Summary: Exposition of Heb 1:4-14
Text: Hebrews 1:4-14, Title: Smashing Angels, Date/Place: NRBC, 8/1/10, PM
A. Opening illustration:
B. Background to passage: After the introduction of this superior and final revelation from God, Jesus Christ, the author follows through on a final statement that Jesus was given a more excellent name than the angels. Angels were revered for their power and status by the Jews. They were thought to be more powerful that the Messiah by some sects of Judaism. Some believed that angels had to be consulted before God did anything. Some believed that they moved the stars and advanced the days. So beginning the theme that would carry through the book, the author states that Jesus is superior to the angels. He says in v. 4 that Jesus obtained a better name, or more excellent name than the angels. Philip 2:9-11 Then he gives reasons why that is, five of them.
C. Main thought: so in this text we see five reasons that Jesus is superior to the angels of God.
A. The role of the Son (v. 5)
1. Jesus is superior to the angels because He is the Son. He quotes Ps 2:7 and 2 Samuel 7:14. BTW, the typical Jewish/rabbinical teaching method would be to string texts along one after another. No single angel has ever been called the son of God. This term speaks of His incarnation, and that’s where this title was bestowed on Him. He has all the rights, privileges and authority of the father. The angels are not sons, but created agents that minister to God and do His bidding with absolute obedience. Some servants are treated like family, but they are not.
2. Ps 2:7, 2 Sam 7:14,
3. Illustration: give an example of a man and his sons vs. his hired help
4. Our culture’s fascination with angels usurps the reverence and fascination it should have for Christ, so we are reminded that the Son is 10K times better than the angels. And the reason is that the Son is only in subjection to God temporarily AND the Son is of the same substance, rather than different ones. Sons and servants are different, and Sons are better.
B. The role of God (v. 6)
1. Next thing that the writer quoting Deut 32.43, says is that all these angels are commanded to worship Christ. This shows His superiority in two ways. First, the angels have to bow to them, so he obviously has higher rank. But secondly, no angels ever receive worship, they always refuse it, for there is only One worthy of worship, and that is God. So not only quantitatively, Christ is better, qualitatively He is the best, because He is God. This text, and the text below are some of the greatest verses on the deity of Christ.
2. John 5:23, 15:23-24, 17:10, 10:30
4. This elevates the Son to God’s level, which is biblical teaching. This would have challenged the minds of many of the fence straddlers, and unbelievers. Everything that God is Jesus is: Eternal, Unchanging, Infinite, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Unfathomable, Incomparable, Uncreated, Independent, Self-existent, Self-sustaining, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the one who was, is, and is to come, etc. Jesus is. For you and I this might not be a big deal, but it has huge implications, especially in a culture that like to think of Jesus as good man, a great teacher, a loving friend, the grandfather in the sky, the heavenly bellhop. Press the implications of the deity of Christ. You must know Him as such, and submit/surrender to Him.
C. The role of King (v. 7-9)
1. Next the writer speaks in the language of royalty, quoting Ps 45:6-7. He calls the angels “ministering spirits, but then speaks about Jesus’ throne and scepter as the anointed King of kings. Again great testimony to the deity of Christ. But a King is not subordinate to anyone. Kings of those days had authority that we cannot understand in our day.
2. Philip 2:9-11, Rev 5:13-14, 1 Chron 29:11, Ps 47:2,
4. Jesus is king of your life, king of this world, king of your finances, king of this church, king of your boss, king of hospitals and disease, king of governments, king of the economy and the housing markets, king of the city of Tifton, etc. You don’t make Him king or Lord, he already is. The only question is whether or not you are submitting yourself to Him. He is the absolutely sovereign ruler of everything. But He is a good, wise, and loving King that always looks out for the best interests of His subjects who love Him.
D. The role of Creator (v. 10-12)
1. Next the writer quotes Ps 102:25-27 applying it to the Son. Again drawing from the OT, as he does throughout the whole book, demonstrating that Christ was meant in these texts. NT affirms that Christ was an agent in creation in several places, but to a Jewish audience, before the completion of the NT, God would have been the only creator. And of course what we know about creation is that God makes something out of nothing. And His “creating” is unlike man’s. Again this sets Jesus apart, high and above the angelic hosts.