Summary: 2 of 5 on Hebrews 1-5. This message from Hebrews 2 focuses on how God made man a little lower than the angels and why Jesus became one of us.
We live in a World Full of Choices
Best Buy: Thousands of Possibilities – Get Yours
Consider all the choices we have in the world today. I read somewhere that there are over 900 different models of automobiles for sale in the United States. The average supermarket has 45-50 thousand different kinds of items on their shelves. Just buying ketchup means having to choose from several different brands, sizes, and packaging choices. It’s not easy to figure out! I went to the Best Buy this week and saw no less than 40 different HDTV’s for sale – all different sizes, formats, brands, technologies, and prices.
The choices are many and the confusion is great.
Is it any wonder that so many people are coming to the conclusion that it doesn’t really matter. Just chose something and go on with your life! Now that may be true for some things – like transportation to get around town, condiments for your hot dog, and for watching the Super Bowl – but it’s not a good idea for eternity. But that is exactly what is happening.
Today we’re going to look at the second chapter and learn that not only is Jesus not an angel – he became a man – who is also not an angel – but a created being made just a little bit, a tiny little bit, a hairs breadth smaller than an angel.
After he so powerfully argues that Jesus is not an angel and that they have nothing of the authority, position, power, or potential of Jesus, the writer delivers a very clear warning.
We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. 2 For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, 3 how 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. 4 God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.
He warns us to not drift away from Jesus and the salvation he offers. Considering all of the pressure on us today this morning to accept so many competitive philosophies and ideas this warning is one that we should be listening to very carefully!
That word “drift” has some interesting connotations. One is the idea of drifting along in a row boat on a lazy summer afternoon. That is kind of an appealing idea to me! No, I think the author is trying to draw us a different picture. Think of that row boat drifting along down a lazy river, that begins gradually – O, so gradually – to pick up speed until it suddenly and without much warning at all simply drops away and plummets to the rocky and jagged bottom of a mighty water fall.
Over the last couple of centuries there have been several people who drifted down the Niagara River, traveling faster and faster until they suddenly shot out over the falls to their deaths. This is the image that the author is inviting you to imagine and our father God is on the shoreline yelling – “hey… you are drifting down the river and you are going to go over the falls!!”
I’d like you to take note of some key words that are used here.
Violation – The word refers to a transgression of law, a breaking of the rules, or a flagrant disregarding of the warning. Imagine that you are standing on the bank of the Niagara river upstream of the falls and notice a sign that says, “Warning, No Swimming because of Dangerous Current”. You would be a fool to see such a sign and to ignore it wouldn’t you! That would be flagrant, foolish, breaking of the rules and a transgression of the law and it would have a consequence. You’d fly out over the falls and down to a certain death, crushed against the rocks by the pounding water.
Disobedience – The second word is “disobedience” which means, literally, to “hear amiss” or to “miss hear” what has been said. Think of God shouting from the bank – “Get out of the river, you are going to go over the falls”, and you hear “
Ignore – The third word is “ignore” which means, literally, “to neglect or make light of.” Think of God shouting from the bank and you just laughing it off. What doe God know about this old river? Why it’s been flowing just fine for miles and it will just keep on going like it has for ever. Not so! There is a great destruction coming!