Bible: Hebrews 1-5
Introduction: God Has Spoken Fully and Finally in His Son
1:1 After God spoke long ago 1 in various portions 2 and in various ways 3 to our ancestors 4 through the prophets, 1:2 in these last days he has spoken to us in a son, 5 whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he created the world. 6 1:3 The Son is 7 the radiance of his glory and the representation of his essence, and he sustains all things by his powerful word, 8 and so when he had accomplished cleansing for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. 9 1:4 Thus he became 10 so far better than the angels as 11 he has inherited a name superior to theirs.
The Son Is Superior to Angels
1:5 For to which of the angels did God 12 ever say, “You are my son! Today I have fathered you”? 13 And in another place 14 he says, 15 “I will be his father and he will be my son.” 16 1:6 But when he again brings 17 his firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all the angels of God worship him!” 18 1:7 And he says 19 of the angels, “He makes 20 his angels spirits and his ministers a flame of fire,” 21 1:8 but of 22 the Son he says, 23
“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, 24
and a righteous scepter 25 is the scepter of your kingdom.
1:9 You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness.
“You founded the earth in the beginning, Lord, 28
and the heavens are the works of your hands.
1:11 They will perish, but you continue.
And they will all grow old like a garment,
1:12 and like a robe you will fold them up
and like a garment 29 they will be changed,
but you are the same and your years will never run out.” 30
1:13 But to which of the angels 31 has he ever said, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”? 32 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to serve those 33 who will inherit salvation?
Warning Against Drifting Away
2:1 Therefore we must pay closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. 2:2 For if the message spoken through angels 34 proved to be so firm that every violation 35 or disobedience received its just penalty, 2:3 how will we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was first communicated through the Lord and was confirmed to us by those who heard him, 2:4 while God confirmed their witness 36 with signs and wonders and various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed 37 according to his will.
Exposition of Psalm 8: Jesus and the Destiny of Humanity
“What is man that you think of him 40 or the son of man that you care for him?
2:7 You made him lower than the angels for a little while.
You crowned him with glory and honor. 41
2:8 You put all things under his control.” 42
For when he put all things under his control, he left nothing outside of his control. At present we do not yet see all things under his control, 43 2:9 but we see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, 44 now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, 45 so that by God’s grace he would experience 46 death on behalf of everyone. 2:10 For it was fitting for him, for whom and through whom all things exist, 47 in bringing many sons to glory, to make the pioneer 48 of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 2:11 For indeed he who makes holy and those being made holy all have the same origin, 49 and so 50 he is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters, 51 2:12 saying, “I will proclaim your name to my brothers; 52 in the midst of the assembly I will praise you.” 53 2:13 Again he says, 54 “I will be confident in him,” and again, “Here I am, 55 with 56 the children God has given me.” 57 2:14 Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, he likewise shared in 58 their humanity, 59 so that through death he could destroy 60 the one who holds the power of death (that is, the devil), 2:15 and set free those who were held in slavery all their lives by their fear of death. 2:16 For surely his concern is not for angels, but he is concerned for Abraham’s descendants. 2:17 Therefore he had 61 to be made like his brothers and sisters 62 in every respect, so that he could become a merciful and faithful high priest in things relating to God, to make atonement 63 for the sins of the people. 2:18 For since he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted.
Jesus and Moses
3:1 Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, 64 partners in a heavenly calling, take note of Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess, 65 3:2 who is faithful to the one who appointed him, as Moses was also in God’s 66 house. 67 3:3 For he has come to deserve greater glory than Moses, just as the builder of a house deserves greater honor than the house itself! 3:4 For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God. 3:5 Now Moses was faithful in all God’s 68 house 69 as a servant, to testify to the things that would be spoken. 3:6 But Christ 70 is faithful as a son over God’s 71 house. We are of his house, 72 if in fact we hold firmly 73 to our confidence and the hope we take pride in. 74
Exposition of Psalm 95: Hearing God’s Word in Faith
3:7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, 75
“Oh, that today you would listen as he speaks! 76
3:8 “Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of testing in the wilderness.
3:9 “There your fathers tested me and tried me, 77 and they saw my works for forty years.
3:10 “Therefore, I became provoked at that generation and said, ‘Their hearts are always wandering 78 and they have not known my ways.’
3:11 “As I swore in my anger, ‘They will never enter my rest!’” 79
3:12 See to it, 80 brothers and sisters, 81 that none of you has 82 an evil, unbelieving heart that forsakes 83 the living God. 84 3:13 But exhort one another each day, as long as it is called “Today,” that none of you may become hardened by sin’s deception. 3:14 For we have become partners with Christ, if in fact we hold our initial confidence 85 firm until the end. 3:15 As it says, 86 “O, that today you would listen as he speaks! 87 Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” 88 3:16 For which ones heard and rebelled? Was it not all who came out of Egypt under Moses’ leadership? 89 3:17 And against whom was God 90 provoked for forty years? Was it not those who sinned, whose dead bodies fell in the wilderness? 91 3:18 And to whom did he swear they would never enter into his rest, except those who were disobedient? 3:19 So 92 we see that they could not enter because of unbelief.
God’s Promised Rest
4:1 Therefore we must be wary 93 that, while the promise of entering his rest remains open, none of you may seem to have come short of it. 4:2 For we had good news proclaimed to us just as they did. But the message they heard did them no good, since they did not join in 94 with those who heard it in faith. 95 4:3 For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said, “As I swore in my anger, ‘They will never enter my rest!’” 96 And yet God’s works 97 were accomplished from the foundation of the world. 4:4 For he has spoken somewhere about the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works,” 98 4:5 but to repeat the text cited earlier: 99 “They will never enter my rest!” 4:6 Therefore it remains for some to enter it, yet those to whom it was previously proclaimed did not enter because of disobedience. 4:7 So God 100 again ordains a certain day, “Today,” speaking through David 101 after so long a time, as in the words quoted before, 102 “O, that today you would listen as he speaks! 103 Do not harden your hearts.” 4:8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God 104 would not have spoken afterward about another day. 4:9 Consequently a Sabbath rest remains for the people of God. 4:10 For the one who enters God’s 105 rest has also rested from his works, just as God did from his own works. 4:11 Thus we must make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by following the same pattern of disobedience. 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any double-edged sword, piercing even to the point of dividing soul from spirit, and joints from marrow; it is able to judge the desires and thoughts of the heart. 4:13 And no creature is hidden from God, 106 but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account.
Jesus Our Compassionate High Priest
4:14 Therefore since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. 4:15 For we do not have a high priest incapable of sympathizing with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way just as we are, yet without sin. 4:16 Therefore let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace whenever we need help. 107
5:1 For every high priest is taken from among the people 108 and appointed 109 to represent them before God, 110 to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins. 5:2 He is able to deal compassionately with those who are ignorant and erring, since he also is subject to weakness, 5:3 and for this reason he is obligated to make sin offerings for himself as well as for the people. 5:4 And no one assumes this honor 111 on his own initiative, 112 but only when called to it by God, 113 as in fact Aaron was. 5:5 So also Christ did not glorify himself in becoming high priest, but the one who glorified him was God, 114 who said to him, “You are my Son! Today I have fathered you,” 115 5:6 as also in another place God 116 says, “You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.” 117 5:7 During his earthly life 118 Christ 119 offered 120 both requests and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death and he was heard because of his devotion. 5:8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience through the things he suffered. 121 5:9 And by being perfected in this way, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, 5:10 and he was designated 122 by God as high priest in the order of Melchizedek. 123
The Need to Move on to Maturity
5:11 On this topic we have much to say 124 and it is difficult to explain, since you have become sluggish 125 in hearing. 5:12 For though you should in fact be teachers by this time, 126 you need someone to teach you the beginning elements of God’s utterances. 127 You have gone back to needing 128 milk, not 129 solid food. 5:13 For everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced in the message of righteousness, because he is an infant. 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, whose perceptions are trained by practice to discern both good and evil.