Thursday, March 10, 2005

It's All About Him: Hebrews -- Lesson 2

To start at the beginning, click here.

The Messenger

Let's look at the opening of Hebrews again:

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. (Hebrews 1:1-2)

The Old Testament contains the past revelations from God to mankind. It is indeed diverse.

  • Theophanies: by which the Lord appears in human form. For example, Genesis 18 records the coming of 3 men to Abraham's tent. By the end of the chapter, it is made clear that one of them is the Lord.
  • Dreams: Joseph, Pharoah, Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar, and others had dreams by which God communicated His plans and purposes.
  • Prophets: who were men and women through whom God spoke. Often they spoke in riddles and symbols. Sometimes they demonstrated their message in show-and-tell fashion as when Ezekiel built a model of Jerusalem and waged war against it (Ezekiel 4).
  • Visions: such as seen by Isaiah in the temple (Isaiah 6).

But when you pick up and read the gospels, you know that you have entered a different world. Jesus comes having seen no visions. He has had no dreams. He does not begin his speech with, "The word of the Lord came to me saying..." Instead, he says things like, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. (Matthew 24:35)" He called God His Father. He spoke to the dead and they rose to life. Whereas the prophets pointed away from themselves to God, Jesus pointed to Himself, "“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. (Matthew 7:24)"

This is what the writer to the Hebrews tells us. God has sent the real thing: a message that is direct and unfiltered. He has communicated via His Son! We can hear Him and watch Him. The old forms are incomplete at best. The new has come.

And so the writer of Hebrews lays out for us in his first sentence his major driving principle: a new and better way is hear, let's listen to it this time.


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11:49 PM  

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