12 August, 2022

Lesson for October 2, 2016: The Radiance of God’s Glory (Hebrews 1)

by | 26 September, 2016

Dr. Mark Scott wrote this treatment of the International Sunday School Lesson. Scott teaches preaching and New Testament at Ozark Christian College, Joplin, Missouri. This lesson treatment is published in the September 25 issue of The Lookout magazine, and is also available online at www.lookoutmag.com.

______

By Mark Scott 

Dennis Kinlaw wrote a book entitled Let”s Start with Jesus. It”s a book on our triune God. Instead of starting with the Father or the Spirit (mentioned chronologically first in the Bible””Genesis 1:1, 2), Kinlaw suggests that the best way to understand the Trinity is to actually start with Jesus. Then we will understand our triune God, who is one in essence but three in function, and we will see that our triune God exists in a community of total love.

The Shepherd Church in Porter Ranch, California, hung a huge banner in the front of their worship center for a season that read, “It”s All About Jesus.” It created great focus for the church. The writer of Hebrews would have liked that banner. Last month”s lessons emphasized the sovereignty of God. This month”s lessons emphasize the sovereignty of Jesus. But what is it that makes Jesus sovereign? The writer of Hebrews gives us two answers to that question in our text.

Jesus Is the Best Message | Hebrews 1:1-4

The final exam in my freshman English Grammar class in college was to line diagram Hebrews 1:1-4 from the American Standard Version. We were given three hours. Lines went everywhere, but the idea was quite simple””and profound. The subject was “God”; the predicate was “hath spoken.” And indeed he has.

The writer of Hebrews reminded these Jewish believers of their rich heritage in the Word. God gave his people his message through prophets and prophetesses. A quick perusal through the Old Testament would display the kaleidoscope of ways that God communicated with his people””visions, dreams, object lessons, etc. He did not do this every day, yet it happened at many times.

But there came a special time and way that God gave his message to his people and the world. It was through Jesus. This happened in these last days (a phrase that covers from the time of Jesus” death to the present moment). The writer of Hebrews gives us eight ways in which Jesus is the best message from God. All eight ways underline Jesus” sovereignty:

1. Jesus has been appointed (put or placed) heir of all things. Whoever has it all must be sovereign.

2. Jesus is cocreator. Other texts emphasize such (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16).

3. Jesus is the radiance of God”s glory. God”s glory was his shining brilliance and his weighty presence.

4. Jesus is the exact representation of his being. We get our English word character from this word representation.

5. Jesus sustains all things. Literally, this means he “bears them up.”

6. Jesus provided purification, which means he cleansed us through what he did on the cross.

7. He sat down. This means his redemptive work was done.

8. He became . . . superior to the angels. The writer goes on to tell us more of what that means in the verses that follow. This prologue of Hebrews is full of Jesus. He is the best message and surpasses all other messages from God.

Jesus Is the Best Messenger | Hebrews 1:5-9

Not only is Jesus the best message from God””he is also the best messenger that God could send. It would seem that some people were caught up in the worship of angels (see also Colossians 2:18). This must have been an important part of their temptation to slip backward since it is mentioned first in the epistle. Angels do occupy an important place in Heaven and in communicating the message of Heaven to people on earth. Hebrews 1:14 refers to angels as ministering spirits sent to those who will inherit salvation. (This can be seen in Acts 8″“10.)

Hebrews is the book about better things. Jesus is better than angels, Moses, the law, the priesthood, and the covenant. Angels, at best, are only messengers of Jesus, but Jesus is the best messenger. To underline this point the author clustered several Old Testament passages from the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings (poetry/wisdom books) to emphasize Jesus” sovereignty over even the angels.

The author quoted Psalm 2:7. Then he drew upon 2 Samuel 7:14. From there he alluded to Deuteronomy 32:43. Finally he quoted Psalms 104:4 and 45:6, 7. Some of these are direct quotations, some use the Greek translation of the Old Testament, and some are mere allusions to make his point. But the point is that Jesus is not just a messenger of God like an angel. He is the messenger of God, whom angels worship.

________

*Lesson based on International Sunday School Lesson, © 2013, by the Lesson Committee. Scripture quotations are from the New International Version ©2011, unless otherwise indicated.

HOME DAILY BIBLE READINGS
September 26: John 1:1-14
September 27: John 1:15-18
September 28: John 5:24-27
September 29: Hebrews 1:10-14
September 30: Colossians 1:15-20
October 1: Ephesians 1:3-8a
October 2: Hebrews 1:1-9

Christian Standard

Contact us at cs@christianstandardmedia.com

0 Comments

Latest News

Have You Seen . . . ‘Elvis’?

The life story of Elvis Presley emerges as narrated by Colonel Tom Parker, who exploited and enriched himself by manipulating the “King of Rock and Roll” and his family.

Communion Survey Results: Prepackaged Cups Widely Used (and That’s Likely to Continue)

A little more than half of the respondents (54 percent) reported their church uses the prepackaged Communion cups (with juice and bread sealed in a single container, purchased from a vendor). Among those folks, 42 percent either “strongly agreed” or “agreed” they were easy to use, while 45 percent either “disagreed” or “strongly disagreed” the prefilled cups were easy to use. . . .

TSF Achieves $1 Billion in Assets (Plus Other News Briefs)

Doug Crozier of The Solomon Foundation announced recently that the church extension fund has achieved $1 billion in assets on its way to helping more than 500 churches with facilities in just over 11 years. Also briefs from Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, and New Jersey.

COMPETITIVE COUPLE: John and Jennifer Perkins Tyler Lead Point U’s Baseball, Softball Programs

Jennifer Perkins Taylor has more than 250 career wins as Point University’s softball coach, a program she has been with since it began. John Perkins led Point’s baseball team to the NAIA World Series in 2016 as a first-year head coach.  The pair fiercely support each other, their programs, and the mission of Point University “to educate students for Christ-centered service and leadership throughout the world.” . . .

Follow Us

Pin It on Pinterest