God wants us to always remember what a great Savior He has sent us. The “bigger” Jesus is in our eyes, the more confident and secure we are in His salvation. But there’s something about our human nature that tends over time to make Him smaller – to forget who He really is. When that happens, doubts emerge about our salvation, or at least we question God’s love for us. In our minds, our sins loom larger and larger until we become convinced He must have grown tired of us. After all, by this point, we’ve become tired of ourselves, so we can only imagine how He must feel. When this change in thinking takes place our boldness in prayer diminishes and our worship turns into a fearful ritual in which we try to keep God happy for another week so He won’t punish us. That’s why we desperately need to keep coming back to behold the greatness of the One who saved us. There’s no book of the Bible better than Hebrews to show us who Jesus really is and what He has done for us. As we study this powerful letter over the coming months, we’ll find that He is growing bigger and bigger and bigger in our eyes. And as that happens, you and I will grow more and more and more confident that we are forgiven and loved and invited into His presence.
• Unknown author, but obvious apostolic authority (Barnabas, Apollos, Aquila and Priscilla, Paul)
• Written to Jewish believers, probably in Italy (Heb 13:22-25)
• Old Testament quotes from LXX
• Persecuted because of Christ but not martyrs (10:32-34; 12:4)
• In danger of abandoning their faith and reverting to Judaism
• Date: AD 64-68 (AD 66-70 war in Israel with Rome, Vespasian, Titus)
• Themes: the superiority of Christ, our confidence before God, the need for perseverance
1. Jesus is not another human prophet
• The prophets were humans who brought us bits and pieces of revelation.
• Matthew 21:33-41
2. He’s God’s Divine Son
• “His Son” (v 2)
• God spoke a complete revelation of Himself by incarnating His Son into human flesh.
• He’s incarnated, not created (fully divine, fully human)
3. Who is destined to rule all things
• “Heir of all things” (v 2)
• This universe and the next
• This is His reward for His obedient sacrifice on the cross
• 1 Corinthians 15:27, 28
• Ephesians 1:20-22
• Revelation 21:22; 22:1
• His rulership was prophesied: Ps 2; 110; Isa 9:6, 7; Da 7:13, 14, 27
4. Through whom the Father created the “ages” (v 2)
• Pre-existent divinity
• He created the physical universe, spiritual realms and seasons of time
• 1 Corinthians 8:6, Colossians 1:16, 17, John 1:2, 3, 10
5. Who made God visible (v 3)
• “The radiance of His glory,” “exact representations”
• To see Jesus is to see the invisible Father
• He’s exactly like His Father. It’s as if we were invited into the throne room of heaven to meet God face to face.
• “For in Him all the fullness of deity dwells in bodily form” (Col 2:9)
• “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father…” (Jn 14:9)
• He is an accurate reflection on earth of the heart and personality of God.
• In Him the “image and likeness” of God is fully and perfectly formed.
6. Who will someday destroy the universe (v 3)
• “Upholds all things by the Word of His power”
• At His command the universe continues to exist and at His command it will end.
• Colossians 1:17 “… In Him all things hold (lit: stand) together”
• At some future date He will speak the Word and this universe will cease to exist (Rev 20:11; 2Pe 3:10)
7. Who became a man so He could cleanse us from our sins
• “…He … made purification of sins” (v 3)
• Hebrews 9:11-14
• Our guilt and consciousness of sin removed
• On the cross Jesus shows us the depth of God’s humility and selfless love for us
• He made it possible for us to have access to God and have fellowship with Him
• He has freed us to live holy lives by a new covenant
8. Who is now seated at the right hand of God waiting for the Father to order Him to come again in power
• “He sat down at the right hand…” (v 3)
• This is described in the Book of Revelation
• Psalm 2, 110
• Meanwhile we live in a season of mercy during which God is inviting people to voluntarily submit to His Son
• Why do you think believers can be plagued with doubts that God still loves us and desires to answer our prayers?
• What statement about Jesus in the first three verses of Hebrews brings the most comfort to your heart today?
• Did you learn anything new from these verses that wasn’t clear to you before?