1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:
4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
What a great introduction the writer gives us to let us know that Jesus spoke to this world with power and authority. No one is really sure who wrote this book. I have read several commentaries, and saw the names of Barnabas, Luke, Paul and others mentioned as possible authors. It really doesn’t matter who wrote it – it is a masterpiece! The language used is unique to this book, as there are over 1,000 Greek words that are used exclusively in this book to the Hebrews. It is said to be written to Jews who were in Rome, and possibly Jerusalem as well, who were considering leaving their faith in Jesus Christ and going back to the customs they were freed from. This book goes to great lengths to explain to the reader that the purpose of Jesus coming was to do away with the old order and bring in God’s final approved will to all mankind.
I will tell you right up front that going through Hebrews is a daunting task, but one I need to go through. My own Bible study time has been miniscule lately, and I need to get into this book to renew my heart and mind to what Christ really did for me. I need to take the time to slowly and meticulously ask God to reveal His words to me contained in this book, and bring me back to the love for His word that I have had in the past. I have never spent a lot of time in Hebrews, but it is a book worthy of all of our time. So, I will attempt to bring you fairly regular thoughts on what God is showing me, and what I have studied out, as I go through these pages. I hope you will come along.
The writer starts out by reminding us that God has always taken time to speak to His people. He walked and communed with Adam in the garden, spoke to Cain when he killed his brother, spoke to Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses – the list is endless. He has always spoken to His people, and He still does today. God has not changed. The problem is that people are now speaking for God without hearing from Him. How else can one explain churches that embrace homosexuality or abortion? How can one explain some of the false doctrine that is invading our churches today? People say they hear from God but their words are the opposite of scripture. God said His word will endure forever, so how can these people be hearing from God? The writer also says that God used diverse manners to speak to the hearts of man. He used a donkey, a rushing wind, a flood, storms and fig trees to teach people of his ways. We cannot put God in a box. He will speak to us in many ways and at various times to get our attention. We must make sure we are tuned into His voice, because He said His sheep know His voice.
Then the writer turns to the fact that lately God has spoken to them by His Son. What higher authority is there then the Son of the one who made all things and created all things. He is the heir! On other words, not only did he make all things, but He owns, and will own all things. Too often we make God way to small. We don’t take all our problems to Him and we expect so little out of Him. Maybe you don’t do this, but I do. I recently went through some financially hard times and through them all I decided to make decisions on my own instead of consulting Him. How silly of me. God talks about finances and money as much as anything in the Bible. Why would He not want me to come to Him when making decisions about my financial status and investments? Yet, I did not want to “bother” Him with my questions or uncertainties and instead made a big mess of things. I sure hope I learned my lesson!
Jesus was the brightness of God’s glory, the image of His person and the upholder of all things, yet He died for me and for you. He gave up His life to redeem us from our sins and then went to sit at the right hand of the Father for eternity. He had all this going for Him, yet he put you and I first. This is the heart of God. Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you. Jesus paved the way for what we call the “Golden Rule.” He showed us what it was like to live that out in the ultimate sense. It’s not about just doing little things for someone, but doing the big things. It’s not about what is best for me, but what is best for others. It’s not about putting a smile on my face, but putting that smile on someone else’s face. Them first!
Our world today has a me first mentality. Everyone is out for their own good and not looking to help one another unless it helps them. People don’t often think of the other person’s well-being. It’s what’s in it for me that matters. I was so blessed last week. A young man came over and helped me clear my driveway out from 10” of snow. Our plow broke down so I had the daunting task of clearing the snow out. I put out a plea on Facebook and within 15 minutes had a reply. He came with a shovel in his hand and we cleaned the drive together, him doing the bulk of the work. While we were shoveling, someone came by with a snowblower and cleared my sidewalk and my neighbor’s driveway. I have no idea who that person was. They were indeed a blessing to us both and wanted nothing in return. This is the Golden Rule in action.
The Psalmist tells us that man was made a little lower than the angels, But Jesus is higher than the angels. We are not now, nor ever will be, on an even keel with Him. We may be able to do miraculous things by the power of His name, but we will never be equal with Him. We may hear from God and speak prophecies and words of wisdom like He did, but we will never be equal with Him. Paul tells us that one day, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that he is Lord. Until that day, we would do good to remember that any power or authority I have comes from Him and He can take it away as quickly as I can say it. He has obtained that more excellent name from now to eternity, and no one will take it away. Let us walk in the power and authority of His name, for we can do all things only through and by Him! And let us exalt His name every chance we get! If God has exalted it, how much more should we!