We live in a time when angels are venerated. Angels have captured much of the popular culture’s imagination. Whether it is the “Weeping Angels” from Doctor Who or the angels that help out everyone from baseball players to people in car accidents, we love angels. Angels are beautiful and powerful beings that leave those who engage with them in awe. The first words angels speak are typically, “Fear not!”
It is of these beings that the preacher to the Hebrews declares, “Jesus is better!”
Hebrews 1:5-13 corresponds directly to the opening lines in the sermon (verses 1-4).* Check this out:
- Jesus the Son (2b / 5-9)
- Jesus the Creator (2c / 10)
- Jesus the Eternal One (3a / 11-12)
- Jesus at the King (3c / 13-14)
The preacher realizes that the Jewish Christians probably think of angels the same way we do now. In that time the angels were often believed to play significant roles in the day to day lives of people. They were recognized to have significant power. To say that Jesus, a man, was greater than they are required a bit support from the Scriptures.
That’s just what the preacher does.
Jesus the Son
In verses 5-9 the preacher argues for Jesus being the righteous son. His identity is rooted in the proclamation that “You are my Son; today I have begotten you.” This calling forth of the identity as “the Son” for Jesus sets him apart from the angels. The preacher asks, “Which angel was ever described this way?” The answer is obviously none.
Jesus the Creator
Verse 10 the preacher clarifies that Jesus was there at the founding of the creation. He fashioned everything. That means that Jesus even made the angels. How majestic must a being be to even create them?
Jesus the Eternal One
The preacher continues to make his argument stating that the Son is “…the same and your years will never end.” Jesus is eternal He doesn’t change. Everything else may perish but Jesus never will.
Jesus the King
The angels exist to serve “those who are to inherit salvation.” Jesus sits at the right hand of God. He is the all powerful king of Kings. He is reigning on high with angels in his service. Jesus is greater, because Jesus is king.
The stark reality is that often we think things like angels are more real or more powerful than Jesus. It seems almost more tangible somehow to believe that angels are at work doing things. Yet, angels are messenger/servants. They are not our loved ones “up in heaven.” Our loved ones who have gone on to be with the Lord are still our loved ones. The angels are particular beings with a particular purpose. Their existence points to a spiritual reality that is beyond the physical.
Therefore we must pay greater attention to what we have heard…
If angels are messengers and people have listened to the me, how much more so do we need to listen to Jesus? He has declared to us a message of salvation that we must not neglect!
Jesus has spoken. The question is, “Will we listen?”