Jan 22, 2023 | Greg Johnson
Better Than Angels
V4 – “He became…” – the context is in the verse before – after becoming purification for sin, he sat down at the right hand of the majesty of heaven – This is referring to the death and resurrection of Jesus – remember, Jesus is the incarnation of God, or God in the flesh – he is an equal member of the Trinity, God the Son – But also remember that while fully God, he took on the limitations of becoming fully man – Philippians 2:6-11, Paul describes his relationship to the Father – the writer here is saying that post-resurrection, he re-took his proper place, seated at the right hand, again picture of supremacy and power.
“Superior to angels, as name inherited is superior to theirs…” – Back to Philippians 2 – Given the name above all other names – The name of Jesus is the name of the HIGH KING over ALL KINGS, both in earth AND in heaven – Colossians 1:16-17 – Over the next few verses, the writer will prove through quoting OT scripture that Jesus is BETTER THAN angels – IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT WHEN WRITER QUOTES OT, HE IS ASCRIBING TO JESUS ATTRIBUTES THAT WERE PREVIOUSLY ASCRIBED TO GOD – AGAIN FULFILLMENT OF PROPHECY
V5 – First, he says that the SONSHIP of Jesus is unique to HIM ALONE – References Psalm 2:7 and 2 Samuel 7:14 – The writer is adept at chaining together OT scripture, and use it to make his case
Here, he is making the case that angels are subservient, created beings, subject to Father God, and Jesus is the ETERNAL SON – so, in the hierarchy of heaven, the angels are BELOW the SON in the pecking order – again, in context, the original hearers are being reminded and inspired that in the old way of Jewish thinking and practice, the Messiah would come as an earthly ruler, another King David – but here, JESUS is GOD’S ETERNAL SON, V3, “the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being” – As God is uncreated, so is the SON – Look at Mary: she was visited by an angel, but called her soon to be born son the “Son of the most High” – Luke 1:32 – Luke 3:21-22, at baptism, God calls Jesus his dearly loved SON – Luke 9:35, at Transfiguration, God says, “This is my SON, whom I have chosen” – Jesus had position as SON.
V6 – “God brings his firstborn into the world…” – priority and favor most often lies with the firstborn, and here he says even the angels are subject to him – In original Septuagint (sep-twa-gint), which is the first Greek translation of Jewish scriptures, Deut. 32:43 reads, “let all the angels worship him…” – modern translations have since left that clause out for some reason.
V7 – Here he quotes Psalm 104:4 – the word “messenger” denotes angelic beings, very clearly stating that angels are made subject to Jesus – makes messengers “wind” and servants “fire” - Seraphim means “burning ones” - writer is making the case that not only are angels lower than the SON, they actually WORSHIP the SON as part of elemental nature –All of creation WORSHIPS JESUS – said it last week, but remember THRONE ROOM in Revelation 5:11-13 – all of heaven, past, present and future WORSHIP the LAMB of GOD, JESUS, and the angels are leading the way –
TODAY, just like wind and fire, as part of CREATION, you and I were MADE TO WORSHIP – we are a part of CREATION that Romans 8:22 says is groaning and crying out, and the song of heaven has been going on since the beginning of what we know as time – JESUS is BETTER THAN and WORTHY OF your FULL ATTENTION and FULL AFFECTION.
V8-9 – Psalm 45:6-7, is contrasting the throne of David with the throne of Jesus – Jesus is in the line of David, but it is an ETERNAL THRONE, and he is an ETERNAL KING.
Not an exact 1:1, but I would say that the last two election cycles have fought for our worship – That while we are not a monarchy, the White House is a modern-day palace, and the President is a modern-day king, and it is so easy to get caught up in worshipping presidents over Jesus – here is what I mean: the challenge is to let your faith reside OVER your politics, and not let politics reside over your faith – The POTUS is a created, elected official, and while arguably the most powerful position in the world, is nothing compared to the SON of the MOST HIGH – and while it is important to vote and participate in politics, hand-wringing and protesting over who is in office shows a lack of trust in Jesus, who is OVER ALL THRONES, POWERS and AUTHORITIES – Contextually, either Nero or Domitian were likely on the throne of Rome at the time, and both ruled with God complexes, claiming earthly deity, and were bent on snuffing out Christianity, refuting the deity of Jesus – And because historically the Jews were looking for an earthly king, and were crying out to heaven for heavenly intervention writer here is saying, “Don’t look to the angels, look to the SON, the HIGH KING of HEAVEN”
V10-12 – Psalm 102:25-27 – “in the beginning…” – two other places this phrase is used – Genesis 1:1, John 1:1 – Writer is again proving the ETERNAL NATURE of JESUS – “He was with GOD IN THE BEGINNING” – And look at this Psalm: “You laid the foundations of the earth, the heavens are the work of your hands, they perish but you remain, they change but you are constant” – Hebrews 13:8, same yesterday, today and forever – Revelation 1:8 – “alpha and omega, who IS, WAS, and IS TO COME” –
For you, you are likely spiritually inconsistent, ups and downs, WE ALL STRUGGLE, and maybe your attention and affection keep wandering to other things to bring you fulfillment – maybe you are worshipping a relationship, your bank account, your career status, even living vicariously through your kids, maybe you find yourself – ALL OF THESE things are fine until they hold the HIGHEST PLACE in your heart – by the way, alcohol, weed or any other drug, porn is simply medication for a heart that is unfulfilled in some way – Anything that captures your attention or affection other than Jesus WILL NEVER SATISFY – WHY? Because you WERE CREATED TO WORSHIP THE CREATOR – The ETERNAL, CONSTANT NATURE of JESUS DESERVES YOUR FULL ATTENTION and AFFECTION
V13-14 - Finally, he one more time underscores that only Jesus has supreme authority – Psalm 110:1 – If angels were messengers for God, now they are messengers for Jesus, because he is the SON who SITS ON AN ETERNAL THRONE as KING of the UNIVERSE
Today, spiritualism is at an all-time high, but the cultural view of worship is “to each his own” – as a result, people are left to their own devices to determine WHO/WHAT and HOW to WORSHIP – With the Bible as the backdrop, Specifically Hebrews 1, We see that Jesus is the SUPREME AUTHORITY of both EARTH and HEAVEN, and YOU ARE INVITED to join the SONG that has been sung since the beginning of time.
Today, maybe you’ve given your time, energy or money to a lesser god, or lesser pursuit – You are invited to capture or recapture the AFFECTION for the HIGH KING of HEAVEN – the BETTER PRIEST, PROPHET, KING, Over the ANGELS
What in your life takes precedent over Jesus? What has captured your FIRST LOVE – Revelation 2:4-5 – REMEMBER, REPENT, RETURN, REPEAT.