THE MPN HOME PAGE

INDEX PAGE for all MPN Letters Bible Studies

Hebrews 1and2 - In These Last Days

INTRODUCTION: This letter opens with no identification of the author; and there is no person, local church, or even a general geographic region given for the intended recipients. The author immediately began to describe the diverse manners in which God had spoken to the Hebrew ancestors through prophets in past times; but now in these "last days" God has spoken through the Son who is the heir of all things. The Scripture location is not given for many of the references that are used, so I have chosen some passages in my comments that could apply to the wording used by the author of the letter.

NOTE: Bible passages are from the American King James Version.

A - GOD IN THESE LAST DAYS HAS SPOKEN TO US BY HIS SON

Hebrews 1 "1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 Has in these last days spoken to us by his Son, whom he has 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:"

COMMENTS: The Jews at the time of the writing of this letter had many previous generations of teaching from the Scriptures, at synagogues throughout dispersed regions where Jews lived. Some of The Scriptures written over hundreds of years, contained prophecies in varied context about the coming Messiah. There was no clear understanding even by the most highly educated Hebrew scholars to assure that there would be no mistake when Messiah appeared. Without the aid of the Holy Spirit by faith, it was not possible for them to have a true understanding to recognize Christ Jesus to be the one promised. Scriptures in the New Testament make it even more clear today for those who will accept by faith that Jesus is God the Son, and the Savior from the universal inherent sin within every person that will otherwise lead to eternal death.

Verse 2 identifies Jesus as the Son of God, and heir of all things that exist; while at the same time declaring that all things were made by him. Since Jesus is the eternal Son of God the Father who is a triune God, there is no transfer to an heir in the manner as we would normally think about it. What the author calls "diverse manners" were just like an early dawn, before the bright day of sunshine brought by the one who is the "light of the world." After Christ had satisfied the penalty for sin, and defeated death through His resurrection, he returned to the Father in heaven. His salvation from sin is available to all who will believe in His name!

Isaiah 7 "13 And he said, Hear you now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. "

Matthew 1 "20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, you son of David, fear not to take to you Mary your wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 21 And she shall bring forth a son, and you shall call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."

Isaiah 9 "6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be on his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, on the throne of David, and on his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from now on even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this."

John 1 "10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came to his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."

John 5 "33 You sent to John, and he bore witness to the truth. 34 But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that you might be saved. 35 He was a burning and a shining light: and you were willing for a season to rejoice in his light. 36 But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father has given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father has sent me. 37 And the Father himself, which has sent me, has borne witness of me. You have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. 38 And you have not his word abiding in you: for whom he has sent, him you believe not. 39 Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. 40 And you will not come to me, that you might have life."

Jesus has the brightness of God's glory, and the express image of his person: this was strikingly seen by three of his chosen Apostles at the mount of transfiguration when Moses and Elias {Elijah} spoke with Jesus. This is recorded in Matthew 17:1-9, Mark 9:1-10, and Luke 9:28-36.


B - CHRIST JESUS IS THE HEIR OF ALL THINGS

Hebrews 1 "4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. 5 For to which of the angels said he at any time, You are my Son, this day have I begotten you? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? 6 And again, when he brings in the first-begotten into the world, he said, And let all the angels of God worship him. 7 And of the angels he said, Who makes his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. 8 But to the Son he said, Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of your kingdom. 9 You have loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows. 10 And, You, Lord, in the beginning have laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of your hands: 11 They shall perish; but you remain; and they all shall wax old as does a garment; 12 And as a clothing shall you fold them up, and they shall be changed: but you are the same, and your years shall not fail. 13 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool? 14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?"

COMMENTS: The Apostle Paul and his traveling companions visited a synagogue, and after the reading from the law and the prophets, as Paul accepted the opportunity to speak, he applied Scripture to Christ Jesus.

Acts 13 "32 And we declare to you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made to the fathers, 33 God has fulfilled the same to us their children, in that he has raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, You are my Son, this day have I begotten you. 34 And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David. 35 Why he said also in another psalm, You shall not suffer your Holy One to see corruption."

Other Old Testament passages are partially quoted in chapter 1, verses 8 through 14, of this letter to the Hebrews as it speaks of Christ Jesus.

Psalms 45 "6 Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the scepter of your kingdom is a right scepter. 7 You love righteousness, and hate wickedness: therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows."

Psalms 104 "4 Who makes his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire: 5 Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever."

Psalms 102 "25 Of old have you laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of your hands. 26 They shall perish, but you shall endure: yes, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a clothing shall you change them, and they shall be changed: 27 But you are the same, and your years shall have no end."


C - CAREFULLY CONSIDER AND FOLLOW SCRIPTURE ABOUT CHRIST

Hebrews 2 "1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. 2 For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; 3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by them that heard him; 4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?"

COMMENTS: With the factual written record we have about Christ Jesus spoken by him, and from men who witnessed His words and actions before and after His resurrection; the author urges his first readers (and now us) to earnestly bear in mind, and be guided by the truth given through Jesus, to avoid letting it slip away from our daily conduct while we are still in the world. Every act of disobedience to the firm and unwavering Word of God will receive a just consequence for such rebellion against the LORD. if anyone neglects the great salvation offered through belief in Christ, how will they escape the judgment so deserved according to the universal inherent sin in all mankind? The Lord Jesus personally spoke about these things, and they have been confirmed to us by those who heard him. The LORD bore witness with signs, wonders, and many different miracles. God also gave gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will.


D - THE WORLD TO COME IS IN SUBJECTION TO ANGELS

Hebrews 2 "5 For to the angels has he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. 6 But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that you are mindful of him? or the son of man that you visit him? 7 You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor, and did set him over the works of your hands: 8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. 9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man."

COMMENTS: The author of the letter wrote about the world which is to come, and that God has put that world into the subjection of angels until the present world passes. Psalms 8 has wording about things under the subjection of the son of man that can now apply to Christ who took upon himself the flesh of mankind.

Psalms 8 "3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have ordained; 4 What is man, that you are mindful of him? and the son of man, that you visit him? 5 For you have made him a little lower than the angels, and have crowned him with glory and honor. 6 You made him to have dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet:"

The content in that Psalm preceded the life of Christ Jesus on earth, and the completed state of "all things under His feet" now awaits His victorious return from heaven! He was made a little lower than the angels to suffer death in the place of everyone who will believe in Him; and then crowned with glory and honor as His resurrection. This guarantees by the grace of God, the resurrection of all who believe in Christ Jesus.


E - DEATH HAS BEEN OVERCOME

Hebrews 2 "10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both he that sanctifies and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brothers, 12 Saying, I will declare your name to my brothers, in the middle of the church will I sing praise to you. 13 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God has given me."

COMMENTS: The passages prior to Hebrews 2:10 with their applicable references about the one for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, support the fact that because the captain of their salvation was made completely sufficient through suffering in their place for them, many sons are brought to glory. The Old Testament provided prophecies that were then fulfilled by the appearing of Christ as further verified by New Testament passages.

Isaiah 53 "1 Who has believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? 2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he has no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was on him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opens not his mouth. 8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. 9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he has put him to grief: when you shall make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he has poured out his soul to death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors."

Psalms 33 "20 Our soul waits for the LORD: he is our help and our shield. 21 For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. 22 Let your mercy, O LORD, be on us, according as we hope in you."

Psalms 22 "22 I will declare your name to my brothers: in the middle of the congregation will I praise you."

Matthew 12 "49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples and said, Behold my mother and my brothers! 50 For whoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother. "

Psalms 36 "7 How excellent is your loving kindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of your wings. 8 They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of your house; and you shall make them drink of the river of your pleasures. 9 For with you is the fountain of life: in your light shall we see light. 10 O continue your loving kindness to them that know you; and your righteousness to the upright in heart."


F - JESUS TOOK UPON HIMSELF THE SEED OF ABRAHAM

Hebrews 2 "14 For as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For truly he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. 17 Why in all things it behooved him to be made like to his brothers, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that he himself has suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted."

COMMENTS: The Son of God took upon himself flesh and blood whereby the death of his body, for those who believe in Christ, resulted in deliverance from the lifetime bondage of the fear of death. His resurrection destroyed the devil who has the power of death. Christ did not take upon himself the nature of angels, but he took on himself the seed of Abraham in fulfillment of many prophecies. For in all things it was befitting and requisite that he be made in the likeness of his brothers, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for their sins. While in the body of flesh, Christ experienced temptations, therefore his relief and comfort to those who are tempted has a special element of fellowship in the Spirit.

--- REFLECTIONS IN PRAYER ---

LORD, I thank you for the reassurances already provided in the first two chapters of this letter to Jews who knew about many Old Testament promises from God. The author provided further assurance to them (and to we who believe today) that Christ Jesus came in fulfilment of many of those promises and became the only true high priest who is also worthy of worship because he is the Son of God. Christ is the faithful high priest who was tempted, but was without any sin throughout his life on earth. Everyone who follows Christ by faith has fellowship that leads to eternal life in heaven with God. Lord, you have given me complete trust in your comfort and guidance while I remain in this world because you defeated Satan, and have removed for me every form of bondage that the fear of death could produce. Hallelujah, amen!

Published 13 January 2020