Summary: The book of Hebrews highlights 1. The incomparable PERSON of Christ. 2. The incomparable POSITION of Christ. 3. The incomparable PURPOSE of Christ.
JESUS, THE PERFECT REVELATION OF GOD
I was recently approached by a young mother who wanted her baby baptized. She stated that she had some problems with what she had seen in many churches, and in the lives of many Christians. I agreed with many of her grievances. But she went on to say that she wasn’t sure what she wanted to teach her child about God. She wanted her child to be tolerant and open minded about God and life — and that is good. She said she thought the moral teachings of the Bible were a good teaching tool in “some instances,” but she wanted to teach her child that “God is EVERYTHING — everyone, every atom, there’s just no separation between us and them. No judgment because we are all every atom, everyone, everything.” This young woman was sincere in what she believed, and is a good person, but she had no idea that this belief was not Christian. She did not realize that what she believed was a philosophy called Pantheism.
Part of living in a free-wheeling culture like ours is that people believe all kinds of things. And, of course, people are free to believe whatever they want to believe, but they should not confuse what they believe with Christianity. Many people who believe in reincarnation, astrology, communicating with the dead, astral projection and transcendental meditation are at the same time unable to distinguish between what they believe and genuine Christian teaching. In fact, they see no conflict with believing these things and believing in the Christian faith at the same time. Many people believe that it is judgmental to say that it is wrong for unmarried people to live together, to have an abortion, to practice homosexual behavior — unaware that the Bible speaks clearly against all of these kinds of behaviors. Our culture seems to think that everyone can believe or do whatever they want and everyone is still right. Many are saying that all religions are basically the same with different names for God.
It is confusing to live in such a time. Someone recently said, “Why doesn’t the world believe what we have to say?” Then answering his own question he said, “I think it’s because so many Christians don’t act as though they believe it themselves.” He paused and said, “How can we get Christians to believe what they believe?” So many Christians who have been in church and Sunday School all their lives don’t seem to know what they believe. They don’t seem to be able to articulate what the Bible and Christian faith teaches. They seem helpless to distinguish between truth and error. This is why I quote so much scripture when I preach — first of all, to educate as to what the Christian faith is, and secondly, to help you to understand that this is not my opinion, but what the Bible says. This is the teaching of the historic Christian faith.
This morning we begin a new series on the book of Hebrews. And there is no more important teaching than the one we are considering today: the nature of Christ. We need to understand what we believe about Jesus and what he taught. The teachings of Jesus Christ are unique. They are not anything like the teachings of other world religions or modern cults. We could spend a whole year talking about those important differences. But not only are the teachings of Jesus unique, Jesus Christ himself is unique. There has never been a more important person in the history of the world than Jesus Christ. No one has influenced the world or had a more impact on individual human lives than Jesus of Nazareth.
The writer of the book of Hebrews outlines some of the points of his uniqueness in this first chapter. The first thing that he highlights for us is: The Incomparable PERSON of Christ. Jesus was greater than all who came before him in earth’s time. The writer of Hebrews, first of all, tells us that Jesus is superior to the prophets. The prophets were the greatest men of the Old Testament era. They had visions of God and served him with great works of power, but none of them could compare with Jesus Christ. God spoke to Job out of a whirlwind, He spoke to Joseph in dreams. He spoke to Moses out of a burning bush. He spoke to Joshua through an angel. He spoke to Samuel through a voice in the darkness. He spoke to Elijah through a whisper. He spoke to Daniel through a vision. But now, says the writer, God has spoken to us not in a dream or a vision, but in person — through his Son. God spoke to our spiritual fathers through the prophets, but now God speaks to us through his Son. He spoke in the past at many times and in many ways, but in these last days, he speaks to us through Jesus. God spoke to the people indirectly through the old prophets, but Jesus speaks to us directly as God. The prophets, great as they were, could not compare with him. They may have spoken the word of God, but Jesus was the Word of God.