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Basic Bible: The Son Greater than Angels

Hebrews 1:1-9

The message of the epistle to the Hebrews rings out to all who have the ears to hear. The audience is identified in verse 2. It consists of all who have heard God speak through His Son.

In times past God spoke to His people through the prophets (v. 1). God raised up prophets during the period of the Judges, during the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, during the exile in Babylon, and in the years immediately following their return to the land. The last prophet to speak was Malachi. More than 450 years had passed when John the Baptist called out from the wilderness that the time was at hand for the Messiah. Christ Jesus came and spoke as no man had spoken (Jn. 7:32-46).

New Testament believers know the words of the Son to be the words of the Father. In the first century A.D., the Holy Spirit revealed to Hebrew converts that the God who spoke to their fathers through the prophets is the same God who was now (in these last days) speaking to them through the Son (v. 2).

Today, the proverbial shoe is on the other foot. The primary basis by which men hear God speak is through the words of the Son. The Holy Spirit reveals to believers of every ethnicity that the God they know through the Son is the same God who spoke to Old Testament believers through the prophets. The God of the New Testament is the God of the Old Testament revealed.

In verse 2, the author of Hebrews states that God has appointed His Son as “heir of all things.” This declaration was announced to the fathers one thousand years earlier through the prophets. Psalm 2:8 states that God the Father has made His Son heir to all things. Psalm 2 and other writings in the Old Testament concerning the Son were not clearly understood until the Father spoke through the Son.
Verse 2 also states that it was by the Son that “he made the worlds.” This truth was stated in Old Testament scripture but hidden until after the Son came into the world. Psalm 33:6 states: “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.” God the Son is the Word (Jn. 1:3) who made the heavens and breathed life into His creation (Gen. 2:7).

In addition to revealing that the words of the Son and the words delivered by the prophets to be both from the Father, the Holy Spirit makes known through this epistle that the Son is the brightness of the Father’s glory and the express image of His person. Today, there are some who look upon Jesus but do not see the Father. Adherents of Judaism and of Islam do not see the Son because they have closed their ears to that which the written word of God declares. They do not hear the Comforter who teaches the Son and the Father to be one.

In verse 3, the author of Hebrews identifies the manner in which the Son is the express image of the Father. It is by “upholding all things by the word of his power.” Jesus did the will of God the Father in all things and at all times without fail. He fulfilled the righteousness requirement of the law. Jesus fulfilled the law, not for Himself, but for all who would believe. The sins of all who believe or will ever believe have been purged by Him. Having fulfilled the Father’s will, Jesus now sits at the right hand of the Majesty on high. The right hand of the Father is the highest position of honor possible. It is a position that signifies equal authority. When Jesus took His seat at the right hand, the mystery of “my Lord” (David’s Lord) of Psalm 110:1 ceased to be a mystery. It is the will of the Father that “my Lord” (Jesus) be seated at His right hand until all enemies are made His footstool.

In verses 4 through 7, the author of Hebrews compares the Son with angels. The Son has a better name by right of inheritance. The author cites Psalm 2:7 and Psalm 89:26-27. In Psalm 2, God speaks to the promised future son of David who shall be given reign over all kingdoms. In Psalm 89, God states that He shall make the promised son of David “my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth.” Not a single angel possesses the required resumé; there is only one promised son and begotten heir who shall reign from David’s throne in Jerusalem. No angel can lay claim to being the promised son of David or being the firstborn of God.

“And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him” (v. 6). Jesus became the firstborn of the dead when the Father raised Him from the dead (Rom. 8:29). The firstborn now sits at the Father’s right hand. When the Father has made a footstool of His enemies, the firstborn shall return and sit upon the throne of David. In speaking of the Son’s future reign, God said: “worship him, all ye gods: (Ps. 97:7). Without exception, all (angels are part of all) shall worship the Son.

The Holy Spirit moved the author of this epistle to quote from Psalm 45:6-7 in the closing verses before us. This scripture declares with absolute certainty that the promised Son of David is far, far greater than the angels. God the Father addresses the Son as God. The Son is devine but was also flesh. Angels are called the sons of God (see Job 1:6) but are ministering spirits. The Father has anointed the Son (the promised Son of David) with the oil of gladness and set Him above all things.

New Testament believers rejoice because the Comforter has revealed the Son to us. We rejoice because “. . . as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (Jn. 1:12). We rejoice because we have been begotten from the dead and have become joint-heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:16-17). We rejoice because we know the Son.

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