Better Than the Prophets
Hebrews was a general letter primarily addressed to Hebrew Christians who suffered rejection and persecution by fellow Jews. They were in danger of falling away or quitting their faith because they were an immature group that faced the temptation of holding onto the symbolic and spiritually powerless rituals and traditions of Judaism. This letter's purpose was to give these believers encouragement and confidence in Christ, their Messiah and High Priest. We do not know who the author is, but it is expected that the book was written around 64-68.
Hebrews 1:1-4 is one sentence in the Hebrew language. It begins right off with the idea of "This is God's supremely great Son; listen to Him!" Verses 1 and 2 contrast the Old Testament and New Testament in that verse one says, "God spoke to our fathers by the prophets"; while verse 2 says, "but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son". This shows us God's Progressive Revelation: God slowly reveals Himself more and more until He shows us Jesus.
The last days refer to the time between the first coming and second coming of Jesus, which means we are living in the last days now! We don't know how much longer we will have here (maybe a day or maybe 1000 years), but we must always have a sense of expectancy that He will return soon.
How is Jesus better than the prophets? The author lists 7 ways:
The Son is superior to the Old Testament prophets in that the prophets were a group of people that were God's instruments. When the prophets spoke, it was merely as a mouthpiece, but when Jesus spoke, it was God Himself who spoke.
1. The Son inherits all things, while the prophets are a part of that inheritance.
2. The Son created all things and is the One who operates and manages the universe and all its creatures all down the successive ages of time. (Col 1:16)
3. The Son is the radiance of the glory of God, not merely in the sense that He is the outshining of that glory, but that He Himself is a divine center of the out-raying of God's glory, co-eternal and co-existent with the Father, of the same substance as the Father and, while the Son by eternal generation from the Father, yet also very God of very God, possessing in Himself life and light.
4. The Son is the exact impression of the Person and the character of Deity, thus its exact expression. "Whoever has seen me has seen the Father." - John 14:9
5. The Son carries the weight of the universe, maintains its coherence, and carries on its development. He is intimately involved with His creation.
6. He has by the shedding of His own blood on the Cross, put away sin. This is written in the aorist tense - a single, definite, once and for all act! Not only has He saved us from the power of sin in this life, but from the presence of sin in the life to come as well.
7. He sat down because He is at a place of majesty at the right hand of the Father. He continues to give His life for us through interceding for us.
To Discuss Today:
1. Knowing that Jesus "upholds the universe by the Word of His power", what do you need to let go of right now? What are you trying to "control" that you just don't have control of? Remember, nothing spins out of control, and He works it all together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His good purpose.
2. Begin memorizing Hebrews 10:23-24, "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works."
3. Which of the 7 ways Jesus is better from above brings you the most comfort? The most encouragement? The most confidence? Why?