At the beginning of the New Testament’s “Letter to the Hebrews,” Paul quotes a succession of Old Testament verses that show how special Jesus was – specifically, how He was distinguished from angels.
And He [i.e. Jesus, the Son of God] is the radiance of His [i.e. God’s] glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.
For to which of the angels did He ever say,
“YOU ARE MY SON,
TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU”? And again,
“I WILL BE A FATHER TO HIM
AND HE SHALL BE A SON TO ME”?
And when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says,
“AND LET ALL THE ANGELS OF GOD WORSHIP HIM.”
– Hebrews 1:3-6 (all caps quoting Psalm 2:7; 2 Samuel 7:14; and Psalm 97:7)
Once Jesus was raised from the dead and He ascended into heaven, His disciples knew that He was greater than all men. What they need more instruction about was how much greater He was than all heavenly beings, too.
You have seen enough Scripture to know that, contrary to common assumption, Jesus did not walk around the Judean countryside saying, “I am God!” During His earthly life, it only slowly got around that He was the Messiah. Once that became common knowledge, it led inexorably to His crucifixion because the religious authorities were not going to stand for a messianic candidate who would threaten the power and prestige they had accumulated. Therefore, the belief that Jesus was the Messiah of Israel only began being promulgated and spread after His crucifixion.
The revelation of God dawns on us – just as the sun slowly ascends to its noonday high. Remember:
But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
That shines brighter and brighter until the full day.
– Proverbs 4:18
The “Letter to the Hebrews” teaches that God had much more in mind for Messiah than simply living a human life that instructed other humans how to live – as important as that was.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord, You patiently explain to us Your being and Your ways. We are slow to learn…and we quickly forget. But through You, we shall do better…(this is where you remain quiet to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.
(All scriptures, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the NASB.)