- Bible Trivia
- Come Now Is The Time To Worship
- So Far To Go
- I Have Decided To Follow Jesus
- I'd Rather Have Jesus
- Above All
- Shout To The Lord
- You Are My All In All
- Thy Word
- IntroductionWho do you listen to?Everywhere we turn today, we are confronted with someone’s message, narrative, angle, and opinion. It has always been tru at an institutional level:The mediaHollywoodThe GovernmentBig BusinessReligionBut today, that has intensified as the internet and social media provide platforms for literally anyone and everyone to say anything and everything. Technology has given rise to the career of content creator and allowed us to live in a world that is not just information rich, it is more like information dense.which bings us back to the question: in an age where more information than you can imagine is literally at your fingertips, who do you listen to?TransitionAs the author of Hebrews began his letter, this is a question he had to tackle.IlluminationSome Background InformationI say “the author” because authorship of Hebrews is uncertain.We know that Hebrews was written during the mid-60s ADWe know that Hebrews was written to Jewish believers struggling to remain faithful to Christ in a world that was hostile toward Him and them
In a general way, Hebrews deals with the tremendous struggle involved in leaving one religious system for another. There is the violent wrenching of old ties, the stresses and tensions of alienation, and the formidable pressures exerted on the renegade to return.As such, this is tremendously relevant to us, no matter which religious system we have left, including secular humanism, there is pressure to return.Despite knowing these things, we do not know for certain who wrote Hebrews. The church father Origen, in defending the prevailing thought that Paul authored the book but did so in such a way to keep his identity obscured noted, “But who wrote the Epistle God alone knows for certain.”MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 2155). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.So you may hear me say the author, and you may hear me say Paul—I believe they are synonymous—and if you think differently, I am fine with that. Ultimately this is still the Word of God to us and that is what matters.On to the Message...The author wastes little time introducing himself and just jumps into his message.1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3 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 at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.God is speaking. He wants to be heard. He has spoken in different ways at different times but then came Himself.“the express image of his person” is an important phrase. It reiterates that Jesus is God in the flesh, revealed and visible to all with a message for all.God wants to be heard, but there is a recognition that His voice is one among many. Even in the first century there were a lot of voices, all trying to be heard.There were the scriptures, themselvesThere were books on the scripturesThere were competing teachers of the scripturesThere were competing religionsThere were competing philosophiesThere were competing moralitiesAnd, at least in the Jewish community, there was one source of revelation that superseded everything else...Angels!It may sound like superstition to us, but they were, and still are, a thing. They were rare, but they were seen as superior (because they are) and authoritative (because they should be). Talk about competition for messaging!?5 For to which of the angels did He ever say: “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You”? And again: “I will be to Him a Father, And He shall be to Me a Son”? 6 But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: “Let all the angels of God worship Him.” 7 And of the angels He says: “Who makes His angels spirits And His ministers a flame of fire.” 8 But to the Son He says: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. 9 You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.” 10 And: “You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. 11 They will perish, but You remain; And they will all grow old like a garment; 12 Like a cloak You will fold them up, And they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will not fail.” 13 But to which of the angels has He ever said: “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”?There is a lot there, but we get the point…Jesus, as God in the flesh, is better than angels, superior to angels, more authoritative than angels, etc...But, just in case we were still unclear14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?Angels serve God as He shepherds those of us who believe in Jesus and have accepted His free gift of salvation.ConclusionAll of which may be interesting, but could leave us asking what this has to do with us. After all, modern Christians barely believe in the reality and nature of the spiritual realm and view angels more like window dressing than authoritative messengers.But we do have have beings that we view as being superior and authoritative. They vary by person and may be an “influencer” if you are younger or an “official” if you are older. They may be professional or personal, but each of us has a few of these beings hanging around our lives.And Jesus is better than all of them. And He is probably different than all of them, too.ApplicationIf you want to see just how different Jesus is, just read the Sermon on the Mount, this week. I suggest Matthew 5-7. As you read, note what Jesus said and how different it is from what everyone else is saying.A better blend of Christ and Christian begins with Christians listening carefully to Christ. Too few actually do.
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