February 15, 2024
For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father”? (Psalm 2:7) Or again, “I will be his Father, and he will be my Son”? (2 Samuel 7:14) 6And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.” (Deuteronomy 32:43) 7In speaking of the angels he says, “He makes his angels spirits, and his servants flames of fire.”(?) 8But about the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom. (Psalm 102) 9You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.” (Psalm 45:7-8) 10He also says, “In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.11They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment.12You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.” (Psalm 102:27-28) 13To which of the angels did God ever say, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”? 14Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? (References inserted)
Jesus - More than an Angel
As I am not a Bible scholar, I'm reading this text believing that it was Paul who wrote it. (Some scholars believe differently.) But no matter who wrote it, I agree it's a masterpiece of developing who Jesus was and is, and why this has changed everything for us.
The author begins here by quoting eight passages from the Torah – see the references in the text - which indicate that Jesus was more than an angel. (A bit irritating for me is that not all the quotes can be found in the Bible - maybe the Torah is different). He is talking to Hebrews - probably Jews, or Israelites from tribes other than Judah (that distinction is a chapter in itself). His audience are probably Jews who have come to believe in Jesus (today we refer to them as Messianic Jews). The fact that he uses so many references to authority indicates strongly that there was fervent discussion about who Jesus really was. Was he a mere human? A heretic and rogue teacher? An angel of God? The Son of God - the long-awaited Messiah?
In the course of the letter, his message becomes clearer, but he starts by building his case carefully. What does the Torah say about Jesus? It says: God calls him his Son. The angels worship him. His throne will last forever. God has set him above his companions. He created the earth and the heavens. They will perish, but he will remain forever. He sits at the right hand of God. For those of us born into a tradition of 2000 years of Christian faith, this may not be new. But it is interesting that the author lets the OT, the Torah, speak to prove that Jesus is the Messiah. If we ever think that the NT has made the OT superfluous, let's stop here and recognize that the NT cannot be understood without the OT. Jesus was a Jew, walking in the Jewish tradition, fulfilling the law on our behalf, fulfilling the prophecies for our benefit. The law and the prophecies are given by the Old Testament. The fulfillment is revealed to us in the New Testament.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for passing your Word to us through millennia. Guide us in the ways of your Son, so that we too, may be messengers of your love and truth!