Christ is Superior to the Angels: as Son of God and Son of Man
Hebrews 1:5 – 2:18
Hebrews 1:5 – 2:18
- Old Testament Scriptures Showing Christ Superior to Angels (1:5-14)
- By Virtue of His Sonship (Psalm 2:7, 1 Chronicles 17:13, Psalm 97:7) (vv.5-6)
- By Virtue of His Eternal Existence (Psalm 104:4 & Psalm 45:6a) (vv.7-8a)
- By Virtue of His Holy Nature (Psalm 45:6b-7) (vv.8b-9)
- By Virtue of His Creatorial Power (Psalm 102:25-27) (vv.10-12)
- By Virtue of His Future Millennial Dominion (Psalm 110:1) (vv.13-14)
- (If You Listened to Angels in the Past, Listen to Christ Speaking Now) (2:1-4)
- God’s Purpose to Bless the Earth Through a Man: Christ the Exalted Man (2:5-10)
- Christ’s Ability as a Man to Identify With Us (2:11-18)
Old Testament Scriptures Showing Christ Superior to Angels (1:5-14)
By Virtue of His Sonship (Psalm 2:7, 1 Chronicles 17:13, Psalm 97:7) (vv.5-6)
5a For to which of the angels said he ever, “”Thou” art my Son: this day have “I” begotten thee?” [Psa. 2:7] v.5a The expression “Thou art my Son” refers to the Eternal Sonship of Christ. “This day have I begotten thee” refers to the incarnation, His sonship being carried forward into time!
5b and again, “”I” will be to him for father, and “he” shall be to me for son?” [1 Chronicles 17:13]
6 and again, when he brings in the firstborn into the habitable world, he says, “And let all God’s angels worship him.” [Psalm 97:7] v.6 This quotation from the Psalms actually refers to when the Lord Jesus will be brought into the world the second time, at His appearing. It refers to the great shift in administration that will take place before the Millennium begins. But His first coming is a foreshadow of it, and the sentiments of this prophecy are fulfilled in the angels who welcomed the newborn King (Luke 2:13).
By Virtue of His Eternal Existence (Psalm 104:4 & Psalm 45:6a) (vv.7-8a)
7 And as to the angels he says, “Who makes his angels spirits and his ministers a flame of fire;” [Psalm 104:4] 8a but as to the Son, “Thy throne, O God, is to the age of the age,” [Psalm 45:6a]
By Virtue of His Holy Nature (Psalm 45:6b-7) (vv.8b-9)
8b and “a sceptre of uprightness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. 9 Thou hast loved righteousness and hast hated lawlessness; therefore God, thy God, has anointed thee with oil of gladness above thy companions.” [Psalm 45:6b-7]
By Virtue of His Creatorial Power (Psalm 102:25-27) (vv.10-12)
10 And, “”Thou” in the beginning, Lord, hast founded the earth, and works of thy hands are the heavens. 11 They shall perish, but “thou” continuest still; and they all shall grow old as a garment, 12 and as a covering shalt thou roll them up, and they shall be changed; but “thou” art the Same, and thy years shall not fail.” [Psalm 102:25-27]
By Virtue of His Future Millennial Dominion (Psalm 110:1) (vv.13-14)
13 But as to which of the angels said he ever, “Sit at my right hand until I put thine enemies as footstool of thy feet?” [Psalm 110:1] 14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out for service on account of those who shall inherit salvation?
(If You Listened to Angels in the Past, Listen to Christ Speaking Now) (2:1-4)
1 For this reason we should give heed more abundantly to the things we have heard, lest in any way we should slip away. 2 For if the word which was spoken by angels was firm, and every transgression and disobedience received just retribution, 3 how shall “we” escape if we have been negligent of so great salvation, which, having had its commencement in being spoken of by the Lord, has been confirmed to us by those who have heard; 4 God bearing, besides, witness with them to it, both by signs and wonders, and various acts of power, and distributions of the Holy Spirit, according to his will?
God’s Purpose to Bless the Earth Through a Man: Christ the Exalted Man (2:5-10)
Four Reasons Christ Became Man. To make propitiation for the sins of the people (v.17), to fulfill the counsels of God with respect to man (vv.7-8), to destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil (v.14), to become a sympathetic captain of our salvation (v.10, v.18).1
5 For he has not subjected to angels the habitable world which is to come, of which we speak;
6 but one has testified somewhere, saying, What is man, that thou rememberest him, or son of man that thou visitest him? 7 Thou hast made him some little inferior to the angels; thou hast crowned him with glory and honour, and hast set him over the works of thy hands; 8 thou hast subjected all things under his feet. For in subjecting all things to him, he has left nothing unsubject to him. But now we see not yet all things subjected to “him”, 9 but we see Jesus, who was made some little inferior to angels on account of the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; so that by the grace of God he should taste death for every thing. vv.6-9 Note: Psalm 8 is quoted in 1 Corinthians 15, Ephesians 1, and Hebrews 2. Half the psalm is fulfilled now because He is crowned with glory and honor, but the other half is still future, for we do not see everything put under His feet. Psalm 8 is the cornerstone of Paul’s doctrine concerning the glory of Christ.
10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make perfect the leader of their salvation through sufferings.
Christ’s Ability as a Man to Identify With Us (2:11-18)
The Fellowship of the Sanctified Ones (vv.11-15)
11 For both he that sanctifies and those sanctified are all of one; for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 saying, I will declare thy name to my brethren; in the midst of the assembly will I sing thy praises. 13 And again, I will trust in him. And again, Behold, I and the children which God has given me.
14 Since therefore the children partake of blood and flesh, he also, in like manner, took part in the same, that through death he might annul him who has the might of death, that is, the devil; v.14 The Devil was annulled in the death of Christ; i.e. his power was broken. But he will be finally destroyed when he is cast into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:10). He “took part of the same”, but doesn’t say how for it goes. In Philippians 2:7 it says that Christ “emptied himself”, but again it doesn’t say how far that goes. We can see from other scriptures that Jesus was fully man (1 Tim. 2:5) and fully God (Col. 2:9). He did not ever empty Himself of deity. He became a full man; spirit, soul and body. The inscrutable union of the divine and human natures of Christ involved addition only, not subtraction.
15 and might set free all those who through fear of death through the whole of their life were subject to bondage.
The Sufferings of Christ Prepared Him to be Our High Priest (vv.16-18)
16 For he does not indeed take hold of angels by the hand, but he takes hold of the seed of Abraham. 17 Wherefore it behoved him in all things to be made like to his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things relating to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people; 18 for, in that himself has suffered, being tempted, he is able to help those that are being tempted.
- In Hebrews 2 four reasons are given why Christ took flesh and blood: first, to make atonement; second, for God’s glory and counsels; third, to destroy him that had the power of death; fourth, that He should go through every sorrow, and so have sympathy with us. – Darby, J.N. Brief Thoughts on Philippians.