Hebrews 2:5-18

For it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. It has been testified somewhere,

“What is man, that you are mindful of him,
or the son of man, that you care for him?
You made him for a little while lower than the angels;
you have crowned him with glory and honor,
putting everything in subjection under his feet.”

Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers, saying,

“I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.”

And again,

“I will put my trust in him.”

And again,

“Behold, I and the children God has given me.”

Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Observation

  • God did not make the earth subject to the angels.
  • God is mindful of man.
  • Man is not worthy to be on the mind of God.
  • God cares for the Son of Man.
  • The Son of Man was created a little lower than the angels for a little while.
  • God has crowned the Son of Man with glory and honor.
  • Go made everything subject to the Son of Man.
  • God left nothing outside the Son of Man’s control.
  • The Son of Man is in control of everything.
  • We do not see everything subject to the Son of Man.
  • Jesus was made a little lower than the angels for a little while.
  • Jesus is crowned with glory and honor.
  • Jesus is crowned with glory and honor because His death.
  • Jesus tasted death for everyone.
  • Jesus tasted death for us because of His graciousness.
  • God made our salvation perfect through Jesus’ suffering.
  • All things exist for Jesus.
  • All things exist by Jesus.
  • It was right for God to make our salvation perfect through Jesus’ suffering.
  • Christ is the founder of our salvation.
  • Our salvation through Christ is perfect.
  • We, the sanctified and Jesus, the sanctifier all have the same source.
  • Jesus is not ashamed to call the elect brothers.
  • Christ took on flesh and blood.
  • Christ destroyed the devil through his death.
  • The devil has the power of death.
  • Christ took on human form so He could experience everything we experience.
  • Christ destroyed the devil so everyone who is a slave to death could be freed.
  • Christ did not die for the angels.
  • Christ died for the offspring of Abraham.
  • Christ was human in every respect.
  • Christ was a high priest in the service of God.
  • Christ was human so he could be a merciful and faithful high priest.
  • Christ was a substitute for the sins of the people.
  • Christ suffered
  • Christ was tempted
  • Because Christ suffered and was tempted, he is able to us with our temptation.

Interpretation

Once again the writer to the Hebrews proves via another argument that Christ should be praised. It was the Father who gave Him sovereignty over every aspect of the world. While the angles are completely devoid of honor, all honor belongs to Christ.

We are lower than the angels. But Christ did not die for the angels. He died for us. Christ became a man in every possible way. He was flesh and bone. He suffered as much or rather more than we do. He was tempted as we are. Yet it is simply because he suffered and was tempted he is able to help us and be a comfort to us.

The Psalm the writer quotes a well-known proof text about creation and man’s place in it. There is no doubt David, in the Psalm, is speaking of all mankind. But the writer to the Hebrews clearly applies this to Christ. It naturally fits Christ because He was part of mankind. But the Psalm also applies to Christ in a special way. At creation man ruled over all the earth. The earth and all that was in it was subject to him. All changed when man, by his defection, lost the right to rule. When God made Jesus a man, Jesus was lower than the angels but now sit in glory and honor at the right hand of the father. Everything is subject to Christ and He rules over everything. We may not see Christ’s rule but He does.. Though the whole universe does not appear to us to be in subjection to Him, we ought to be satisfied that Christ has passed through death and has been exalted to the highest state of honor and does rule. Anything that does not comply with His will shall be destroyed.

The assumption of the humanist is that man is the highest value. God’s purpose is to do good for humanity. Man is even a higher value than God. If God does not place mankind at the highest value then God is not good. Unfortunately, this is often our assumption as Christians as well. “God is there to help me.” We forget we were created for God’s please not the other was around. We forget our status in the cosmos. We are created less than the angels. But God loves us so much Jesus came as a man, and for a little while was lower than the angles. But now is crowned with glory and honor. It is because if His grace that God tasted death for us.

Not only did God take on humiliation by becoming man. He went to the cross as a common criminal and became the lowest of men, the lowest of the low. God sent Jesus to the cross, and by doing so made him the Captain of our salvation. It is suffering with Christ and for Christ that brings about perfection. When we suffer for the sake of Christ it is time to rejoice as the Apostles did. They rejoiced that they were considered worthy enough to suffer for the name Jesus Christ. (Acts 5:41)

The writer to the Hebrews moves back and forth between the humanity and deity of Christ. Some say that the passage, “He who sanctifies,” i.e. Christ, “and those who are sanctified,” i.e. the elect, “all have the same source,”  is referring to God. This is not unreasonable. However, I and many others, think the writer is referring to Jesus’ humanity. That is, we are both descended from Adam. We both have the same source refers to the humanity of Christ. And that is why Jesus is not ashamed to call us His siblings. This should increase our confidence that we are united with Christ by a bond so strong we can draw on the perfection God has poured on Christ. He sanctifies and we are the sanctified. It is through Christ that we are able to worship. He tells us of the name of God. A name so holy it cannot even be mentioned. Yet by Christ telling us the name and we sing praises to God. So not only is our salvation a gift. But our worship is a gift from God and for God.

“He himself likewise partook of the same things.” (v14) This too speaks to the humanity of Jesus. He really was human. He really had flesh and blood. He ate food and walked around. He was human in every sense of the word, except without sin. God became man in order to deliver us from the fear of death. For those of us who are redeemed, we can say with Paul, “To live is Christ and to die is gain.” We no longer need to fear death. For when we die we will be with Christ and see Him face to face. Death is not an end but a new beginning. Jesus has delivered us from the fear of death.

“It is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham.” Here again the writer emphasizes that Christ did not come to redeem angels but men. In order to help men He became a man. He suffered and was tempted. Yet through it, Christ did not sin. Therefore, it is not only through Christ’s sacrificing His life but through living His life, He is about to help us.

Application

The take away from this chapter is Jesus was human. He did not appear to be human. He was human. God took on human form. Sometime we concentrate on the deity of Christ so hard we forget His humanity. But Christ was fully human. And it is because He was human He is able to save us.

What joy we should experience when we realize the God Himself took on human form. He humbled Himself that much simply because He loved us. He wanted to redeem a people to Himself. Pause and think about it. God lowered Himself to our level. I have heard many analogies like man becoming a worm or save a worm. But all these analogies fall short. The distance between us and a worm is infinitesimal compared to the distance between us and God.

When I think about the disciples and how they lived with Jesus. They realized He was human. They eat with him. They saw Him sleep. They saw Him laugh and cry. They touched Him. They knew He was human. What a great amount of faith they were given to realize He was also divine. When I place myself in their position I could not have believed it. In fact, the only reason I can believe it today is because God has given me the grace to believe. Praise be to God!

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