Summary: These words further elevate Jesus beyond mere good human recognition into the highest company of all – the Godhead. If we are answering the question ‘Who is Jesus?’ we are faced with choosing whether we start with an explanation of his humanity or his di
AIM: To elevate our perspective of JESUS so that any sense of flagging faith is renewed by a fresh understanding of the importance and significance of JESUS.
Hebrews was written to Jewish Christians, probably 2nd generation, whose parents had embraced ‘Christ’ as Messiah and so these people had inherited a faith which they were finding challenging to follow. They needed to know that Christianity was true and Christ was worth following.
Hebrews 1:3 “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being”
Look at how some other translations of the Bible present this verse:
The Message: “This Son perfectly mirrors God, and is stamped with God’s nature”
New Living Translation: “The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God”
These words further elevate Jesus beyond mere good human recognition into the highest company of all – the Godhead. If we are answering the question ‘Who is Jesus?’ we are faced with choosing whether we start with an explanation of his humanity or his divinity. The Hebrew writer starts with a magnificent statement of the ultimate stature of Jesus the Christ.
He is attempting to show these wavering Jewish Christians the true value of following Jesus, and does so with the most amazing declaration that their unbelieving Jewish peers would consider heresy and blasphemy.
JESUS CAME TO SHOW GOD’S GLORY
“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory….” (1:3)
(KJV) the “brightness of his glory”
Radiance / brightness is from two Greek words meaning ‘a ray of light’ and ‘off’
That means Christ is both a source of light and a reflection of light. These explain this verse very well and it two main statements about the true nature of Christ.
For the Hebrew people the glory of God was a visible and outward expression of the amazing presence of God:
When the law was given on Sinai ‘the glory of the Lord’ settled on the mountain (Exodus 24:15-17)
The glory of the Lord was seen in the tent of meeting as a sign of God’s continuing presence (Leviticus 9:23)
When the Ark of the Covenant was captured the Eli the Priests’ daughter in law lamented ‘the glory has departed’ (1 Samuel 4:22)
This writer is saying that in these last days this same glory is revealed in the person of Jesus. Jesus is the reflection of the GREATNESS of who God is:
He shared this glory with the Father before creation - John 17:5 “And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began”
He bought this glory to the earth in his incarnation - John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
He displayed it in moments of amazing power whilst on earth - Luke 9:29 “As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning.”
William Barclay: “Jesus reveals that the glory of God consists not in crushing men and reducing them to abject servitude but in serving and loving them and in the end dying for them”
Then Jesus comes along and says ‘Now you can see God’s glory and live!’
“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory” (Hebrews 1:3)
JESUS CAME TO SHOW GOD’S NATURE
“…the exact representation of his being” (1:3)
(NKJV) “the express image of His person”
The Greek work for representation = charakter which means exact expression or impression as when metal (coin) is pressed in a die, or as the impression of a seal upon wax.
The Greek word for being = hupostasis which means substance – Jesus is of the same substance as God. This means he is in every way GOD.
Philippians 2:6 “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped”
In the incarnation of Jesus, God makes himself perfectly visible to mankind
One writer said “It’s as if God took a perfect picture of himself and sent it to earth – the photo is Jesus Christ”
Colossians 1:15 “He is the image of the invisible God”
To these Jewish readers this is significant. This awesome, invisible, transcendent God whose name they dare not mention has COME PERSONALLY in Jesus the Christ.
Colossians 2:9 “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form”
All the attributes of God become visible in Jesus: Mercy, Love, Grace, Truth, Justice, Compassion.
Jesus is the way the Father becomes visible to us this side of heaven.