The book of Hebrews is one of my favorites in the New Testament. There is considerable debate as to the identity of the author, but as far as I’m concerned there’s no doubt it is the inspired word of God. The book was written primarily to the Jewish believers. It holds many nuanced references aimed to reach out to Jews. Even so, its truths transcend the Hebrew people and benefit all Christ believers, be they Jew or Gentile. In the first chapter the position and role of Jesus Christ is identified, as are angels and man relative to Jesus.
Jesus is the Son of God
Heb 1:5 For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”? Or again, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son”? The author makes it crystal clear Jesus (Yeshua) is the Son of God.
Jesus — Angel’s Response to Jesus’ Incarnation
Heb 1:6 And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.” The term firstborn here refers to Jesus, the firstborn of God. Jesus was not merely a being created by God as Adam, but was literally born of the Spirit by Mary as well as being the physical incarnation of the Spirit (Jn 1:1-3, 14) which is the I AM (Ex 3:14 & Jn 8:58). When Jesus came and dwelt with humankind to be carry out His plan established from creation the angels did rejoice (Lk 2:13-14), just as Heb 1:6 says.
Jesus — God Incarnate and Eternal Sovereign King
Heb 1:8 But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. This verse makes it clear God the Father refers to Christ as God the Son, which is to say the second component of a triune God we generally refer to as the Trinity. This verse is quoted from Ps 45:6. In that verse the plural form of the title God is used: Elohim. Neither Greek nor English properly express the original Hebrew word Elohim which, although a plural form linguistically, still refers to literally a singular (unified as one) God. Here Jesus is glorified as a righteous king with an eternal throne and an eternal kingdom.
Jesus — Character
Heb 1:9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.” This verse, quoted from Ps 45:7, extends from identifying Jesus as God to speaking of His character. Jesus, being one with God the Father (Son of God meaning Jesus is a perfect extension of God the Father), loves what is good and hates what is evil. The word “Christ” literally means Anointed One. David was actually writing of Jesus and saying he was the Anointed One. To say he was anointed with gladness beyond his companions means to me the goodness, the purity, and above all the Good News of Jesus exceeds any good news of any human achievement. By extension, I believe when a human comes into a saving life changing relationship with Jesus by inviting Jesus into the heart in willing submission his divine authority, that person is then able to partake of a joy exceeding anything known to those worldly people around them.
Our Temporal World
Heb 1:10-12 And, “You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment, like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will have no end.” What our physical biological flesh can perceive today cursed. We will die. Our world as we know it will eventually end. Jesus will not end, nor will his kingdom. We will be changed. There will be a new heaven and earth. I don’t really understand how it will work, but I do trust it won’t be like we know it now. Through it all, however, Jesus is unchanging in his character and his Lordship.
Angels Created as Spirit Beings
Heb 1:7 Of the angels he says, “He makes his angels winds, and his ministers a flame of fire.” The Hebrew word for spirit is rauch. Rauch, generally translated spirit, is also commonly translated as wind or breath. The Greek word pneuma is a direct translation with virtually identical meaning. Angel means messenger, specifically one sent by God. We know God gave Moses a message through a burning bush, certainly a relationship between message and fire every Hebrew person would recognize. In several books of the bible references to the end of the world include references to fiery destruction carried out by angels.
Angels — Below God and Below Jesus
Heb 1:13 And to which of the angels has he ever said, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”? While angels have great power and are spirit beings, and even though we know God is Spirit (Jn 4:24), the Angels are lower. Don’t confuse any being, whether it be spirit or flesh, with Jesus Christ. Jesus is the victor over death, our ultimate enemy.
Angels — Serving Man
Heb 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation? This is a statement that ought to humble the most prideful among us. I suspect the angels would rather be rallying around the Lord all the time, but instead He sent the angels to help us. A startling example of what we generally don’t see around us is found in 2 Ki 6:15-17 where Elisha prays that others would see the spiritual battle he sees. Had it been me seeing that vision, I would have fallen on the floor abject humility that the Lord God would send an army to help me. Here, in Heb 1:14, we see the promise renewed of angelic assistance and in particular to those who are to inherit salvation.
The Good News of Hebrews
Heb 1:1-3 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high This is one of my favorite passages in all of scripture. God said he had a plan. Through the incarnation of Jesus and his substitutionary death on our behalf, we who believe in Him inherit salvation from our sins and the hope of eternal life in His presence. The creator of the universe loved us enough to live, die, and defeat death itself. Even though we have sinned and are subject to death in flesh, through his anointing to the gladness of life we have joy for our hope is greater than this life. Because Jesus rose and came to sit at the right hand of the Father, which is to say the Word rejoined the God Head, we have confidence that all Jesus said and did was and is true. The promises of Jn 3:16 is true. The promise of 1 Pe 1:3-5 is true. The promises of Rev 22:1-5 are true. The gift of eternal life and our purpose to be and do His workmanship (Eph 2:8-10) are true. It is all true. Just believe.