Epistle to the Hebrews (1:1-3)   Leave a comment

Epistle to the Hebrews

Epistle to the Hebrews

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. Hebrews 1:1-3

There were about 433 years between Malachi (the last book of the OT) and Matthew (the first book of the NT). The author makes allusion to God’s way of communicating with His people (Israel) through the prophets during the ages. For instance, God used Moses as a vessel to show His will and plans for Israel. The law was given by God through Moses to Israel. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezechiel were similarly used by God to warn Israel and show them His will. God spoke to Israel either through a vision, a revelation, a dream, an angel or by voice. God was not always talking to them daily, monthly or yearly. The prophets would say “Thus saith the Lord” but Jesus said “Verily, verily I say unto you”. It’s no longer “God is telling you” but “I am telling you”. It was now more personal, God spoke through His Son. It is a very important theme in our epistle that the Son is the agent through whom God speaks.

For example, the word of the Lord was rare in Samuel’s time. God was not speaking frequently.

The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions. ” 1 Sam 3.

We can realise that the people of Israel were somehow depending on the prophets to know God’s will. These prophets were also just ordinary men. I don’t think they were perfect intermediaries/mediators between God and the people. Saying “I love you” to someone has more impact when it is said face to face than through someone. Not everyone were prophets or priests in the tribes of Israel so many had to go through the spiritual leaders.

The author wanted to emphasize that God was now speaking to His people through His Son. It was not just a prophet. It was the long promised Messiah. It was God’s Son, God Himself. Do we realize the implications? God was speaking through prophets before to demonstrate His concern, will and love. Now, He came down to speak to His creation. Daily He spoke in the temple, on the road, on the mountain, in boat and houses. He was accessible. They could touch Him. God did not send another prophet to proclaim His Word, it was the Holy Word Himself who came in the person of Jesus (John 1). God having a son is absurd to many and seems like a contradiction to Christ’s deity. If we consider Jesus as a biological son of God we’ll be confused because we’ll associate a beginning to His existence. Jesus’ relationship with God is one that resembles the love between a father and a son, it did not begin at a point in time. It logically follows that his sonship is relational and not biological.

This is what John said :

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.” 1 John 1

The Word spoken by Jesus was God’s very Word, directly from God’s heart. God’s very thoughts and sentiments were expressed through the manifestation of the Son.

I am telling you what I saw when I was with my Father.” John 8:38

When Jesus rebuked the Pharisees, He did it with the very sentiments God had. For example when talking about Jerusalem, Jesus talked as if He was the One who sent the prophets. He expressed the rejection He felt. Mark 12 tells us about a man who rented his vineyard to some farmers. He sent his servants to collect fruits from the tenants and whenever he did, the tenants harmed or killed the servants. The man finally sent his son hoping they would respect him, but they did not and rather killed him.

He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’“But the tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.”

Jesus said:

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing” Mat 23:37

God’s expression of love, compassion and justice were all contained in the Son. The Son was God’s voice, He is God’s very utterance made flesh.

We entered the ‘last days’ 2000 years ago when Jesus came. We are now in the end of days. His coming was the end of a covenant and the start of a new one. His coming implied the end of sacrifices and the fulfillment of the law. This Son is the exact representation of who God is and the world was made by the Word (Jesus). It is an argument that the author will substantiate in the following verses to prove that Jesus is God.


Posted October 9, 2011 by Cedric in Theology

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