See the Bible Through Jewish Eyes
BY DANIEL GOLDBERG, TH.D., D.D.
HEBREWS: CHAPTER 1
I. GOD is the GOD OF COMMUNICATION – HEBREWS 1:1-10
God has always communicated with His creation. In the ancient world He spoke in various ways, but particularly through the Hebrew prophets. In these “last days” God is speaking through His Son, the Jewish Messiah (Heb. 1:1-2). The text emphasizes the diverse ways God communicates, rather than the numerous eras.
Specifically, God spoke to “the fathers,” that is the Jewish ancestors. God addressed the Old Testament saints in diverse ways. At Sinai, God addressed Moses through thunder and lightening. He spoke with the “voice of a trumpet.” At Horeb, God addressed Elijah in “a still small voice.” He revealed Himself to Ezekiel through visions and to Daniel in dreams. To Jacob, He was an angelic visitor. Although in each circumstance it was the God of Israel who spoke, He communicated through various media.
In these God is speaking through His Son, the Jewish Messiah. It is not merely one utterance, but many messages given at various times (Heb. 1:2). It was “by the prophets” God communicated. The Jewish prophets were messengers of God, governed by the Holy Spirit in communicating the divine message, either by the written or spoken word. Holy messengers of God spoke according to the way the Holy Spirit prompted (2 Pet. 1:21).
In times past, the Old Testament prophets delivered God’s messages “unto the fathers” (Heb. 1:1). Who were these fathers? The fathers were the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and included generation after generation of the nation of Israel, culminating in Jesus, the Jewish Messiah.
But now, God has spoken His last Word “in” or “by” His Son. The Son is the rightful “heir” of all things (Heb. 1:2). This term describes one who is the possessor, or sovereign Lord. As the Incarnate Son, Jesus the Son of Man has been appointed the heir and owner of all God’s Creation.
God’s Son has been made head of a new people. Because of what He did in leaving heaven’s glory and becoming obedient unto the death at the cross for sin, God has highly exalted Him. At the sound of His Name, every knee shall bow (Phil. 2:9-11).
II. GOD IS THE GOD OF CULMINATION – HEBREWS 1:11-14
Although God did not design the original creation for destruction, the writer reminds us it will perish (Heb. 1:11). However, the Eternal Son enjoys equality with the Father and will remain forever (Heb. 1:8). “They shall perish, but Thou remainest…” (Heb. 1:11). The words of Hebrews 1:11-12 illustrate the eternal and changeless divine nature of the Messiah. This chapter demonstrates the vast contrast between all the created angels and the uncreated Messiah Jesus. The angels are beings created by God, but the Messiah existed from eternity past. In fact, God designed the angels to worship the Messianic King (Heb. 1:6), whom the Father refers to as both God and Creator (Heb. 1:8-9).
Hebrews 1 emphasizes the supremacy of the Messiah. He is unique in His teaching, nature and work (Heb. 1:2-3). Messiah is superior to the angels who worship Him (Heb. 1:6). The Son has ascended to the very throne of God at the Father’s right hand, the place of special honor. Jesus, the Son, who was humiliated on earth (Heb. 12:3) is now exalted and enthroned in heaven. Thus, this first chapter of Hebrews contains a powerful explanation on both the person and work of the Messiah Jesus. He alone is the Creator and sustainer who “upholds all things by the word of His power” (Heb. 1:3).