 to 3 of the Hebrews speak about the greatness of Jesus. Here in just the first 3 verses of chapter 1 alone we learn that:
Jesus is the one God uses to speak to us (v1-2). Above any prophet from the past, above creation, above our conscience and feelings, the clearest, strongest and most important revelation God has given us about Himself is through His Son Jesus.
Jesus is the heir of all things (v2). All things belong to Him.
Jesus is the one through whom the Father made the universe (v2). Jesus is the Creator.
Jesus is the radiance of God’s glory (v3). No one radiates God’s glory like Jesus does.
Jesus is the exact representation of God’s being (v3). In other words, if you want to see what God is like, just look at Jesus.
Jesus is the one who sustains all things by His powerful word (v3). He is our Sustainer.
The one who provided the way for us to be purified from our sins (v3). He is our Saviour.
The one who sits down at the right hand of the Father in heaven (v3). He is the Prince of peace.
On verses 4-14: Here the writer of Hebrews shows how Jesus – both in essence and in name – is far greater than the angels. For example:
Whereas the angels are God’s servants, Jesus is God’s Son (v5)
Whereas the angels may be powerful (v7), they were made to worship Jesus (v6), who is the king (v8-9), our Creator (v10), eternal (v11) and ageless (v12)
Whereas angels are sent to serve God’s people (v14), God’s people are commissioned to serve and worship Jesus (v13)
Lord Jesus, no angel can compare to You in name, glory, majesty, beauty or power. Here on earth may I join the angels in heaven in giving You worship today. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!