Warning Signs | Don't Reject Christ's Superiority, Day 1
As God’s Son, Jesus revealed God finally and without equal.
VERSE OF THE DAY
'Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; ' Hebrews 1:3
What technological change or advancement in your lifetime most amazes you?
How long did that change or advancement remain relevant before it was updated or replaced?
Does that frustrate you? That no matter what piece of technology or equipment you have, it will eventually be replaced? Why or why not?
No matter how impressive the product, a “new, improved” version is just around the corner.
Though most everything in the world has a shelf life, Jesus Christ will never become outdated or replaced. He is superior—to the prophets, angels, and everything that came before Him.
As God’s Son, Jesus revealed God finally and without equal. He is the full revelation of God to humanity.
The Book of Hebrews challenges us to recognize and share this truth with others.
Read Hebrews 1:1-2a
'Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, ' Hebrews 1:1-2a
Hebrews opens with an affirmation that God is the God who speaks. He communicates with His creation. He reveals, instructs, commands, and calls His people to relate to Him as God and to fulfill their wonderful, God-given purpose.
The phrase long ago refers to the times of the Old Testament when God spoke to His people through prophets such as Moses (see Deut. 34:10), Samuel (see 1 Sam. 3:20), Elisha (see 2 Kings 3:11), Isaiah (see 2 Kings 20:1), and Jeremiah (see 2 Chron. 36:12). These prophets faithfully spoke God’s words to the people of Israel. Yet they also pointed to the coming of One—Jesus Christ—who would be God’s perfect Spokesman (see Deut. 18:15,18-19; Isa. 9:6-7; Jer. 31:31-34).
The New Testament declares that Jesus is the Word made flesh who reveals the Father (see John 1:1,14,18).
In Acts 1–2, we learn that Jesus gave His disciples authority to speak and teach the gospel message of God’s kingdom, which was powerfully set in motion in the tongues of fire and inspired speech on the Day of Pentecost (see Acts 1:8; 2:1-4).
God’s Word pierces into the human heart, discerning our thoughts and motives (see Heb. 4:12). The God of the Bible speaks; false gods, or idols, do not speak—indeed, they cannot speak (see Jer. 10:5; 1 Cor. 12:2).
What do these verses tell us about God?
Why is it important to know that our God is a God who speaks? What would be some of the implications for our lives if God was silent?
How and when, according to these verses, does god speak? How does His past communication compare with the present (“last days”) communication?
God previously spoke in fragments, at “different times” and in “different ways.” This included visions, angels, events, and people. He spoke truly yet partially through the prophets.
Now God has spoken “to us” truly and fully through His Son.
The contrast affirms that Christ is superior to the Old Testament system because God speaks directly to us through His Son Jesus Christ, the complete, final Word of God.
How does God speak to you? When is it easiest—and hardest—to hear His voice?
Why is it important for us to recognize that Jesus is the final Word of God to us?
If that is true, what does it mean about the way we hear the voice of God today?
What are some of the ways people might show they don’t believe that Jesus is the complete and final Word of God to us?
God is personally and actively engaged in His creation.
Rather than leaving us without a word from Him, He has fully revealed Himself in the person of Jesus Christ.
If we want to know God, then, we have to look to Jesus, and where we find Jesus is in the Word of God.
Read Hebrews 1:2b-4
whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. ' Hebrews 1:2b-4
The birth of Jesus separated the OT times and NT, from Jesus’ birth forward. OT pointed to what would come in the next era after Christ had come (see 1 Pet. 1:10-12).
Christ is the appointed heir of all things. In Psalm 2:8 it was foretold that the Messianic King from the family line of King David would be given the ends of the earth. Jesus is the King from David’s line whose inheritance of all things fulfilled this Scripture!
'Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. ' Psalm 2:8
There has always been a unique, eternal relationship between the Son and the Father and there has never been a time Jesus did not own everything.
God spoke through and made the universe through Christ as the Divine Agent of revelation and creation.
Jesus is the Heir of everything because He was with God in the beginning as the Divine Agent.
'He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. ' John 1:1-3
'For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. ' Colossians 1:16-20
In Hebrews 1:3 we learn about Jesus’ nature, Deity, superiority over the universe, accomplishment as the perfect Sacrifice, and eternal exaltation as Lord.
To see Jesus is to see the glory of God.
Technically speaking, the Sun and the light it emits are of the same substance, yet their form and function are unique while also unified. Jesus is the light of God’s glory; He is unified with God as part of the single Godhead, but with His own unique function.
God and Jesus are coequal in their divine nature and are completely unified in their work, revealing that Jesus is, has been, and will always be God the Son.
Jesus is the exact expression of God’s nature and being.
Coins used to be formed by pressing a die stamp onto soft, heated metal which left the image in the metal. The stamp and the coin are separate, but to see the coin is to see the stamp.
To see Jesus is to see God. Jesus is God just as the Father is God.
' Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves. ' John 14:8-11
The Father and the Son are distinct Persons, but are of the same divine nature.
Jesus is the Controller and Sustainer of everything and does not grow weary of this work.
Purification of sins is a reference to Jesus’ upcoming sacrifice as atonement for all sins.
After offering purification of sins, Jesus sat down at the right hand of God, given a place of sovereign authority where He rules and intercedes in God’s own name.
' The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” ' Psalm 110:1
Jesus is higher in rank than the angels.
While fully God and fully man, Jesus demonstrated through His death, resurrection, and ascension that He is the exalted Lord, superior in every way to angels.
Angels are important and powerful messengers of God. Scripture shows that they do many things in service to God, primarily delivering messages for Him to people (see Gen. 19:1,12-13; 1 Kings 19:5-7; Matt. 28:2-7; Luke 2:8-14; Gal. 3:19)
Jesus’ name is part of His inheritance as He is not a created being but God Himself, therefore His name is superior to the angels as well.
His inherited name is likely “Yahweh,” the name that God first explained first to Moses (Ex. 3:13-15). The Greek word for name is found again in 2:12; 6:10; 13:15 and references the divine name of God (John 8:58; Phil. 2:9-10).
'Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” ' John 8:58
'Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ' Philippians 2:9-11
What phrases in Hebrews 1:2b-4 describe how God is revealed in Jesus Christ? How would you explain these verses to an unbeliever or a new Christian?
How does Jesus’ being the “heir” help you better understand His role in creation and redemption?
The biblical understanding of “heir” differs from today’s understanding. In Bible times, an inheritance could be passed on before the donor’s death.
The fact that Jesus and God are alive, along with the Holy Spirit, affirms the Trinity, or the three Persons of the Godhead—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. God, Himself, is revealed through Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit.
What ideas do people today have about angels? Why would it be important then or now to affirm that the Son is superior to angels?
To most Jews, angels were exalted, especially because they were involved in giving the Law to Moses at Mount Sinai (Deut. 33:2).
The Jews considered the Law God’s supreme revelation. This passage reminds us that Jesus is superior to anything or anyone we might hold as highly important.
Which part of this passage is most significant to you? Why? What does it mean personally to you?
As God’s Son, Jesus revealed God finally and without equal. Through Jesus, we can understand God’s character and the gospel message.
What are some things that might cause Christians to question whether Jesus is in control of all things? How do the truths about Jesus expressed thus far encourage believers to endure in their devotion to Him?
Based on the study today, how would you explain who Jesus is to someone who doesn’t know?
What implications does today’s study have on the way you approach the Word of God? How are you going to integrate those implications into your daily life?
Thank God as you close your group in prayer that He has not left us without a Word. Thank Him for Jesus who is superior to all things, and ask Him to awaken in your hearts the love and devotion He deserves.