THE SON IS GREATER THAN THE PROPHETS
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds…( 1:1-2)
Hebrews is a book loaded with comparisons and at the very outset of the epistle the comparison is made between the prophets who spoke from God, but always in a limited capacity, and Christ in whom the fullness of the revelation of God is revealed.
Though no less the Word of God, the prophets could only speak in limited and separate revelations on behalf of God. The Son, however, speaks directly as God in the fullness of God’s authority.
Jesus is the heavenly prophet whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting (see Micah 5:2) and he is the one whom Moses testified should come (Acts 3:22-23).
When asked if he was “that prophet,” John the Baptist (who was a prophet) said “I am not the Christ” (John 1:20-21) but was sent to announce his coming, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord.” (John 1:23).
Jesus is in a class unlike any other prophet, for all other prophets were servants, but Jesus is Lord. They spoke as servants of the Lord, Jesus spoke with unmatched authority because he is the Lord.
THE SON IS THE HEIR OF ALL THINGS
(God) hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 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… (1:2-3)
The Son by whom God has spoken is mentioned, first of all, as heir of all things. Whereas all other prophets spake in the capacity of a servant only, the Son is the heir. He is not simply an heir, but the heir of all things.
The Son is heir of God’s glory and expression. He is heir of creation and the redeemer of it, and he is the heir of God’s throne – when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high… (1:2-3)…But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. (1:8)
The speaking of God by his Son is more than the speaking forth of the words of truth, it is the whole revelation of himself in the person of Jesus Christ. God is revealed fully by his Son.
THE SON IS SUPERIOR TO THE ANGELS
Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. (1:4-8)
As the heir of God, the Son is greater than the angels. By inheritance, Jesus obtained a more excellent name than all the angels. The name specifically being referred to here by the author of Hebrews is not the proper name, Jesus, though the name of Jesus is above every name in heaven, and in earth, and under the earth (Philippians 2:8-11).
The name being referred to by the writer of Hebrews is that of Son – “Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, THOU ART MY SON, this day have I begotten thee?
Some may argue that Son is a title and not a name, but the point being made by the author of Hebrews is that God never said to the angels “You are my Son, today I have begotten you.”
He then goes further giving more scriptural proof saying – “and again” – a reference to other scriptures which prove his case.
AND AGAIN, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?
AND AGAIN, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.
With much scriptural evidence the author of Hebrews will repeatedly pile on throughout his epistle to show how truly glorious the Son is, for the glory of the Son is one of the major themes throughout the book of Hebrews.
THE SON IS EXALTED
And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. (1:4-8)
In 2:6-7 the author of Hebrews will quote from Psalm 8 to testify of the Son who took on human flesh to redeem us through his own blood.
What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands…
The Son who has been made so much better than the angels, is the same who lowered himself in holy humility, taking a position in which he too was made lower than the angels to bring redemption to humanity (2:9-10).
What does it mean that Jesus was made a little lower than the angels?
In 1:7 and 14, the writer of Hebrews tells us the angels are spirits – And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire…Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
In contrast, Jesus came in the flesh as the seed of Abraham.
For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. (2:16)
Jesus is God manifested in the flesh. He is the God-man. He fully identifies with God, being of one with God’s divine essence and he fully identifies with humanity having humbled himself to take on flesh and blood.
It is in view of Christ’s humility – his taking on flesh and blood to suffer for us – that the the author of Hebrews is setting forth how Jesus was made so much better than the angels. Yes, he is far superior to the angels because of his divine essence, for the angels are commanded to worship him (1:6). Yet the message being communicating here is that of the exaltation of the Son of God AFTER he had purged our sins and sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.
The enthronement of the Son, post resurrection, is at the foundation of the epistle. If we miss the glorious exaltation of the Son in chapter one, we will likely miss the weight of the entire message of the epistle. The Son, who took on flesh and blood to give his life for the sin of the world, is exalted, and from this vantage point, the author will take us from one truth to another showing us the exalted Son of God.
THE SON IS ENTHRONED IN RIGHTEOUSNESS
But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. (1:8-9)
The exaltation of Jesus is the exaltation of righteousness. Christ is the King of righteousness. Isaiah prophesied of Jesus saying, “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice (righteousness) from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”
For more on the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy concerning Jesus exalted on the throne of David follow the link at the end of this teaching.
THE SON IS LORD FROM THE BEGINNING AND FOR EVER
And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?(1:10-14)
The glory of the exalted Christ is that he is both Lord from eternities past, and Lord triumphant, being exalted in his victory over death whereby he redeemed us with his blood. God, who made the worlds through his Son, gives life to the dead through the Son as well. As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:6, God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
The glory bestowed on the Son is unmatched, for he is glorified and exalted as both creator and redeemer.
CHRIST ENTHRONED AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD