Hebrews 1:1-9

Hebrews 1:1-9 … Hebrews begins a new section of the New Testament (Hebrews through Revelation) that we call the Hebrew-Christian letters. That may seem like an oxymoronic expression, but many of the early Christians were Jews (a Torah-based faith community) who witnessed, heard and placed their faith in Jesus as the Messiah of God. Other Jews may not have seen and heard first hand, but heard first- hand accounts and testimony about Jesus Christ. Had you been alive in the first century, you would have found Christian Jews in synagogues all over the geography of the area. At the same time, you would have found combative traditional Jews who rejected faith in Christ and His teaching. There are examples of that throughout the missionary journeys of Paul, when he was pursued and endangered by Christ- hating Jews.

In the first century, Christian Jews in the synagogues were subjected to constant pressure from others concerning their faith in Jesus, the Christ. Hebrews provided assurance that faith in Christ was the new and better advancement of the Hebrew faith. Our sense of that might be improved by knowing that the Old Testament prophets foretold that a New Covenant (New Testament) would come (see Jeremiah 31:31-33) and with the incarnation of Jesus, Hebrew prophecy had been fulfilled.

These first few verses of Hebrews are packed with information about Jesus, beginning with a great memory verse that assumes we know that God exists and further that He has communicated in the past in various ways. But now, that means of communication has forever changed. Now, God has spoken definitively through His Son (Hebrews 1:1).

Our age is defined as “the last days” (v.2), an age we sometimes refer to as the “Christian era.” There are important details in these verses; for example, Jesus is the exact image of God (v.3). The Gospel of John (John 1:18) confirms this, and tells us that everything we can possibly know about God is declared through Jesus Christ the Son. He holds the world together (v.3) and, very importantly, He alone is able to take away sin and share the authority of God (v.4), which is the accepted meaning of sitting at the right hand of God.

There are several more things to consider as we proceed. Angels were important to Jews and are prominent in both the Old and New Testaments. We have to pause to recognize that we typically identify with tangible, material, natural things we can see, feel, touch and understand. We have difficulty with super-natural things we cannot see. But, the Bible maintains that super-natural beings do exist, created by God for His purposes. Angels are His messengers – and we should acknowledge them but not worship them in any way. Christ is superior to all things of course and is superior to angels who are called to worship Him (v.6).

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