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Study Notes: Hebrews 1. 13 – 14 – 29th April

Study Notes: Hebrews 1. 13 – 14 – 29th April

Hebrews 1.13-14

13 And to which of the angels has He ever said: Sit on my right until I put your enemies as a footstool for your feet.

14 Are they not all divinely authorized spirits being sent out to serve the ones about to inherit salvation?

In today’s study we return to the emphasis that the writer makes about Jesus in comparisons with the angels.

We may recall that throughout this chapter the writer has been keen to show how supremely different Jesus is from the angels.

Jesus is not another of the angels.

They were created being, but Jesus is not.

We have seen that Jesus is the co-creator, with the Father, of all things.

The angels were not involved in creation

We have seen that Jesus is the exact representation of the Father, being one with the Father.

Glorious as they are, the angels are not the same as God.

Jesus is the only one who has provided the way of salvation, the purification of our sins.

The angels took no part in the work that Jesus did on the cross.

On the cross Jesus was alone, which is why He cried out:

My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me.

Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Majesty on high, where He gloriously reigns.

Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Majesty on high, where He gloriously reigns.

The writer to the Hebrews states that:

only Jesus is the Son of the Father v5;

that the angels should worship Him v6;

the angels are the servants of God, whereas Jesus occupies the throne that last for ever v8;

the righteousness of Jesus is His ruling sceptre v8.

Jesus is anointed with the oil of gladness v9.

Incidentally, gladness and joy should always be the mark of believers in Jesus.

Joy is part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit, second to love.

A miserable Christian is no advert for the gospel of Jesus.

Obviously, we all go through trial and tribulations, but that should not take away the deep seated joy that is the inheritance of all who confess Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.

Now at the end of this chapter the writer returns to the fact that Jesus is superior to the angels.

In this he quoted from Psalm 110.1: The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”

However, it may well have been controversial because most Jews did not accept that Jesus is the Messiah.

1.           Understanding Psalm 110.1.

Psalm 110.1 was a psalm written by David.

There are various suggestions as to the meaning of the first line:

The Lord says to my Lord.

They are:

a.   The Messiah.

This Psalm of David is regarded as referring to the Messiah.

The Jews understood this, therefore, what the writer was saying would not have been new.

b.   David. This would not agree with David being the author of the Psalm – reigned 1008-970 BC

As the author he would not use the term; My Lord.

c.    Solomon – the wisest of the kings. reigned 970-931 BC

d.   Hezekiah – a righteous king. reigned 716-687 BC.

e.   Joshua son of Josedech – the first to be chosen as the High Priest after the construction of the temple when they Jews returned to Judea, following the captivity in Babylon – 515 – 490 BC

f.     One of the priest-kings of the Hasmonean dynasty – a ruling dynasty from 164 to 63 BC or possible 37 BC.

The writer to the Hebrews would not have quoted this verse if he did not believe that the Psalm actually referred to Jesus.

Therefore, he discounts all the other thoughts about whom this verse refers to.

We must also remember that Jesus quoted this verse.

Luke 20.41-44

[41] Then Jesus said to them, “How is it that they say the Christ is the Son of David? [42] David himself declares in the Book of Psalms:

“‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand [43] until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”’ *[44] David calls him ‘Lord.’ How then can he be his son?”

 Why did Jesus quote this?

The context is where the Sadducees questioned Jesus about the resurrection of the dead.

They didn’t believe in the resurrection of the dead.

Jesus confounded their argument.

Part of His argument was that when we die and are raised we become like angles, or equal to angels.

Jesus did not say that we become angels, only that we are like them.

How are we like them?

In the fact that angels have no gender, they are asexual.

Therefore that is how our resurrection body is like.

The Jewish understanding of the Messiah.

The general understanding and expectation of the Jews at that time was that God would raise up a man as Messiah who would have the military strength to overthrow and subdue Israel’s enemies.

They look for world domination through military conquest

In this they understood the Messiah in earthly terms.

W Barclay makes the point than mankind has a tendency to make God in his own image.

Their understanding was limited to a man, a conquering hero.

There had been a number of candidates who had attempted to fulfil this role, and everyone had failed.

There were the Maccabee brothers (164 BC), who led the successful Jewish rebellion against the Greeks

They were the founders of the Hasmonean dynasty.

The understanding was that this Messiah would be like King David of old, who had reigned over a united kingdom of Israel.

The term ‘Son of David’

The term ‘David’s son’ had become another term for the Messiah, and this term had been used of Jesus as He entered into Jerusalem on a donkey.

The blind man of Jericho cried out to Jesus addressing Him as the Son of David

Jesus was asking the Jews how it could be that the Messiah was the son of David, when David also describes the Messiah as ‘My Lord’.

What Jesus was doing was getting them to see that their understanding of the Messiah as the son of David was too small.

He was not denying that the Messiah was from the line of David, as seen in the genealogies of Matthew and Luke.

Instead He was telling them to see the bigger picture: that the Messiah is not just as the son of David, but is also the Lord of David.

He was getting them to see the Messiah as the Lord of all.

Jesus as greater than the angels

In this we can also see that Jesus is greater and more superior than any man or angel.

Jesus is the Lord of all, who has defeated His enemies, who has defeated man’s greatest enemy, which is death.

In Philippians 2.10-11 Paul wrote: [10] that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, [11] and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The Jews saw the Messiah as accomplishing what they wanted, whereas Jesus is our Lord and we have been called to accomplish His will in our life.

The Hebrew words for Lord

It is interesting to note the meaning of the Hebrew word for Lord.

In Psalm 110.1 the first ‘My Lord’ is the Hebrew word: Yahweh.

This is the proper name of the God of Israel.

The second time that My Lord is used in verse 1 is the word Adoni:

Like the Greek word for Lord Kurios, it does have different application including Master, husband, governor etc.

However, it is also used in relation to the Lord God.

We see this in:

Exodus 34.23:

Three times a year all your men are to appear before the Sovereign LORD, the God of Israel.

The, it is used in Psalm 110.1, referring to the Messiah as being the Lord of David.

This shows us the oneness of the Father and the Son.

The angels are not like the Son, but are inferior to Him.

Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit David prophecies that God is going to make the enemies of Jesus, His Son, a footstool.

The Footstool

The footstool was used by a conquering king.

He would place his feet on the neck of the one he had conquered.

It showed that the conquering king had power over his enemy.

This is exactly what God has done for Jesus.

We know the end of the story.

We know that Jesus triumphs and Satan is destroyed.

Is not this the same power that Jesus gives to us?

Are we not able to say to satan the same words that Jesus said:

Get behind me, satan?

There is power in the name of Jesus, because He has defeated our enemy.

 

 

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