Summary: The theme that permeates throughout is how to hear and respond to God’s revelation.
Lesson 2: God’s Revelation in “Son” (1:2-4)
Scripture: Heb. 1:2-4 (KJV)
2 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; 3 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; 4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
This passage serves two functions. First, it has to do with the appropriate response of the hearers to the new mode of God speaking through His Son. Second, it presents a broader concept of all God’s dealings with humanity starting with the Bible and extending to the significance of the divine Son. The theme that permeates throughout is how to hear and respond to God’s revelation. It is the same God who has spoken in the distant past, and therefore the Old Testament may be used to interpret the person and work of Jesus. The apostle emphasizes the divine closeness of the Son to God the Father.
The second half of verse 3 refers to the saving activity of the Son, the sacrifice of himself for sins and His exaltation into heaven. Verse 4 both announces the theme of the section to follow and concludes the proceeding statement.
2 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;
Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son,
The prophets “of old” were both seers of the Messianic hope and speakers for God concerning the revelation of redemption that was progressively drawing near. Now, however, “in these last days”; that is, this is God’s last dispensation of God’s grace to men”?we have been living in the last days since Jesus came into the world. Since then, God has “spoken unto us” directly “by His Son,” [better, through His Son] not through another prophet, as high and holy office as that is. No longer must we get God’s message relayed through the prophets as middlemen. It has now come to us through the Son, by whom the world was created, who reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of His nature, and who upholds the universe by His powerful Word. When we say that Christ is the Son of God, as it is claimed here, we mean much more than that He is the Son of God in the same sense that converted men are sons of God. Those, who from among men are raised to that privilege, become Sons of God only by regeneration and adoption. But Jesus Christ is God’s Son by nature and generation.
The motive for God speaking on so many occasions and in so many ways was love. The fact becomes clear when we ask why did God speak again, and this time definitively, through the incarnate Son? Clearly it was necessary for God and the human family to be able to speak the same language. God is engaged in a stunning love affair with the human family. In the person of the Son, God exposes himself as incarnate to satisfy our need to grasp Him with our senses: to see Him, to listen to Him, to touch Him.
God has spoken completely only through the Son. The apostle Paul confronts his friends immediately with the God who has intervened in human history with His awesome word addressed to different generations of people. His ultimate word, however, was uttered through one who is distinguished from the earlier series of prophets by reason of the relationship he sustains with God. He is God’s Son. As such, He was uniquely qualified to be the one through whom God spoke His final and complete word.
whom he hath appointed heir of all things,
In these last days God has spoken to us by His Son, “whom he hath appointed heir of all things.” Here Paul gives a penetrating description of the divine honor, dignity, grandeur, and glory of God’s Christ ? He who became our Savior. The Son of God became the Son of man, so that we might become the Sons of God through His finished work. Jesus came to do the Fathers will, and He finished the work the Father sent Him to do, for which He was given the highest seat in heaven, at the right hand of the Majesty on High. Yet the grandeur of the Son is beyond our imagination. It would be utterly impossible for the finite mind of man to coin words that would fittingly describe the glory of God’s Christ!