Without a formal epistolary opening, Hebrews begins with a powerful introduction that goes to the heart of its message. It immediately directs our attention to the Son of God, highlights His supremacy, and warns us to heed His divine word. As we continue our studies through the chapters that follow, we will see that the epistle will continue to develop this core message.
Did You Know...?
1. Express image (1:3): “Originally [the Greek word] denoted an instrument for engraving and then a mark stamped on that instrument. Hence it came to be used generally of a mark stamped on a thing, the impress of a die.”
2. Superior to the angels (1:4): The Jews revered angels because they were divine messengers and mediators of God’s law (cf. Acts 7:53; Gal 3:19).
3. Name (1:4): To Jews a name stood for the full character of a person in all he was and did…. [ref]
Verses 1 to 4 consist of a long sentence. What are the main subject and main verb of this sentence?Hide Answer
“God” is the main subject. “Has spoken” is the main verb.
Based on verse 1 and 2, make a detailed comparison between God’s revelations through the prophets and His revelation through the Son.Hide Answer
1. “God spoke in time past” vs. “God has spoken in these last days.”
2. “God spoke to the fathers” vs. “God has spoken to us.”
3. “God at various times and in various ways spoke” vs. “God has spoken.” There is a sense of finality in the latter. Whereas each of God’s many revelations in the past was partial, God’s word through the Son is the ultimate and complete divine revelation.
Record descriptions about the Son that demonstrate His supremacy.Hide Answer
1. appointed heir of all things (2)
2. through whom also [God] made the worlds (2)
3. the brightness of [God’s] glory (3)
4. the express image of [God’s] person (3)
5. upholding all things by the word of His power (3)
6. He had by Himself purged our sins (3)
7. sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high (3)
The Son sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. What do the phrases “sat down” and “right hand” tell us about our Savior?Hide Answer
He has accomplished the work of redemption and has been exalted to the position of the highest honor and power.
How has God spoken to you today by His Son?
In what ways is the Son “so much better than” the angels, according to the following verses of this passage? a. 1:4-5 b. 1:6 c. 1:7-9 d. 1:10-12 e. 1:13Hide Answer
a. He has obtained the name of “Son,” a much more excellent name than the angels. This Father-Son relationship with God is one that no angel could claim.
b. The angels are the worshippers, but He is the one being worshiped.
c. Whereas the angels are the messengers, He reigns on the throne, ruling over His kingdom with a scepter. Unlike the angels, who serve and are sent, He is the one who sends them into service.
d. He is the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and He lives forever.
e. He has been given honor and power which no angels have ever obtained. Whereas angels stand in God’s presence (Lk 1:19; Rev 8:2; Dan 7:10), the Son sits down at God’s right hand.
What can we know from this paragraph about the purpose of the extensive comparison between the Lord Jesus and the angels found in the previous paragraph?Hide Answer
The word “therefore” indicates that this paragraph is the conclusion to the entire section. The purpose of demonstrating the superiority of the Son is to urge us to heed the word of salvation and convey the seriousness of neglecting the great salvation.
What are “the things we have heard”?Hide Answer
The gospel of salvation, which was first spoken by the Lord and was confirmed by His witnesses (3).
How do we “give the more earnest heed” to the things we have heard?
What does it mean to “drift away”?
What is the consequence of drifting away?Hide Answer
Facing God’s just judgement (2).
How does the author describe our salvation?Hide Answer
“So great a salvation” (3).
What does this description mean to you personally and to your daily life?
How does a person “neglect” salvation?Hide Answer
Negligence is the opposite of “giving earnest heed” in verse 1. It means not making salvation the first priority and failing to respond to and act upon the word of our Lord.
Why do we not have any excuse for neglecting the great salvation?Hide Answer
1. This salvation was spoken by the Lord (3). If even the messages through angels were binding (2), we would not escape if we do not heed the words of the Son, who is much more superior to angels.
2. Not only has the Son spoken, His word was confirmed by those who heard Him (3).
3. God Himself has borne witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit (4). Even though we have not personally heard the preaching of the Lord Jesus, we have personally witnessed and experienced God’s working power, which testifies to the message of salvation (cf. Mk 16:20).
In what ways have you seen or experienced God’s own witness of His salvation?