Jesus, God’s Final Word

 The Book of Hebrews is concerned with demonstrating that Jesus as superior to anything and everything else. It will argue that Jesus is better than the prophets, angels, and Moses. The covenant Jesus enacted, the New Covenant, is a better covenant. Jesus’ blood, his sacrifice, is a better sacrifice. All of Hebrews devotes itself to holding up Jesus Christ as supreme, superior, and set apart. Jesus is in a league of his own and in a class of his own. Hebrews is written to Jewish believers to challenge them to see Jesus and listen to him. Why? Well, they were tempted to dwell on the past, to hold past prophets and priests in higher regard. To value anyone more than Jesus was to put them above Jesus.

We must be fair and say that we all it difficult to let go, and since we aren’t walking through Hebrews, we may miss the weight of what the book is saying. He is telling Jewish believers that Jesus is better than everything they value as being part of their identity, their culture, their livelihood! Everything that you think defines you, gives you meaning, helps you make sense of the world—all those things—Jesus is better and Jesus is higher. From the beginning of the book, the writer strikes this note: God has appointed Jesus as his final, supreme message; therefore, we must listen to him above all others.

Although I want to focus on Hebrews 1:1-2 in this post, it is worth quoting 1:1-4 in full. The author writes:

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

Jesus is God’s final, supreme message (v. 2). There are three aspects to note concerning this verse. 

First, God has spoken in the past through prophets. The writer of Hebrews acknowledges this. He writes, “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets” (v. 1). First, let us not miss the fact that our God is a God who speaks! In places of the OT, this was the distinguishing factor between the true God and false gods. Listen to Ps 115:4-5: “Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see.” Our God is a speaking God but his supreme, final message was not one of the prophets but his Son.

Second, God speaks today through his Son. Notice the contrast in the rest of verse two, “but in these last days he has spoken to us by His Son.” When he says, “in these last days,” he uses a Greek of rendering of OT terminology. When you read the OT prophets, they often talk about “in the last days.” These “last days” are the time when all the prophecies of the prophets will find their fulfillment. In other words, the prophets would often prophecy about “these last days.” The author of Hebrews is saying, “Those ‘last days’ the prophets always pointed to are now when God has fulfilled his promises and spoken through his Son.” I love how the commentator, F. F. Bruce put it. He says, “God’s previous spokesmen were His servants, but for the proclamation of His last word, to man He has chosen His Son.”[1] But to whom does God speak

Third, God speaks “to us.” The writer also says that God has spoken “to us” through his Son. Hebrews was written after the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. These are post-Pentecost believers. Still the writer says that God has spoken to them through his Son. What God has said through Jesus was not applicable only while he walked the earth but it was relevant for these Hebrew Christians who were living some years after the life of Jesus. There was a definitive event— “God has spoken” —the authority of which carried to the present day of the readers; and this definitive event is also authoritative today! Therefore, I feel comfortable saying that God has spoken, to us (!), to you and to me, through His Son.

Application

Are you listening to Jesus? How does this change your time reading the Scriptures? When you open the Scriptures, God is speaking to you! This changes your quiet time. It is God conversing with you as you read and you converse with him as you pray. I would challenge you to listen to Jesus above all others. What decisions do you need to revisit that were made without submission to King Jesus? What coming decisions need to be surrendered to the Lord?

[1] F. F. Bruce, Hebrews, The Epistle to the Hebrews, NICNT (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964), 3.

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