Hebrews 1:1-9: God’s Last Word
September 1, 2023
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
The Book of Hebrews, anonymous in its manuscripts, comes to us as a great word that exalts Jesus above all other heavenly and earthly powers, and also calls us to stick with Jesus because he is therefore better than anything and anyone else. It is written as a sermon encased with a letter. Most of Hebrews is in homiletic form – one long sermon – but by the end, you understand that it was all encased with an epistle, a letter that was sent. To whom was it sent? Apparently, those at least very familiar with Old Testament teaching and Jewish religious rituals. Probably Christian Jews, tempted to go back to the old synagogue in order to escape the coming and increasing persecution for those new-fangled Christians. Why not continue to follow God in the synagogue and escape the persecution? Is he not the same God? But, no, says the author of Hebrews, Jesus is in every way better, and if we refuse to listen to Him, then we will come under the same judgment as those who refused to listen to God in the Old Testament.
The book therefore functions to us today as a call not to leave Jesus to go on to other ideas or philosophies or experiences that are everywhere preached to us through media and culture today. Instead of being called back (as they were), we are being called forward (to a new age where religion is all religions are the same, or none are true). In either case, we must realize that Jesus is better.
These first nine verses introduce this whole theme by teaching us that Jesus is better than the angels. Imagine the most powerful and extraordinary spiritual being you can possibly imagine. Jesus is far superior to the angels.
But in particular, in the first four verses, the author of Hebrews describes Jesus as God’s last Word. In the past, he has spoken many times in various ways – the prophets in the Old Testament. But in these last days – the last days that are inaugurated by the first coming of Jesus and continue until his second coming – God has spoken by his Son. Jesus is God’s last Word.
And therefore we must believe in Jesus, follow Jesus, give ourselves to understanding and growing in the personal knowledge of Jesus through his Word.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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