Chapter 2 “Greater Than Angels”
I. Angels were important to the Jewish religion.
A. Deu 33:2 He said: The LORD came from Sinai and appeared to them from Seir; He shone on them from Mount Paran and came with ten thousand holy ones, with lightning from His right hand for them.
B. Psa 68:17 God’s chariots are tens of thousands, thousands and thousands; the Lord is among them in the sanctuary as He was at Sinai.
C. Act 7:53 You received the law under the direction of angels and yet have not kept it.”
D. Gal 3:19 Why the law then? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise was made would come. The law was ordered through angels by means of a mediator.
Divided into three sections: an Affirmation, an Exhortation, and an Explanation
II. Affirmation: Christ is Superior to the angels
7 quotations from the Septuagint (literally means the Seventy) (Tradition has it that the Septuagint was named so because it was translated from the Hebrew into Greek by seventy men. It is known as the LXX
A. He is the Son vv. 4-5
Jesus is called the Son while the angels were called the sons of God (Job 1:6)
1. First quote is from Psalm 2:7- I will declare the LORD’s decree: He said to Me, “You are My Son; today I have become Your Father.
2. Second quote- 2 Samuel 7:14- I will be a father to him, and he will be a son to Me. When he does wrong, I will discipline him with a human rod and with blows from others.
i. This is applied to Christ, the antitypical Solomon, who was, in an higher sense, the Son of God
ii. The Greater Solomon- Matthew 12:42
B. He is the Firstborn who receives worship. V. 6
1. The term “first born” is meant in the sense of rank and honor
a. Solomon was listed tenth in birth order but given the “rank” of firstborn. Ps. 89:27, 1 Chron 3:1-5
b. Christ was “Firstborn over all creation”- Col 1:15
2. The angels MUST worship Him
a. Ps. 97:7 the angels were called Elohim (HB literally means “power”)
i. “all the gods must worship him.”
ii. The angels would never worship a mere creature.
i. They were the highest of creation in rank
b. The quote Weirsby uses is from the LXX and is not explicitly in the modern versions. The point was that the writer of Hebrews was familiar with the LXX and quoted from it.
C. He is served by Angels v. 7
1. Quotes Ps. 104:4
a. Pneuma- translated “wind” could also be “spirit”
2. After He fasted in the desert Mat. 4:11
a. After He asked that the “cup be removed from him” Luke 22:43
D. He is God enthroned and anointed vv. 8-9
1. Quotes Psalm 45:6
a. Angels do not sit on the throne but rather minister before the throne
2. Jesus refers to Himself by quoting Psalm 110 (Mark 12:35-37)
a. Interesting because whenever you see LORD capitalized in OT it refers to Christ, this is known as a Christophany
E. He is the eternal creator vv. 10-12
1. Quotes Ps. 102:25-27
a. Ascribes that Christ is there at the beginning
2. Jesus created everything and angels were part of that creation. John 1:3
F. Christ is the Sovereign; angels are the servants vv. 13-14
1. Quotes Ps. 110:1
a. Christ is right now at the right hand of God. It is a place of honor.
2. Angels are ministering spirits. They also minister to us who are heirs of salvation.
III. Admonition: Heed the Word and Don’t Drift 2:1-4
A. This is the first of the 5 mentioned in chapter one.
1. Purpose is to encourage readers to pay attention to God’s Word and obey it.
2. It was written to believers. The writer included himself.
3. The writer said “neglecting” NOT “rejecting”
a. He was encouraging Chistians to pay attention to the great salvation they received from the Lord.
4. In OT times people who did not heed the Word were punished.
a. This word was given by angels
b. How much better is the word from Christ
c. “transgression refers to sins of commission
d. Disobedience refers to sins of omission
5. Neglect of Word of God, and prayer is the cause of Spiritual Drifting
IV. Explanation: Why Jesus Christ is not inferior Because of His Humanity 2:5-18
Angels have no “body”- Christ has a glorified body and it is the same body that was here on earth.
A. His humanity enabled Him to regain man’s lost dominion v. 5-9
1. Quotes Ps. 8:4-6
a. The first man and woman were initially in charge of creation but failed.
b. Jesus restores this “glory and honor” and shares it with us.
i. Referred to as the Last Adam
c. Angels cannot die nor can they save lost sinners and restore man’s lost dominion.
B. His Humanity enabled Him to bring many sons to glory vv. 10-13
1. Quotes Ps. 22:22
a. Christ calls His church as His brethren
2. Also quotes Isaiah 8:17-18
a. Words of Christ calls us children of God
3. If Christ had not taken on human form He could not have called us brothers and therefore we could not have shared in His glory.
a. The incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection must go together
C. His Humanity enabled Him to disarm Satan and deliver us from death vv. 14-16
1. If angels cannot die and Jesus did not come to save angels but humans, it was imperative for Christ to take on human flesh.
2. Satan is the author of sin. Sin brings death. So in this sense Satan exercises power in the realm of death.
a. Satan uses the fear of death to gain control of the lives of people
3. Jesus delivers us from this fear of death by His death, burial and resurrection. (So Great a Salvation)
a. This gives significance to when it is said that He stooped lower than the angels and became a man!
b. He stooped even lower by becoming a Jew, a despised and hated race.
D. His humanity enables Him to be a sympathetic High Priest to His people vv. 17-18
1. Angels cannot sympathize with human’s weaknesses and needs. But Jesus can
2. Jesus “trained” to be a High Priest by experiencing the infirmities that humans go through by;
a. Being a helpless baby
b. A growing child
c. A maturing adolescent
d. Experiencing weariness, hunger, thirst
e. Being despised and rejected
f. Being lied about and falsely accused
3. Because He has defeated every enemy, He is able to give us the grace we need to overcome temptation.
4. The word succor (2:18) literally means to “run to the cry of a child”
5. Angels are able to help us but not able to succor us in our times of temptation. Only Jesus can do that because He became a man and suffered and died.
Questions for Personal Reflection or Group Discussion
1. What kinds of jobs or roles do you think angels have in our world today?
2. If a child asked you, “How can Jesus be God and still be God’s Son?” how would you explain it?
3. In what ways do you, or people you have observed, neglect their salvation?
Good book , So great a Salvation by Charles Ryrie
4. Why is it sometimes difficult to appreciate and pay attention to the Word of God as we should?
5. In what ways is being a human better than being an angel? In what ways do you think being an angel would be better than being a human?
6. In God’s infinite wisdom, He surely could have chosen a different way to redeem us. Why do you think he chose becoming a man and dying as a sacrifice?
7. Read Hebrews 4:15. What does it mean to you that Jesus actually experienced life the way you do?
8. Read Philippians 2:5-11. If your attitude is like Christ’s, what will our lives be like?