Monday, September 19, 2022
In this letter to the Hebrews, we see the Son glorified above all else and I just want to bask in his glory as I read these words. It says that Jesus is the heir of all things. It sounds impressive to be heir of all things but the glory that Jesus has in that title isn’t his own, it is that of his Father. To be heir means to be a person who inherits. That means that God chose Jesus, his Son, as his heir to inherit all things. Only God has that power and he chose to bestow it upon Jesus.
It also says that God created the world through Jesus. This sounds like 1 Corinthians 8:6 where it says all things are from the Father and all things are through the Son. This, again, is such an honor that has been given to the Son to be used in this way where all of creation can only see God through Jesus. The relationship between Jesus and God is so much more than I can even fathom or explain. That the Father loves his Son so much to give him all these gifts, and give us gifts through him.
The Son is the radiance of the glory of God. What a beautiful image! If God is the sun, then Jesus is the light that we see on earth. You can’t look at the sun, but you can see the light everywhere during the daytime. In the NRSV translation of this verse, it says that Jesus is the reflection. If God is the sun, then Jesus is the moon, reflecting the light of God even at night when we can’t see the sun.
Jesus is the exact imprint of God’s nature. This makes me think of those concrete handprints that kids make when they’re little. That piece of concrete is nothing but an imprint, and yet it looks exactly like the hand that formed it. Jesus is the imprint of God’s nature, we can see God exactly through him.
Jesus upholds the universe by the word of his power. To think that the man who was mocked, beaten and given a criminals death would be given this power. In Genesis, we see God creating the universe with nothing but a word. In the gospels, we see Jesus performing signs and miracles with nothing but a word. He commands a lame man to get up and walk, and the man gets up and walks. Jesus is truly the heir of all things, he inherited even the power of God’s word.
The Son is seated at the right hand of the Majesty on high. There can be no position more glorious than this (besides the position of the One to whom Jesus is sitting to the right of). Even the angels who dwell in heaven don’t have this honor. Truly Jesus is much superior to the angels. The name that Jesus inherited is more excellent than theirs. In Revelation 19:12, we see an epic image of Jesus arriving with a host of angel armies wearing a cloak dipped in blood. It says that he has a name inscribed that no one knows but himself. And his name is called the Word of God. This is what Jesus is called in John 1, the Word of God. Jesus has been given this name and the power and the majesty and the glory. Stand in awe of the Son of God.
Verses 5-14 go on to use the scriptures of old (see Hebrews 1:1) to show how much greater the Son is than the Angels. It says that Jesus is the only Begotten Son of God (John 3:16) and that God is his Father. Even the angels bow down in worship to this Jesus while they are merely messengers, like winds and fire. It says that Jesus is anointed, chosen by God and given a kingdom and throne that will last forever. It even uses passages that we would attribute to the Father to describe the Son. We know that the Father founded the earth and the heavens are the work of his hands, but the Son has come to inherit these things as well. Jesus remains even as the earth wears out like clothing and his years will never end.
Reading these verses makes me feel that the glory of Jesus is so much more than I can fathom. I believe it all and yet I still struggle to follow him with all of my heart. I can only imagine that though my head knows these things to be true, my heart doesn’t fully believe it. Do you believe it? Do you act as if you believe it? I pray to God that you and I will have our hearts changed so that we truly believe the incredible words written here and that we are moved to action, to fulfill Jesus’ commands to go into the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
- Which image or description of Jesus do you find most powerful or most helpful in attempting to understand the high place God holds for Jesus?
- What might receiving this letter (the book of Hebrews) have meant to the original audience – Jews/Hebrews who had become Christians?
- If you were to write a letter to Jesus, how would you address him? Are there any questions you would ask him? How would you revere him?