Hebrews 2:11 (NIV) 11 Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.
On verse 11: Who is “the one who makes men holy”? Jesus. Who is “those who are made holy”? You, me and everyone else who is currently living on earth and trusting in Jesus Christ as Saviour. We are being made holy by Jesus, the holy one who makes others holy. And yet even though Jesus is holy and we are only in the process of being made holy, Jesus humbly still puts himself in the same boat as us, not ashamed to call us his family, his brothers and sisters. This shows us the amazing humility and love of Jesus for us. Hebrews 2:12-13 (NIV) 12 He says, “I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises.” 13 And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again he says, “Here am I, and the children God has given me.”
On verses 12-13: Here the writer of Hebrews quotes 3 verses from the Old Testament (Psalm 22:22; Isaiah 8:17 and Isaiah 8:18). He credits Jesus with speaking these verses. What can we learn from this? First, according to the writer of Hebrews, these Old Testament verses are Jesus’ own words. Jesus, the eternal Son of God, inspired the writing of the Old Testament. Second, the writer of Hebrews is making the point that by speaking these verses, Jesus was identifying himself with humanity. For example, if Jesus says, “I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters” (Psalm 22:22), he is putting himself on the same level as human beings, calling us brothers and sisters. If Jesus says, “I will put my trust in Him (i.e. the Father)” (Isaiah 8:17), he’s showing that like us he is depending on His Heavenly Father and trusting in Him. If Jesus says, “Here am I, and the children God has given me” (Isaiah 8:18), Jesus is showing that he stands on the side of people.
Hebrews 2:14-15 (NIV) 14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil– 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.
On verses 14-15: Why did Jesus share in our humanity and become human like us? His first reason was to destroy Satan. By becoming human, living a perfect life, dying as any one of us would die and then rising again from death, Jesus showed that he was greater than Satan “who had the power of death” and that those who trust in Him are no longer bound by death or the fear of death. Praise God! In Jesus there is victory over death and the fear of death!
Hebrews 2:16 (NIV) 16 For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants.
On verse 16: Jesus didn’t go through all this trouble for angels, but for us. Isn’t it amazing that though we were made a little lower than the angels, Jesus bypasses the angels and goes one step lower to find us and serve us?
Hebrews 2:17-18 (NIV) 17 For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
On verses 17-18: Here we learn a second reason why Jesus had to become human. The first was so that he could destroy Satan who held the power of death (v14). The second reason is so that Jesus could relate to us, understand our struggles, relate to our temptations, and in so doing be an effective, merciful, compassionate and faithful high priest. What is a high priest? One who stands in the gap between God and sinners. To be the most effective bridge between holy God and sinful humanity, Jesus the Son of God became human so that, being fully human and fully man, he could touch both sides – divinity and humanity – and be our perfect high priest.
For today’s closing prayer, let me share with you the lyrics of a song I once wrote based on Hebrews 2: You were made like me in my humanity
So that You could be a merciful high priest
And though You were a king it was through suffering
That Your perfection came and so now I’m free.
And You’re not ashamed to call me brother
Though You are perfect in every way.
For the One who is Holy
And the ones who are made holy
Are of one family, all because You shared in my humanity. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!