Friday, January 20, 2006

Hebrews 1:3 study notes part 1

These are adapted from a study I was part of about 5 or 6 years ago. They are intended as a starting point for study.

For context here is Hebrews 1:1-4:

1God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways,
2in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.
3And He is the radiance of His 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,
4having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.

Speaking broadly this tells us 5 things about Jesus-
1. He is the radiance of the Father’s Glory;
2. He is the exact representation of His nature;
3. He upholds all things by the word of His power;
4. He made purification of sins;
5. He sat down at the right hand of God;

In this series I want to consider the implications of each point.

Points 1 and 2 are similar and overlap so I will address them together-
Being the radiance of the Father's and the exact representation of His nature speaks of Jesus' deity. God’s glory is part of who He is. This is seen in Isaiah 42:8 – “I am the LORD, That is My name; I will not give My glory to another, Nor my praise to graven images.” This is also referenced in John 1:1.

Isaiah makes reference to this also in Isaiah 43:11-“I, even I, am the LORD; and there is no saviour besides me.” These verses equate Jesus with God.

Another point here is the Son Reveals the Father. Here's where we get into the Trinity, as opposed to modalism. Jesus is God, but so is the Father. They are distinct persons, but one God.

Some other passages that reveal this include-
-John 8:19 –To the Pharisees-“ If you knew Me, you would know my Father also.”
-John 14:6-7 - I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; No one comes to the Father but through Me. If you had known me you would have known My Father also. From now on you know Him and have seen Him.”
The Son is not claiming to be the Father, but that He reveals who the Father is.
He wraps up the point in verse 9-“He who has seen me has seen the Father.”
It’s not just a physical seeing in mind here. The Pharisees could see Jesus physically, but did not know Him or the Father.

The implications for this for everybody are- Jesus is God, He reveals God, and is the only way to God.
For believers the implications are we should be rejoicing. We should be praising Jesus. We should have an attitude of reverence and awe towards Jesus.
For non-believers the implications are the opposite-they have rejected, ridiculed, disregarded or otherwise ignored the Lord-the only God.

(My main references for this study were-John Owen's Commentary on Hebrews, Matthew Henry's Bible Commentary, and Kenneth Wuest's Hebrews translation & commentary. I also referenced study notes in The MacArthur Study Bible & the New Geneva Study Bible, (Which is now called the Reformation Study Bible.) Any deviation I have made from these is my own responsibility.)


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