Hebrews 2A (2014) People tend to judge the value of a message - at least in part - by the reputation or importance of the messenger

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1 Hebrews 2A (2014) Peple tend t judge the value f a message - at least in part - by the reputatin r imprtance f the messenger We prefer that imprtant news cmes frm imprtant and reputable surces If yu hear that smething big has happened in the wrld, yu turn n a respectable TV news channel t get the details Yu prbably dn t flip ver t WWF channel And s it was fr the Jewish Christians in the early church The Jewish church remembered the imprtance the Lrd placed n angels thrughut the curse f Jewish histry Time and time again, the Lrd delivered his messages t Israel by way f angels Many time, that angel was actually a preincarnate Christ, called the angel f the Lrd But nevertheless, the peple f Israel saw gd reasn t hld angels in high regard And Jews respected angels all the mre reasn because the angelic realm exists abve the earth-bund existence f mere mrtal men Angels came in brilliant light r mysterius dreams Angels had pwers and knwledge beynd men And angels didn t die, r get sick, r suffer in all the man y ways that sinful man must endure S when the early church received teaching n the New Cvenant dctrines f Christ, sme Jews struggled with where t rank Jesus as a messenger f Christ That struggle centered n Jesus frm Jesus f Nazareth was a man, fully human yet fully Gd And His humanity presented a dilemma fr many Jews in the early church 2014 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.

2 Hebrews 2A (2014) 2 f 9 Where d we rank Jesus as a messenger if He came in a frm lwer than the frm f angels? Can a message delivered by a man be greater than the message Gd entrusted t angelic beings? Fr sme in the early church, the answer was n Jesus was an imprtant prphet, and perhaps even the Messiah But his frm as a human being meant that His message must be cnsidered secndary t the messages delivered by angels In chapter 1, the writer has wrked carefully t explain frm Old Testament scripture that the Father has always declared his Sn t be superir t angels In fact, the OT scripture demnstrated that Jesus ccupies a unique place in Gd s plan He is Sn, Creatr, Lrd and Judge He is eternal, while angels were created All angels wrk fr Him, nt the ther way arund And in fact, angels aren t just wrking fr the Lrd, as His ministers f fire They are als wrking fr yu and I Lk at v.14 where we pick up tday Heb. 1:14 Are they nt all ministering spirits, sent ut t render service fr the sake f thse wh will inherit salvatin? Angels are ministering spirits sent ut t serve us They are nt ruling agents They are nt judging agents Only Christ rules and judges They are ministers, which is the Greek wrd fr servants Angels are agents Gd created as heavenly servants, and their principle missin is t serve thse wh are appinted t inherit salvatin 2014 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.

3 Hebrews 2A (2014) 3 f 9 In ther wrds, amng all the duties Gd gave t angels, the mst imprtant duty the Lrd assigned was the respnsibility f serving yu and I When we understand angels in this way, we keep their imprtance in a prper perspective Gd didn t chse angels t deliver imprtant messages in past days because angels themselves were imprtant Gd used them because that was their jb They were created fr that very purpse But then the time came fr the Lrd t reveal the Persn at the center f thse messages, then n rdinary servant wuld suffice Which is why the writer pened the letter explaining the many ways in which Jesus was superir t angels And with that analysis, the writer has left his audience at a juncture - a decisin pint We can chse t disagree with the writer s argument that Jesus was greater than angels But if s, then we must g back t the OT texts and shw the errrs in the writer s cnclusins Or we can agree with the writer s teaching, and if s then the cnclusin must fllw naturally Jesus is superir t angels, and therefre anything Jesus delivered was superir t anything delivered by angels The writer s pint is simple...wh d yu say Jesus is? It s the very same questin Jesus Himself asked during His earthly ministry Matt. 16:13 Nw when Jesus came int the district f Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, Wh d peple say that the Sn f Man is? Matt. 16:14 And they said, Sme say Jhn the Baptist; and thers, Elijah; but still thers, Jeremiah, r ne f the prphets. Matt. 16:15 He said t them, But wh d yu say that I am? Matt. 16:16 Simn Peter answered, Yu are the Christ, the Sn f the living Gd Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.

4 Hebrews 2A (2014) 4 f 9 Our pprtunity t be recnciled t Gd and t btain the salvatin He ffers hinges n ur answer t Jesus questin Wh d yu say that I am? Wh is Jesus? Prphet? Teacher? Criminal? Maniac? Or the Sn f the Living Gd? The Messiah? It serves n purpse t debate the merits f His teaching r even t seek t imitate His exemplary life if we dn t believe His claims He claimed t be the Sn f Gd, the Messiah sent t prclaim the Kingdm was at hand He claimed t be equal, ne with the Father He claimed t be the Creatr If He was nt these things, then Jesus is clearly a liar r at least seriusly disturbed And hw culd we cmmend the teaching f anyne under thse circumstances? The writer is making this same argument t the Jewish members f the early church, asking them t cnsider this central questin: wh d yu say Jesus is? The very fact that sme in the church thught angels t be superir t Christ was f serius cncern t this writer, because it calls int questin their claims t faith Saving faith requires an acceptance f Jesus as Lrd Paul says: Rm. 10:9 that if yu cnfess with yur muth Jesus as Lrd, and believe in yur heart that Gd raised Him frm the dead, yu will be saved; Cnfessing - that is agreeing - that Jesus is the Lrd is at the cre f saving faith Any church cnfused n the imprtance f Jesus in cmparisn t the rest f the Heavenly hst is a church withut saving faith 2014 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.

5 Hebrews 2A (2014) 5 f 9 And this cncern leads the writer int the first f five imprtant warnings issued t his readers These warnings frm the rhetrical high pints in the letter In fact, we can divide the letter int five sectins, each leading up t a warning t the reader Chapters 1 & 2 cmprise the first f thse five sectins and include the first warning f the letter The writer issues the warnings t stir his audience t actin because he s cncerned ver things they are thinking and ding And all five warnings wrk t crrect an aspect f Christian dctrine r duty This first warning addresses the first and mst imprtant issue f Christian dctrine: the dctrine f Christlgy That is, wh is Christ And s the warning is naturally that f the need t receive Him fr salvatin Heb. 2:1 Fr this reasn we must pay much clser attentin t what we have heard, s that we d nt drift away frm it. At the pening f chapter 2, the writer begins t transitin t the warning And this warning is built n the premise he s presented in Chapter 1, that is the superirity f Christ t anything in creatin The writer calls his audience t pay much clser attentin t what they have heard frm Christ Given Christ s supreme imprtance as a Messenger, then we must give the utmst attentin t what He says Let s take a mment t understand the writer s statement The phrase pay much clser attentin is cntrasted with drift away These phrases in Greek create an image f mving water 2014 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.

6 Hebrews 2A (2014) 6 f 9 In fact, the Greek wrd fr drift is literally the wrd t describe the flwing f water The writer is drawing a picture f smene flating in a bat dwn a slw mving river And at the edge f the shre is a firmly planted rck As we flat by the rck, it catches ur attentin We cnsider it carefully, but we never reach ut t grasp it and stp ur mvement Instead, we just watch it at a distance as we cntinue t drift Until we drift s far away, it s n lnger in sight That rck is the message f the Gspel, the Gspel that declares Jesus as Lrd This is the rck we must embrace t be saved Yet sme in the early church had heard the Gspel and even cnsidered it fr a time But they hadn t embraced it And s they were in danger f flwing by and drifting away entirely And the evidence f their unbelief is fund in their unwillingness t cnsider Jesus as abve the angels Their cntinued preference fr angels and the messages delivered by angels betrayed their lack f faith in Jesus and His claims t the Messiah At the very least, they weren t clear n purpse f the Messiah And s they were letting the truth f the Gspel pass them by They may have been assembling in the church but they were nt yet part f the church spiritually speaking There is nthing shcking r even usual abut suggesting that sme in the church are nt truly believers This has always been a reality in the church 2014 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.

7 Hebrews 2A (2014) 7 f 9 Everyday, men and walk int cngregatins and jin themselves t the gathering withut actually knwing Christ as Lrd Hpefully, they sn cme t knw the Lrd, but sme never d They hand arund the faithful and mimic the church culture, but they have never cme t understand and agree that Jesus is Gd The essence f the Gspel escapes them The writer begins his letter calling ut thse in the church wh cntinue t live in unbelief, citing as his prf their cntinued reliance n angels ver a reliance in Christ And t that grup, the writer issues a warning Heb. 2:2 Fr if the wrd spken thrugh angels prved unalterable, and every transgressin and disbedience received a just penalty, Heb. 2:3 hw will we escape if we neglect s great a salvatin? After it was at the first spken thrugh the Lrd, it was cnfirmed t us by thse wh heard, Heb. 2:4 Gd als testifying with them, bth by signs and wnders and by varius miracles and by gifts f the Hly Spirit accrding t His wn will. The writer again draws a cmparisn t angels and the messages they delivered The wrd spken thrugh angels is a reference t the Law f Mses delivered by angels as part f the Old Cvenant That wrd was unalterable, the writer says The Law f Gd never had a clause fr amendment Our natin s cnstitutin has a prvisin allwing the peple t change the law f the land thrugh amendments S ur law is nt unalterable But Gd s Law fr Israel was unalterable N amendments, n adjustments As Jesus said: 2014 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.

8 Hebrews 2A (2014) 8 f 9 Matt. 5:18 Fr truly I say t yu, until heaven and earth pass away, nt the smallest letter r strke shall pass frm the Law until all is accmplished. All the Law must be accmplished, accrding t Jesus S if smene in the natin f Israel failed t heed the instructins fund in the Law, they were subject t the death penalty There is n prvisin in the Law f Mses fr intentinal sin If smene in Israel intentinally disregarded the instructins fund in the Law, then there was nly ne remedy under the Law They were subject t the death penalty Their earthly lives were in jepardy S likewise, the writer asks in v.3 what kind f penalty shuld we expect if we neglect s great a salvatin as the ne delivered by the Lrd Himself? The wrd fr neglect in Greek is amele, which means t pay n attentin In ther wrds, if we ignre the salvatin ffered in Christ, what penalty awaits us? If the penalty fr ignring angel s instructins was physical death, then what might we expect t receive fr ignring the instructins f the Messiah? Thugh the writer desn t answer the questin, the answer is bvius: spiritual death Rather than dwell n that pssibility, the writer mves quickly back t reaffirming the truth f the Gspel revealed in Christ In the secnd half f v.3 the writer testifies that this salvatin, the Gspel, was the wrd spken by the Lrd Himself And it was cnfirmed t the church by thse wh heard the Lrd Thse wh heard were the apstles, and they cnfirm the wrds f Christ in their writings This writer speaks as ne wh knew and accmpanied the apstles, but perhaps was nt an apstle himself 2014 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.

9 Hebrews 2A (2014) 9 f 9 S the church has the Lrd s appearing and wrds, and we have the cnfirming testimny f the apstles But then we als have the Lrd testifying t the truth f the Gspel thrugh signs and wnders in the early church Miracles were prf that the claims f Christ and the apstles were trustwrthy And frm then until nw the gifts f the Hly Spirit given t the church accrding t the Lrd s will cntinue t testify the truth f the Gspel In ther wrds, the claims f the Gspel are trustwrthy They came frm a superir surce and were thrughly validated by Gd and men We simply can t neglect such a great salvatin And yet sme in the church were ding exactly that As we have already learned, their stumbling blck was a preccupatin with angels, but it ges deeper than that The real cncern was His incarnatin and what it meant that Jesus died in the end Fr a Jewish believer, the superirity f Christ and His message was a tugh pill t swallw when they reflect n their Messiah in a frail, human bdy crucified by their Rman enemies This image f Jesus cntradicts their expectatin f a cnquering, all-pwerful Christ cming t rule n earth And s by cmparisn, angels appear far mre majestic and imprtant And therefre, their message fund in the Law f Mses appears t trump the message delivered by Christ S t these wavering members f the early church, the writer mves his discussin f angels t an explanatin fr why the Messiah needed t take the frm f man and die 2014 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.

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