Summary: The writer wants us to see Him; a little lower than the angels, in the suffering of death, and crowned with glory and honor.
INTRO: (read 2:5-18)
When he writes, “But we do see Him who has been made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus...” the author cannot mean that we see Jesus with the natural eye. Even at the time this letter was written, Jesus had more than 30 years previously, ascended through the heavens to sit at the Father’s right hand.
We read that He appeared to Paul on the Damascus road for the purpose of calling him into service, and through history there have been stories of those who have been blessed with a vision of Christ for some specific purpose.
By and large though, Jesus is no longer to be seen with the physical eye ~ but with the eyes of faith. In truth, it has really always been that way.
There were many who saw Him with the natural eye when He walked this earth, and even then, their reaction to Him; their reception of Him; was characterized by faith or the lack of.
At no point in the gospels do we read that someone was physically attracted to Jesus. Nowhere does it say, “The multitudes were amazed at His noble stature” or, “Mary gazed intently into His azure blue eyes”.
In fact, the only physical description we’re given of the Messiah in all of scripture is in Isaiah 53:
“...He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him. Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.”
They were either in awe of His words and the authority in which He spoke them, or they were enraged and driven to murder by them.
They were bowed low in humility at the wonder of His miracles, or they were incensed and determined to be rid of Him.
They accused Him of being a demon and an illegitimate son of the devil, or they declared Him to be the Christ, the Son of the Living God.
Again, all based upon faith, or the lack of. But not according to what they saw with physical eyes.
So it has been and always will be. When He comes in the clouds of glory, and men gaze on the wounds in His hands and His pierced side, they will wail and mourn, they will tremble in terror of their impending judgment, or they will joyfully welcome the coming of their God and Savior. But all reactions will stem from what they have done with His gospel.
Either they will have suppressed the truth in unrighteousness and gone their own way, or they will have appropriated to themselves the unspeakable gift of grace and righteousness through His death and resurrection, and will look forward to an eternity of bliss.
That’s what God’s word says, and it is true and unchangeable.
So we do not see Jesus the way we see each other, but as we look with eyes of faith, we see so much more. Let’s spend the rest of our time this morning, seeing Jesus.
The writer wants us to see:
- Jesus, made a little lower than the angels
In verses 6 through 8 of this chapter the writer is quoting the 8th Psalm. The psalmist was expressing wonder that God would even be mindful of man. He is saying, “When I consider the majesty and splendor of creation, when I meditate on the fact that all of this is the work of Your hands, I am in awe that such small and insignificant things like men would even catch your notice!”
“Yet,”, he says, “Thou has made him a little lower than God...”
Now don’t let that throw you; the Hebrew word there is Elohim, This word is generally understood by us to simply refer to God Himself. But in the Hebrew text, according to the context of what is being said, it can also mean “gods“, (small ‘g’), “divine being”, “mighty”, “ruler”, “judge”, and so forth.
It is Jewish tradition that has also ascribed the term “angels” to that reference, and thus we have the Greek, “aggelos” (messengers) in Hebrews 2:7
With this in mind, understand that what we are being told here, is that man, far from insignificant to God, is made above all physical creation, just a little lower than heavenly beings, (which is the phrase used in Psalm 8 in your NIV bibles).
The psalmist is talking about created men. But it seems the writer to the Hebrews is allowing both interpretations: that it is in reference to men, but also God-become- Man.
The emphasis then, is on His identification with us, as is the emphasis of this entire portion of chapter 2, from verse 5 through verse 18.
Man is made a little lower than the angels, and for a time, the Son of God became the Son of Man, in subjection to the will of the Father, making Himself a little lower than the angels: why?