The Way - Day 148 (Hebrews 1)

Daily Reading:
Hebrews 1
Don't forget to journal in your Foundations Book!
Daily Reading Audio Commentary:
Today's Question or Action Step:
Chapter 1 of Hebrews recounts Christ's work, his character, and all God the Father said of him.  His resume or credentials if you will.  As a group, reflect on how Jesus was a God of action, love, and mercy.  How does this mold your everyday perspective?
Weekly Memory Verse(s):
OPTION 1: Psalm 55:22
OPTION 2: Proverbs 19:17
OPTION 3: Matthew 6:14-15
Further Study Resources:
Study Guide for Hebrews 1 (Enduring Word - David Guzik)
Pastor Tom's Journal on Today's Reading:
Introduction to Hebrews
Written by an unknown author and written to unknown group of the people, the book of Hebrews may seem like a challenge to understand; however, from the content of the book we are able to derive many things about its purpose. We must not also forget that, ultimately, the Holy Spirit is the author. During the time of this writing the Levitical priesthood and the Old Testament sacrificial system were still in place. Since the temple was destroyed in AD70 and there is mention of Timothy being released from prison (13:23) as well as believers experiencing persecution (10:32-39), we must assume that Hebrews was written prior to that time so it is estimated between AD67-69. It is clear that the author was seeking to prove the superiority of Jesus Christ and Christianity over Moses' law and Judaism. The author of Hebrews also brings out the fact that all believers have direct access to God and therefore have no need for a priest to make sacrifices for them (Hebrews 4:14-16; 10:19-25). As far as the recipient of Hebrews, we can safely assume he was writing to three specific groups of people: believers, unbelievers who only believed with their intellect, and unbelievers who did not know what they thought about Jesus Christ. The writer wanted the believers to let go of their traditions and system of Judaism in order to embrace the finished work of Jesus Christ, while warning those who still did not believe the truth about Jesus Christ. Hebrews is a book whose purpose is to show that Jesus Christ is better than any other thing that attempts to connect us with God.

Hebrews 1:1-3
Remembering that the theme of Hebrews is "Jesus Christ is better than..." the writer begins by establishing the authority of Jesus over all things and His rightful position to be seated next to God the Father. We must also keep in mind that Jesus was the perfect revelation of God and His life was meant to be a complete representation of what God is really like. In past times, God revealed Himself through Old Testament prophets (1:1). There are 39 books in the Old Testament and each one is meant to uncover God's plan to redeem mankind while giving special insight as to how God interacts with man. However, in current times God revealed Himself by sending His only Son, Jesus Christ, and the Father has given Him absolute rulership over the universe (1:2). Through the power of His words, Jesus controls the world and He has been given this position because He "purged our sins" and "sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high." The author of Hebrews is trying to help the reader understand that the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ caused Him to be a fuller witness to God than the former prophets and therefore they should listen to Him. He did not want his readers to ignore the witness of the Old Testament prophets, but rather see that Jesus had provided a fuller understanding of God and His forgiveness of sin. It is amazing how God loves us so much that He is continually interested in making Himself real to us! In the past He revealed Himself through prophets and then He sent Jesus (God in human flesh) so that we could know Him personally!

Hebrews 1:4-14
Angels were created by God to help and lend assistance whenever God needed them and many Jews held them in high esteem. In fact, there was a Jewish community which apparently viewed angels as just below God and viewed the Messiah (Jesus Christ) as a little lower than the angels. Although Jesus did set aside some of His authority while on earth, He never ceased to be God and after His work (death and resurrection) was completed He was brought to a higher place of exaltation (Philippians 2:9-11). The author of Hebrews wanted his readers to know that Jesus Christ was better than the angels (1:4). Quoting from Old Testament passages, the author goes on to identify the unique relationship between God the Father and God the Son (1:5) and that angels actually will worship Him (1:6) as well as serve Him (1:7). The writer continues to establish Jesus' position by reminding the reader of His future kingdom and rulership during His millennial reign (1:8-9). Even though Jesus created the earth (1:10), He will one day destroy it, but He will remain unchanged (1:11). This is the writer's way of reminding us that Jesus is truly God (1:12). Ultimately, angels only serve and minister while Jesus will one day reign making Him better than the angels (1:13-14).

Dear God, You are truly higher than the angels and may I worship You alone!