- The Purpose of Hebrews -
We will get to Hebrews chapter one in a moment. However, let’s first take a brief look at the purpose of this great book.
Although Hebrews was written to the Jews in the first century it has a great deal to say to both Jew and Gentile today. In those days the Christian Jew was facing so much oppression, suffering and persecution they had second thoughts about their faith. They were ready to jump ship. Apostasy, abandoning of their faith, was a wide spread problem.
Hebrews is a forthright book. It is written in a no holds barred, straight forward approach. Hebrews was written to comfort people in their faith, to give them purpose and encouragement.
A major change in how God relates to people had occurred with the life and death of Jesus and His resurrection and ascension. God now speaks through Jesus rather than through prophets. The Jewish religion had a problem handling these changes.
The video below is a reading of Hebrews Chapter 1 from the New Living Translation.
Key Thoughts of Hebrews Chapter One
Versus 1-3 Tells us who Jesus is.
Versus 4-14 Explains that Jesus is greater than angels.
Hebrews Chapter 1: 1-4
Hebrews Chapter 1, Verse 1
God spoke to people many times and in many different ways through prophets. His main communication was not direct but was through His appointed prophets.
Hebrews Chapter 1, Verse 2 – see 21 Credential Statements of Who Jesus Is!
Jesus is now the way God communicates to His own and to the world. Jesus, the Son of God is the final revelation, “in these last days.” There is now no need for a prophet, or any other means of revelation, other than through Jesus, the Son of God and His work (creation). And of course the Holy Spirit whom he sent upon His ascension. Jesus is superior to all others.
God has appointed Jesus as His heir, “of all things.” And, God, through Him “created the world.”
The superiority of Jesus is again put forward.
Hebrews Chapter 1, Verse 3
Here the author speaks of Jesus in the exact terms as God Himself. He is the exact image of God the Father in terms of the Father’s glory, His nature and His power. His power is beyond anything we know when He can uphold the universe by His word. It was this same power by which He created the Universe, by His spoken word! See Hebrews 11:3, Col 1:17, Gen. 1-2.
Now Jesus is seen sitting at the right hand of God. Jesus is again superior as He is the only one in this position. See verse 13.
Hebrews Chapter 1, Verse 4
Jesus is not only better in all respects He is superior to the angels as well.
How’s that for a Job Description? In the first 3 versus of Hebrews Chapter 1 the writer says Jesus is:
- God’s spokesman. (vs.2)
- Heir of all things. (vs.2)
- Creator of the universe. (vs.2)
- The radiance of the glory of God. (vs.3)
- The exact imprint of God’s nature. (vs.3)
- Upholds the universe by the word of His power. (vs.3)
- The purifier of sin – He purged our sin. (vs.3)
- Sitting at the right hand of the Majesty on high. (vs.3)
- Superior to angels. (vs. 4)
- . . . and . . . there’s more in the next few verses, 4-14!
Hebrews Chapter 1, Verse 4-14
The superiority of Jesus over the angels is presented from several New Testament quotations and from 7 quotes from the Old Testament or from the Septuagint.
The 7 Old Testament quotes in Hebrews chapter 1 all refer to Jesus and reveal that He is superior over angels. These can be found as follows:
- Verse 5; “You are my Son”, Ps. 2:7,
- Verse 5; “I will be to Him a Father”, 2 Sam. 7:14; Ps. 89:26, 27.
- Verse 6; “Let all God’s angels worship Him.” Deut. 32:43, Ps. 97:7
- Verse 8; “Your throne, O God (Jesus’ throne, and addressed as God) Ps. 45:6,7.
- Verse 9; “… your God has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.” Isaiah 61:1, 3
- Verse 10; “You, Lord, … “, God addresses His Son as Lord, or as Jehovah, meaning the Jesus of the New Testament is the Jehovah of the Old Testament. Angels were never addressed in such a fashion. Ps. 102:25-27.
- Verse 13; “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”, Ps. 110:1. Jesus has a superior place over angels and throughout the universe His enemies subject themselves to Him.
From Hebrews chapter 1, verse 1, the author gets right down to the business of Hebrews. There’s no salutation or introduction but an immediate revelation of how God has in the past communicated and how that has changed. He is then very quick to address the angel’s issue. Angels are important to the Jewish religion but Jesus is by far better as the Son of God.