“Fix your eyes on Jesus” (Heb.12:2) – The problem seen in the book of Hebrews: Jewish Christians were digressing in following Jesus as Lord because of persecution and going from drifting, doubting, dulling, departing and despising Him. Likewise, the world, the devil and our flesh wage war against our soul and tempt us to do the same. The book of Hebrews does not exhort us to try harder to be a better Christian but to look closer at Jesus and keep looking at Him both as our model as a Man of faith (Heb. 13:7-8) but more so as our Source of spiritual power from start to finish (Heb. 12:1-4). “And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3: 18 Amp.).
JESUS IS LORD! “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. "For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; and A MAN'S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD. "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. "And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.” (Matt. 10:34-39) Preachers often challenge people to “make Jesus Lord of your life, not just your Savior but Savior and Lord.” Yet the truth is Jesus never stops being Lord of all and if we resist His Lordship it is not His problem but ours. Jesus will not take second place in our lives; second to our spouse, to our children, to our business, to our pet sins. He says, “Follow Me” (do My will) not, I will follow you (i.e., bless our plans that we make without Him). This is what the book of Hebrews (and more so, the book of Revelation) tells us. It would be wise to listen to Him (i.e., obey Him) as God the Father commands us to do: “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!" (Matt. 17:5)
THE ULTIMATE PROPHET – “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son” (Heb. 1:1-2). A prophet speaks to man for God, both as a revelation of Who God is and what God is saying. God is a God of Self-Revelation. He wants to be known and makes Himself known from Genesis to Revelation and Scripture says that every man who does not know Him “suppresses the truth (about God) in unrighteousness and is without excuse” (Rom. 1:18-20; 2:14-16). The OT prophets pointed forward to Jesus (Acts 10:43), the Epistles point back to Jesus (Rom. 1:1-5) and in the gospels Jesus points to Himself: Jesus said, "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father" (John 14:9). "I and the Father are one" (John 10:30). To reject Jesus Christ is to reject the one true God.
THE ULTIMATE PRIEST – “When He had made purification of sins He sat down” (Heb. 1:3). While a prophet speaks to man about God, a priest speaks to God about men (prays for us, intercedes for us, and offers spiritual sacrifices for us). Jesus is the Ultimate Priest because He alone offers an acceptable sacrifice for our sins – (His perfect, spotless blood as a human being, not the blood of goats and bulls – Heb. 9:13-14; 1 Peter 1:18); and He alone lives forever to make intercession for us (Heb. 7:25 – Jesus is praying for you and me all the time – wow!). Unlike the OT priest who never sat down because their work of offering sacrifices for sin was never finished, Jesus sat down because He said, “It is finished” and for all who accept Him and His perfect sacrifice for sin, we are forever forgiven. (Rom. 8:1) If a person rejects the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, there is nothing in the universe that can take away their sin and, as Jesus said, "you will die in your sin, and where I go (heaven) you cannot come." (John 8:21)
THE ULTIMATE KING – “He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty (God the Father) on high” (Heb. 1:3). But to which of the angels has He ever said," SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR YOUR FEET"? (Heb. 1:13) The right hand is the position of honor (Phil. 2:11), of power (Matt. 26:64), of privilege and delight (Psalm 16:11), and of universal dominion as King of kings (1 Peter 3:22; Rev. 19:16).
THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON – JESUS IS GOD – “For to which of the angels did He ( God the Father) ever say, "YOU ARE MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU"? (Heb. 1:5) The word begotten or beget means to create or produce something just like yourself. A cat begets a cat, a dog begets a dog, a human begets a human and God (Deity) begets God (Deity). Although the Son of God is eternal and never was created, the God-Man, Jesus Christ, was “begotten” in His incarnation and resurrection and became the God-Man. “FROM PAUL, a bond servant of Jesus Christ (the Messiah) called to be an apostle, (a special messenger) set apart to [preach] the Gospel (good news) of and from God, Which He promised in advance [long ago] through His prophets in the sacred Scriptures–[The Gospel] regarding His Son, Who as to the flesh (His human nature) was descended from David, And [as to His divine nature] according to the Spirit of holiness was openly designated the Son of God in power [in a striking, triumphant and miraculous manner] by His resurrection from the dead, even Jesus Christ our Lord (the Messiah, the Anointed One)” (Rom. 1:1-4; Also see Psalm 2:7). We also see Jesus’ Deity in verses 2-3 & 8 in the very first chapter of Hebrews: “His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance (brightness) of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power” (Heb. 1:2-3). “But of the Son He (God the Father) says (to Jesus), "YOUR THRONE, O GOD, IS FOREVER AND EVER” (Heb. 1:8; Psalm 45:6). God the Father calls Jesus, God!
As God, Jesus Christ is the heir of all things (Rev. 11:15; Psalm 2:8) (but shares His inheritance with His children – Rom. 8:16-17); He created all things (only God can create life); He perfectly reveals God (the brightness of God’s glory – the visible glory of God both material and spiritual/moral glory – Psalm 19, 2 Cor. 4:6); He is also the very essence and substance of Deity (the unseen/invisible nature of God – the exact representation of His nature); He upholds all natural laws and holds us up spiritually (Jude 24-25, Phil. 1:6); He is not a Deist as some say but finishes what He began; He is the only Redeemer from sin through His painful, sacrificial death; and He is King of kings and has all authority and power in the universe (Heb. 1:3,13; Matt. 28:18). To respond to Jesus as anything other than as He is seen here and throughout Scripture is not only foolishness, but blasphemy (Gal. 1:9-10).
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION AND APPLICATION
If we know Jesus rightly we can respond to Him rightly but if we know Him wrongly we will respond to Him wrongly. Every religion but Christianity denies the deity of Christ and even Christians can have a very low view of Jesus. As you begin your table discussion read Matthew 10:34-39 above and then discuss how we should respond to Jesus Christ as seen in the four descriptions above.
- THE ULTIMATE PROPHET – See Heb. 1:1-2; John 1:18; Matt. 17:5.
- THE ULTIMATE PRIEST – See Heb. 1:3; Rom. 3:21-26; Hebrews 4:14-16.
- THE ULTIMATE KING – See Heb. 1:3; Matt. 6:9-15.
- THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON – JESUS IS GOD – See Heb. 1:2-3; 8 – Contrary to Oprah and the New Age movement man never has been (even before the Fall) and never will be (even in heaven) divine. Eve wanted to be like God and so did Satan and man still has a hard time submitting to Him (see Rom. 8:5-8).
- What is your main take away from the message and table discussion and how can you apply it to your life this week?