The Supremacy of God’s Son

Hebrews 1:1–4

The Prologue

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passages of Scripture. Reread them. From memory, determine the central points.

1.         As to the author, the date written, and to whom “Hebrews” is addressed—all questions are yet debated today. My guess is that the author is Barnabas, written between 55 and 65 CE, and to a Jewish-Christian population in Palestine, Rome, Alexandria, or Ephesus. Clement of Rome commented on it in 95CE in his letter to the Corinthian church. A clue as to the date is that the Fall of Jerusalem in 70CE is not mentioned.

2.         The reason for this sermon (it is more pulpit oratory than prose composition), which is the best Greek in the New Testament, is that some within the group written to were who were either “Christianized” thus not truly converted, or some who were disappointed that the “kingdom” had not fully come and were “tottering” due to persecution.

3.         Verses 1 to 4 consists of one long sentence. The revelation the Writer speaks of is not of two parts but one, and begins with the earliest biblical revelations in the Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament, and most concretely with “our fathers by the prophets.” This may refer to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and Aaron, and then the great later prophets, Elijah, Isaiah, and so forth.

4.         Now the last prophet has come, the Son, who inherits all things, even through whom the universe has been created. The Son, in the economy of the Trinity, is not creator, the Father is creator, but the Son is present.

5.         The Son is of the “exact imprint of his nature.” (see John 1:1–3, 14:8–11; Galatians 4:1–7, and Colossians 1:15–20) The Son “upholds” the universe by the word of his power — a phrase that is too very grand we may never fully comprehend it.

6.         The whole of this is that the Son makes purification for sins, a very Jewish statement, and means that the Son as a sacrifice atones for sin.

7.         After having finished His work, he “sat down,” meaning having completed this greatest of all work, at the right hand of the Majesty on high, a means of declaring the deity of the Son.

8.         No angel could perform this work, only God, the Messiah, could, and did.

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