There are certain books of the Bible that just plain excite me. Several actually. Okay, all of them. But there is no way I can talk about all of them in one message, so let me turn to one that has always fascinated me with its simplicity and logical arguments regard in our faith.
I am talking about the letter to the Hebrew church. So many will tell you that Paul wrote it, but that can’t be because it is so dissimilar to all of his other letters. What I found interesting is how much people have argued, debated and studied who the author was. If you look it up on Wikipedia, you will find fascinating arguments as to who wrote it:
In general, the evidence against Pauline authorship is considered too solid for scholarly dispute. Donald Guthrie, in his New Testament Introduction, commented that “most modern writers find more difficulty in imagining how this Epistle was ever attributed to Paul [instead of] disposing of the theory.” Harold Attridge tells us that “it is certainly not a work of the apostle”. Daniel Wallace, who holds to the traditional authorship of the other epistles, states that “the arguments against Pauline authorship, however, are conclusive.” As a result . . . contemporary scholars generally reject Pauline authorship. As Richard Heard notes, in his Introduction to the New Testament, “modern critics have confirmed that the epistle cannot be attributed to Paul and have for the most part agreed with Origen‘s judgement, ‘But as to who wrote the epistle, only God knows the truth.'”
That’s right, we don’t know! But as fun as researching this stuff might be, does it really matter who wrote it? It is the message within the letter that is all that matters! Look at the wisdom and concrete declaration of who Christ is:
In the past God spoke to our ancestors at many different times and in many different ways through the prophets. In these last days he has spoken to us through his Son. God made his Son responsible for everything. His Son is the one through whom God made the universe. His Son is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact likeness of God’s being. He holds everything together through his powerful words. After he had cleansed people from their sins, he received the highest position, the one next to the Father in heaven (Hebrews 1:1-3)
What an amazing declaration! We can study the Old Testament and see how Yahweh was slowly giving the prophets, glimpses of the coming Messiah. But Glory to our God, in the “present age,” He has given us the Truth of the Son!
And what is this Truth? That “through the Son, God made the whole universe, and to the Son ordained that all of creation would ultimately belong! Wow! That is something we seem to forget. Not only was the whole universe created through the Son, it will ultimately belong to Him! Wowzer!
This Son of His is that actual radiance of the glory of God, and the flawless expression of the nature of our God! And all we think about are the days he walked the shores of Galilee wearing sandals and a beard! As cool as that sounds as a fashion trend, it does not truly tell us Who this Son is in all of Eternity!
With that view, we see that He is the upholding principle of everything that exists, brought complete reconciliation between God and man, and get this, He then took his seat at the right hand of the Majesty on High”! Holy Moly, Molly! That means that He is the Ultimate and most Supreme Being! He is truly Christ our Lord!
But then it says, “Thus proving himself, by the more glorious name that he has won, far greater than all the angels of God! Whoa! What does it say:
“by the more glorious name that he has won!”
Well, what is that name? Is it Jesus? This name was “far greater than all the angels of God.” Well, Jesus — Yeshua, was His name while wandering around on Earth. But no, He has a much greater name than that! (?) Yes, I saw that question in your mind. Well, read what it says next:
The Son has become greater than the angels since he has been given a name that is superior to theirs. God never said to any of his angels,
“You are my Son.
Today I have become your Father.”
And God never said to any of his angels,
“I will be his Father,
and he will be my Son.”
Do you see it? What is that name? It might help you to know that the Greek word used here for “Name,” actually means “Title.” Does that help?
In Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers, Charles John Ellicott states:
The verses which follow show that we are to understand by this all the dignity and glory contained in the name SON OF GOD. Not that this name first belonged to Him as exalted Mediator; but the glory which “became” His (Hebrews 1:3-4) is proportionate to and consonant with the name which is His by essential right (Hebrews 1:2).
Let’s go back to the letter to the Hebrew believers:
When God was about to send his firstborn Son into the world, he said,
“All of God’s angels must worship him.”
7 God said about the angels,
“He makes his messengers winds.
He makes his servants flames of fire.”
8 But God said about his Son,
“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.
The scepter in your kingdom is a scepter for justice.
9 You have loved what is right and hated what is wrong.
That is why God, your God,
anointed you, rather than your companions, with the oil of joy.”
God also said,
“Lord, in the beginning you laid the foundation of the earth.
With your own hands you made the heavens.
They will come to an end, but you will live forever.
They will all wear out like clothes.
They will be taken off like a coat.
You will change them like clothes.
But you remain the same, and your life will never end.
But God never said to any of the angels,
“Sit in the highest position in heaven
until I make your enemies your footstool.”
Do you see it yet? The name, the title that Jesus was given was that of being a Son!
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