Summary: Exposition of Hebrews 2:1-4
November 3, 2002
First Church of the Brethren
H. Kevin Derr
“We must pay attention, The first warning”
1We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not
drift away. 2For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and
disobedience received its just punishment, 3how shall we escape if we ignore such a great
salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those
who heard him. 4God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the
Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.
I. Last Week: Hebrews 1:5-14
A. We looked at three groups of OT quotations, all of which address the
comparison of Jesus to the angels, the Son of God to Servants of God. The
point to show the superiority and changeless nature of Jesus the Son of God
1. The first group was Vs. 5 & 6
A. OT quotes include, Ps2:7 & 2 Samuel 7:14
B. These will provide evidence for Jesus’ divine sonship
2. The second group was Vs. 7-12
B. This moves from the assertion of an idea to the argument for the
3. And the third group was Vs. 13-14
A. Deut 32:43
B. This will assert Jesus superiority to the angels
B. We essentially looked at issues of Christology based in a Hebraic Christian
context. Yet, our author almost exclusively quotes from the Greek translation
of the OT, the LXX. Remember again, the letter to the Hebrews was written
to people who are believers, and who are familiar with the OT scriptures and
the message of the gospel.
II. Today we will be looking at Vs. 1-4 of Chapter 2 where we are given a warning. Our
warning is to pay careful attention to the message delivered to us. Why because if the
message delivered by the angels was binding, the message delivered by the unique
Son of God is even more demanding . . .. It may be helpful to recall the parable of the
should demand more respect than the servants.
A. Today’s text includes a warning, it is the first of five warnings that you will
find in Hebrews (2:1-4; 3:7-4:14; 5:11-6:12; 10:19--39; & 12:14-29).
B. It is good to remember the large role that angels played in the inter-testamental
I. As we begin our exploration of Hebrews 2:1-4, it is should be noted that their is a direct
thematic connection to 1:1-4. Vs. 1:2 specifically, “but in these last days he has spoken to us by
A. The author worked hard to help us understand that the Son is superior to the angles,
and if the Son is superior to the angels, then the message spoken to us by the son
would be superior to the message spoken to us in they past, be that by prophets or
1. It is not a difficult logical jump to make, and we make the inferences like this
all the time.
2. And in fact we are called to make such an inference here in 2:1, “We must pay
more careful attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift
A. Why must we pay more careful attention, because the Son is superior
to the angels and their message.
B. In other words, God’s greatest revelation comes not from the past, from
the messages delivered through angels, but through God’s Son.
3. If we are paying more careful attention, it implies also that there is a
consequence for not paying attention to what we have heard.
A. The consequence is that we will drift away. There also seems to be a
sense that the community who is receiving this letter has done just
what they are warned against, they have not been paying attention to
that they have heard.
1. That they are in fact drifting away, away from the message they
2. What did they hear, and where they drifting. It is probably
much like many churches today where so many things have
become more important than the message we have received
from the Son.
A. It is not hard to imagine how it happens, we become
comfortable with the message, and center more on
organizational issues, cultural issues, popular items and
so forth, and the gospel gets relegated to the middle or
bottom of our list of concerns.
B. What may have caused congregational drift in the days
of the letter to the Hebrews, may not be of great
importance or temptation today, yet the warning stands,
and rightly so.
B. The message we received is just as important today as it was then, and