Thursday, March 17, 2005

It's All About Him: Hebrews -- Lesson 5

To start with the first lesson in the series, click here.

Better than the Angels (continued)

The Writer is presenting scriptural evidence that the Son is superior to the angels. By "angels" the Writer means all persons, ways, and means by which God has communicated with His people before communicating in His Son. The Writer has begun this section by writing:

For to which of the angels did He ever say, "You are My Son, Today I have begotten You"? And again, "I will be a Father to Him And He shall be a Son to Me"? (Hebrews 1:5, NASB95)

As I noted yesterday, the Writer quotes from Psalm 2 and 2 Samuel. I also gave evidence that the 2 Samuel passage and possibly Psalm 2 were not direct prophecies, but rather hints about the coming of the Son. Another way to put this is these are not predictive prophecies as much as that they are descriptive. In still other words, no one could read 2 Samuel 7:14 and predict that the coming Messiah would be God's Son--the prediction is prevented by God's saying, "when he sins" and it cannot be said that the future Son sinned. However, 2 Samuel 7:14 passage derives its descriptive legitimacy from the following event:

Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him. But John tried to prevent Him, saying, "I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?" But Jesus answering said to him, "Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he permitted Him. After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased." (Matthew 3:13-17)

Historically the Father did what the Writer of Hebrews claims: He named Jesus as His Son. Once this was done and the identification made, the associations between 2 Samuel 7:14 and Jesus become too strong to ignore. It becomes impossible to read 2 Samuel 7:14 and not think about Solomon and Jesus. And so we see that for the Son:

  • He is a descendant of David
  • God will establish His kingdom.
  • The Son will build a house for God's Name.
  • The throne of His Kingdom will endure forever.

It is worth noting that the Writer will amplify each of these themes in the coming chapters.

Here is the Writer's next comparison between the Son and the angels:

And when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, "And let all the angels of God worship Him." (Hebrews 1:6)

This Old Testament quotation also has a interesting spin to it. This I will address tomorrow.

Test Everything. Cling to what is good.


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