Summary: Have you neglected this great salvation Jesus offers? If so, may this first commandment found in "The Letter To The Hebrews" move you to repent, and cause you to give “pay closer attention to” the gospel of Christ!
The First Command in Hebrews
Text: Hebrews 2:1-4
In chapter one of Hebrews there are no commands for the church. We are not told to do anything. Hebrews 1:1, this is the point of chapter one: something new and better and miraculous happened in the coming of the Son of God.
This is Hebrews’ way of saying what John said in his gospel, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. . . . And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us...” John 1:1, 2, 14. In other words, God the Son took on human form as God’s final, decisive Word to the world. Final and decisive in that, since Jesus came, all that God has to say is rooted in Jesus, and points toward Jesus, and is proven by obedience to Jesus. All the fullness of God is in Jesus “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.” Colossians 2:9. “…in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:3. Beyond what the Old Testament told us, whatever we need to know about God and how he relates to our lives we learn from what we hear and see in God’s final, decisive Word, Jesus Christ. That’s what Hebrews 1 is all about: this final word of God, Jesus Christ.
In summary, chapter one says that the Son of God is the heir of all things (v. 2), he made the world (v. 2), he is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of God’s nature (v. 3), he upholds all things by the word of his power (v. 3), he made purification for sins (v. 3), he sat down at the right hand of God’s majesty (v. 3) and he is greater than any angel (v. 4) because angels worship him (v. 6). He is the mighty God (v. 8).
That’s the message of chapter one: God has spoken by his Son and this Son is Creator and Sustainer and Owner and Ruler and Redeemer of the world. There are no commands for us here. Only declaration and celebration of the greatness of Jesus, the final Word of God.
I. The First Command in Hebrews -- Listen!
A. But in chapter two the first thing is a command or a duty
1. -- something we must do. And the connection with chapter one is very important. Chapter two begins, "For this reason . . ." (Or: some versions have, "therefore"). In other words chapter two begins by telling us that chapter one is the reason for this duty. Because God has spoken by his Son in these last days, and because he is the Creator and Sustainer and Owner and Ruler and Redeemer of the world -- above all angels -- therefore ("for this reason . . .") "we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard.".
2. Now here is a command that we need desperately to hear in our day. What do you listen to? Whom do you listen to? God has spoken through his Son, do you listen to him? How does your listening to him compare to your listening to other things? When we want to listen to someone, we make provisions for listening. If we want to listen to a musical group we make sure that we have the CD or tape in the car. If we want to listen to the news, we make sure there is a radio in the kitchen or that we have a TV and that we have it turned on at the right time. If we want to see our favorite show we make sure to set things up to record so we won’t miss a thing.
3. On and on it goes. We all want to listen to something. And we make plans for our listening and we buy things and go places and make sure we are not distracted. So how does all this compare to our listening to God’s Word to us in his Son? Are you listening to that? Are you making provisions for that? Are your kitchen and your car and your den and your reading devoted to that?
II. It is Exceedingly Necessary
A. It is not an option.
1. What Hebrews is saying here is that in the Christian life we must go on listening to God’s Word in Jesus. And we must do this with very close attention. We cannot treat this casually. We cannot act as if we already know all we need to know, or that we have nothing to gain from listening to Jesus.