Jesus' superiority to
angels is stressed in the book of Hebrews.
There is no name exalted
higher in honor and glory than the name of Jesus
Christ. All of the major ideas in Hebrews are
centered around the titles of Christ as the Son of
God and the Great High Priest.
God has given Him "the
name that is above every name, and at the name of
Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth
and under the earth, and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the
Father" (Philippians 2:9-11 NASB95). (All Scriptures
are New American Standard Bible NASB95 unless
The writer of Hebrews
declares with majestic splendor the glory of the Son
of God. God has spoken His final word of revelation
through His Son who came in the flesh to give a
perfect understanding of God and His purpose for
mankind. The Son is the "appointed heir of all
things" and is the Creator who "made the world." "He
is the radiance of His [God's] glory and the exact
representation of His nature, and upholds all things
by the word of His power." We stand in awe of such a
person and realize that only He could possibly be
"made purification of sins." He is the perfect high
priest and the perfect sacrifice that covers every
sin of everyone who believes on Him. Only His
atoning death can deal with our sin problem. The
blood of Jesus Christ covers all our sins. Then "He
sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high."
He alone is exalted high above every person and all
creation including the good angels. The Son "having
become as much better than the angels, as He has
inherited a more excellent name than they" (Hebrews
1:4). He is in permanent possession of the "name"
that is better than the angels.
Jesus Christ the unique,
one and only, one of a kind, Son of God is:
The Prophet through whom
God has spoken His final word.
The Creator of the
The Heir of all things.
The Radiance of God's
The Representation of
God's perfect being.
The Sustainer of all
things by the word of His power.
The Priest who made
purification for our sins.
The eternal King who sat
down permanently on the throne of glory.
The Son who has a name
better than the angels.
The Son is "better"
superior, stronger, more powerful than the angels
and is worshipped by them.
The writer of Hebrews
draws out a contrast between the angels who are
God's servants and the Son who created them. The
angels are "messengers" of God sent out from Him to
do His work. "Are they not all ministering spirits,
sent out to render service for the sake of those who
will inherit salvation?" (Hebrews 1:14).
Peter was in prison
sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two
chains, and there were guards in front of the door
watching over the prison in Acts 12:6. He was there
because he would not shut up about the resurrection
of Jesus. "And behold, an angel of the Lord suddenly
appeared and a light shone in the cell; and he
struck Peter’s side and woke him up, saying, 'Get up
quickly.' And his chains fell off his hands" (Acts
12:7). The angel led Peter out of prison to freedom.
Later, an angel struck Herod "because he did not
give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and
died" (Acts 12:23). An angel gave Paul encouragement
in a fierce storm. Paul told the men on board the
ship, "For this very night an angel of the God to
whom I belong and whom I serve stood before me,
saying, 'Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand
before Caesar, and behold, God has granted you all
those who are sailing with you. Therefore,
keep up your courage, men, for I believe God, that
it will turn out exactly as I have been told" (Acts
characteristic of Hebrews is the number of
references and quotes from the Psalms in the Old
Testament. Our author builds his argument on how
Jesus is vastly superior to the angels by quoting
seven Old Testament passages. He gives His full
attention to the greatness of Jesus Christ. Jesus is
the focus of his thinking throughout this epistle.
Christ sat down at the right hand of the Majesty of
God on high after He had made purification for our
sins, and was raised from the dead. Christ sat down
in glory "having become as much better than the
angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name
The author states seven
facts about Christ in Hebrews 1:2-3 and then quotes
seven passages from the Old Testament in verses 5-13
to drive home his message (Psalm 2:7; 2 Samuel 7:14;
Deuteronomy 32:43; Psalm 104:4; 45:6-7 102:25-27 and
110:1). The worshippers reading this letter would be
very familiar with these songs and Jewish hymns. The
author of Hebrews has the deep conviction that the
Son, Jesus the Messiah, has fulfilled these
One of the literary
characteristics of the author of Hebrews is the
unusual way of citing the Old Testament authors. He
has the conviction that God continues to speak today
through the Scriptures he quotes. In contrast to the
other New Testament authors he does not give the
human author of his quotes except in 4:7; 9:19-20.
He places his emphasis on the divine authorship of
the whole Old Testament by ascribing the passage
quoted to God. He does not give the names of the
human writers that God used.
It is majestic beauty how
the Holy Spirit guided the author in choosing the
words that were originally written under His
guidance. The Spirit directed him in the use of the
Old Testament, the way he cited and arranged the
Scriptures, and the interpretative summary of the
great truths. The Holy Spirit is the author of
Angels were very
important to ancient Judaism (Deut. 33:2; Psa.
68:17; Acts 7:53; Gal. 3:19; Heb. 2:2).
Because of the length of presentation on angels at
the very beginning of the letter, there must have
been an extreme emphasis or preoccupation with
angels in this group of believers. They had gone off
on a tangent. The first-century Essene sect within
Judaism had a highly developed angelology and
regarded angels with more veneration than they
should have. Hebrews 1:4-2:18 is dealing with
angels and the infinite superiority of Jesus Christ
over them. The author uses the phrase "to which of
the angels" in vv. 5, 13 to open and close off his
literary discussion of the angels.
A MORE EXCELLENT NAME
"The name" signifies the
whole character and personality of the Son as
superior to the angels.
The Son, Jesus Christ, is
"much better than the angels, as He has inherited a
more excellent name than they" (Heb. 1:4). This is
the first use of the word "better" (Greek,
kreitton) which draws out the contrast
between Jesus and His order with all that went
before Him (Heb. 6:9; 7:7, 19, 22; 8:6; 9:23; 10:34;
11:16, 35, 40; 12:24). There are only six other
appearances of this word in the New Testament.
Christ is "so far better," "much superior to," "much
better than" the angels. The rest of the chapter
describes how Jesus is much better.
Jesus has "inherited a
more excellent name than they." The use of the
perfect tense in the original implies that what He
inherited remains His. He is now in the eternal
permanent possession of that name. The name has the
distinction of superiority. "More excellent" (diaphoros)
means outstanding, excellent.
Christ is superior to the
angels because of His exaltation to the right hand
of God. Moreover, His title "Son" further exalts
Him. He has the rank and dignity of the Son of God.
Beginning with verse five
the author gives Biblical proofs using seven
quotations from the Old Testament to prove the Son
is more excellent than the angels.
"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'?" (Hebrews 1:5).
God is the speaker. The
answer to the two rhetorical questions is a definite
"no." God never did say such a thing to any angel.
B. F. Westcott said the title "Son of God" is never
given to a person in the Old Testament. No angel has
ever been given the title "Son of God" anywhere in
the Bible. The author is stressing the fact that
title "Son" is applied only to Christ. The emphasis
is laid upon the "Son" who is not shared by others.
He is a unique, one of a kind, Son. "My Son You
are." No one else has that relationship with God.
King David referred to
Jesus Christ as God's Son in Psalm 2:7. The Old
Testament refers to angels collectively as the "sons
of God" (Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7). However, it does not
refer to any one angel as a Son of God. The title
Son of God is a title that refers to only one of the
Davidic kings (2 Sam. 7:14), and this statement is
fulfilled only in the person of Jesus Christ, the
Messiah and Son of God. In a typological sense the
author of Hebrews applied the prophecy of 2 Samuel
2:7 to Jesus Christ. It is the everlasting King
Himself who in the psalm quotes Yahweh as saying to
him, "Son of mine You are!" The angel Gabriel
announced: “He will be great and will be called the
Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him
the throne of His father David" (Luke 1:32). God the
Father declared from heaven at the baptism of Jesus,
"You are my beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased"
(Mark 1:11; cf. Matt. 3:17; 17:5; Luke 3:22; 9:35).
Psalm 2:2 refers to the
Messiah, the Anointed One, who is king over all
(Psa. 2:6-8) and God's Son (Psa. 2:7). The psalmist
is clearly saying God is directly addressing the
Messiah and calling Him my Son.
What "name" did Jesus
inherit that makes Him greater than angels? When
Jesus rose from the dead He was enthroned as king
and seated at the right hand of God. When a Jewish
king was enthroned there was an acclamation that he
was formally taking up his title and inheritance
which had been his by birth. The formula was given
by God. "You are my Son. Today I have begotten you"
(Psalm 2:7; 89:27). The writer of Hebrews quotes
Psalm 2:7 and 2 Samuel 7:14: "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”?" (Hebrews 1:5).
Moreover, Jesus Christ is
not only the Son of God, but He is also the promised
son of David (2 Sam. 7:14; 1 Chron. 17:13; Luke
1:32-33, 68-69). Psalm 2:8 stresses the rule of the
Son over the whole earth after His resurrection. The
apostle Paul declared, "God has fulfilled this
promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus,
as it is also written in the second Psalm, ‘You are
My Son; today I have begotten You" (Acts 13:33).
David was one of the prophets referred to in Heb.
1:1, in whose person God spoke in times past.
Therefore, God placed David's Son, the heir of all
things in Hebrews 1:2, on His everlasting throne in
the eternal kingdom.
John Owen observes
correctly: "These words are taken from the answer
returned from God unto David by Nathan, upon his
resolution to build Him a house. Both Solomon and
the Lord Christ are intended in these words; Solomon
literally and typically, the Lord Christ principally
and mystically. They express the eternal,
unchangeable love which the Father bore unto the
Son, grounded on the relationship of Father and Son.
. . It is His design in all things to glorify His
The "name" that is
superior to the angels is "Son of God." Many have
suggested Jesus, Lord or Yahweh based on Philippians
This is also stressed by
the apostle Paul in Romans 1:4 when he says Jesus
"who was declared the Son of God with power by the
resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit
of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord."
When was this declaration
made? The word "today" could to Jesus' return to
heaven after His resurrection and ascension. The
eternal Son of God exercised all His prerogatives
that are implied by the title when He was raised to
the Father's right hand. The idea is the
inauguration of the theocratic king which would
correspond to the historic manifestation of the
divine King. The apostle Paul applied it to the
resurrection of Jesus (Acts 13:33; Rom. 1:4). It may
be best not to refer to a moment in time or
circumstance, but to understand it to mean an
eternal relationship. In verse five he said, "I will
be to Him a Father." The argument will be the same
whether it refers to the resurrection and ascension
or to His eternal preexistence.
"Today I have begotten
you" (v. 5). The begetting is used figuratively. It
is not the beginning of life or a physical birth,
but the entrance or appointment to the divine office
as the Son of God. Our Lord is "Son of God" not by
creation, nor adoption. He is the eternal Son of
God. This is the acclamation when God places David's
Son, the heir of all things in verse two on His
everlasting throne as King in the eternal Kingdom of
God. He is exalted to the right hand of Majesty on
We need to stress very
clearly Jesus has always been the Son of God, just
as He has always been heir of all things in verse
two. Jesus Christ is the Son of God, not only from
the time that He assumed our nature, but from all
eternity. When Christ rose from the dead He was
declared Son of God and heir all things on a new
foundation. He reigns as the God-man Jesus Christ.
He is the Son of God not by His eternal right down
through eternity, but by His victory over sin and
death. He reigns as the Son of God by the power of
His resurrection from the dead.
Let me make it very clear
that Jesus is not the archangel Michael as the cults
teach. Jesus is the Son of God full of deity. Jesus
is the Son of God; He is not an angel. He is God of
The author of Hebrews is
stressing the fact that God never made such a
statement to any angel. No angel has ever sat at the
right hand of God in power and majesty. All that
belongs to the Father, belongs to this unique one of
a kind Son.
The first two Old
Testament quotations declares that Jesus is the Son
of God, the next quote says He is worshipped by
ANGELS WORSHIP JESUS
CHRIST (HEB. 1:6-9)
"And when He again brings
the firstborn into the world, He says, 'And let all
the angels of God worship Him'" (Hebrews 1:6). Verse
six may either refer to Psalm 97:7 or Deuteronomy
32:43. The angels worship Him as Yahweh.
The title "firstborn" (ton
protokon) denotes preeminence and rights of
inheritance in a family lineage. "Firstborn" does
not refer to time but to position, rank, dignity and
preeminence. Jesus was not created as the cults
teach such as Arians and Jehovah's False Witnesses.
Jesus has existed from all eternity as the Son with
the Father and the Holy Spirit in the eternal
Godhead. The author of Hebrews, like the apostle
Paul, has in mind all the rights and privileges of a
firstborn son of a king who would rule with
authority and power. In Jewish society, the oldest
son or "firstborn," received a double portion of the
inheritance. He was responsible for the family after
the death of the father. He had a higher rank than
his brothers. Even the younger son could be elevated
to the place of the "firstborn" (Gen. 48:17-20; Exo.
4:22). King Solomon was not the first born son of
David. He was the tenth son of David chronologically
(1 Chron. 3:1-5). The title "firstborn" in Heb. 1:6
does not refer to the first born chronologically,
but sovereignty, unique one of a kind, superiority
as the Messiah as declared in Psalm 89:17. "I also
shall make him My firstborn, The highest of the
kings of the earth" (Psalm 89:27). Here the title
"firstborn" is a title given to the Messiah.
Angels are servants; Jesus is the Sovereign Son.
Jesus was called "the firstborn among many brethren"
(Rom. 8:29), "the firstborn of all creation" (Col.
1:15), and "the firstborn from the dead" (Col. 1:18;
Rev. 1:5). In deed, they are members of "the church
of the first-born" (Heb. 12:23). Jesus is superior
in position and dignity in the eyes of God because
He is "the firstborn." Therefore, Christ is superior
to the angels because God commanded them to worship
When will He "again"
appear? The context strongly favors the Second
Coming of Christ. This bringing Him again is still
future. "When He again brings the first-born into
the world." The reference is to the second coming of
Jesus Christ and the establishment of His messianic
kingdom. Later the writer of Hebrews will declare,
"So Christ also, having been offered once to bear
the sins of many, will appear a second time for
salvation without reference to sin, to those who
eagerly await Him" (Hebrews 9:28).
The emphasis is on angels
worshipping Jesus. When God brings Christ "again" a
second time into the world, He says, "And let all
the angels of God worship Him." "Worship" (proskuneo)
means to fall down and worship, to prostrate oneself
before" the Lord God.
It is going to be a great
day of majesty when all the angels in heaven bow to
Jesus, and on the earth every human being bows
before Him, and under the earth all demons, all
creation worships Him. Angels will worship Jesus
when He returns as second time (Matt. 13:41; 16:27;
25:31; 2 Thess. 1:7).
Jesus is so superior to
the angels that all angels worship Him. All the
other religions of the world say Jesus is not to be
worshipped. However Jesus the Son of God is full of
deity. He is God with us and we must worship Him
alone. "And there is salvation in no one else; for
there is no other name under heaven that has been
given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts
4:12). "Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the
truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but
through Me'" (John 14:6).
The writer of Hebrews
continues: "And of the angels He says, 'Who makes
His angels winds, And His ministers a flame of
fire.' But of the Son He says, 'Your throne, O God,
is forever and ever, And the righteous scepter is
the scepter of His kingdom. 'You have loved
righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God,
Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness
above Your companions'" (Hebrews 1:7-9).
God is the speaker
in verses seven and eight.
The angels were created
by the eternal second person of the Godhead. Psalm
104 refers to the Lord God as creator and sustainer
of all things, including angels. "He makes the winds
His messengers, Flaming fire His ministers" (Psalm
104:4). Winds and flaming fire symbolize the
Holy Spirit in the Old Testament. The Son is the
creator and sustainer of the universe.
That God "makes" implies
they are creatures and He could reduce angels to the
elemental forces of wind and fire, where as the
person and authority of the Son of God are above all
change and decay. The angels are God's messengers
clothed with His power to accomplish His will. They
execute His commands with the speed of the wind and
the cleansing of fire. They are servants who serve
The angels are described
as God's "messengers, flaming fire" emphasizing
their spiritual nature, invisibility, power and
servants. "Flame of fire" denotes them as agents of
God's judgment and illumination.
"The glory, honor and
exaltation of angels lies in their subservience to
the providence of God. It lies not so much in their
nature, as in their work and service. Their
readiness and ability to serve the providence of God
is their glory," writes John Owen.
In contrast to angels,
the Messiah can be addressed not merely as God's Son
in verse five, but actually as God. He is both the
Messiah and the out shinning radiance of God's glory
and the very image of His substance. Of the Son He
says, "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever." It
would be perfectly accurate to translate pros ton
huion "to the Son." The cults don't like that
statement. We have a King of whom we have to say God
is His God and He is God! It is referring to Jesus!
Only the Son of David, Jesus Christ, fulfilled the
words of this psalm. Angels worship Jesus Christ
because He is the Son of God in the sense that He is
God. "Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever." The
fifth quotation is from Psalm 45:6-7. This is a
great Messianic Psalm describing the final triumph
of the Son who is greater than all of David's
descendents. The anointing referred to here probably
took place after Jesus' ascension to heaven. God
addresses His Son at His enthronement in heaven. The
Messiah is God, yet God anointed Him. The Messianic
Son is rightfully called God by God the Father (John
1:1, 18; 20:28; Titus 2:13). The Son is clearly
addressed as God because He is God.
"Throne" symbolizes the
Son's rule or dominion which is eternal. It is
"forever and ever." "Your throne" implies that the
Son is King. He sat down at the right of the
Majesty on high (v. 3). The angel Gabriel said to
Mary the mother of Jesus before Jesus' conception:
"He will be great and will be called the Son of the
Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne
of His father David; and He will reign over the
house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no
end" (Luke 1:32-33). The "throne" belongs to Jesus
The character of His
reign as sovereign is described as "righteous"
(euthute). This is opposite of crooked. A crooked
scepter was an emblem of an unjust government.
Christ's scepter is upright because He is always
just and right. Every aspect of Christ's rule is
based on righteousness. The laws of His kingdom are
righteous, holy, and just. They proceed from His
love to righteousness, and His hatred of iniquity.
"You have loved
righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God,
Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness
above Your companions" (Hebrews 1:9). This
"righteousness" (dikaiosune) or uprightness
is the opposite of "lawlessness" (anomia) and is the
compelling motive for the conduct of a
person's whole life. The hatred (miseo) is a
strong hatred, to persecute in hatred, to detest,
The Old Testament
declared the righteous king who would rule in
righteousness. "'Behold, the days are coming,'
declares the Lord, 'When I will raise up for David a
righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act
wisely And do justice and righteousness in the
land'" (Jeremiah 23:5). It is fulfilled in the
coming of Jesus the righteous king: "And they sang
the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the
song of the Lamb, saying, 'Great and marvelous are
Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous and
true are Your ways, King of the nations!'"
B. F. Westcott observed,
"The Son in His work on earth fulfilled the ideal of
righteousness; and the writer of the Epistle looks
back upon that completed work now seen in its
Jesus told His disciples,
"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness,
and all these things will be added to you." (Matthew
Angels serve; the Son
rules on His eternal immutable throne of
righteousness. The Son is addressed as both God and
as Lord. The Son exercises royal sovereign power,
but the angels are mere ministers.
The last part of Hebrews
1:9 says, "Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
with the oil of gladness above Your companions."
"God, who has made Himself known as your God."
Jesus Christ is the Lord
and King of whom God spoke through the Hebrew
prophets. He is the Anointed of Yahweh from eternity
The author has
demonstrated that the Son's superiority to the
angels is based on His divine nature. Just as
Philippians 2:5-11 has the great declaration of the
glorious exaltation of the Suffering Savior after
His extreme humiliation, our author declares the
outpouring of blessing and glory which took place
after the humiliation. Christ reigns in total power
The Jewish metaphor of
anointing guests at a feast is used here of the joy
which the Father blessed His Son in His evidence of
divine justice. The "oil" is symbol of gladness.
It was time to celebrate.
Let us sing; let us celebrate! We are the
"companions" (metochos) of Christ who have an
intimate relationship with Him (Heb. 3:1). "For it
was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and
through whom are all things, in bringing many sons
to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation
through sufferings. For both He who sanctifies and
those who are sanctified are all from one Father;
for which reason He is not ashamed to call them
brethren" (Hebrews 2:10-11). As joint heirs with
Christ we share in His gladness (Rom. 8:17).
The Son is God in the
fullest sense of the word. Let us bow and worship
Him. He is God! That is what the angels do.
JESUS CHRIST THE SON
OF GOD IS GOD (HEB 1:10-12)
Perhaps with the
exception of the Gospel of John, the deity of Jesus
Christ is more powerfully declared in Hebrews than
in any other New Testament writing.
"And, 'You, Lord, in the
beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the
heavens are the works of Your hands; They will
perish, but You remain; And they all will become old
like a garment, And like a mantle You will roll them
up; Like a garment they will also be changed. But
You are the same, And Your years will not come to an
end'" (Hebrews 1:10-12).
"Laid the foundation of
the earth" is figurative for creation which was "in
the beginning" in Genesis 1:1.
The author has already
been speaking clearly of the deity of the Son in vv.
8-9. Now he presses his point by quoting Psalm
102:25-27 which also refers to immutability of the
Messiah who is the creator. The author of Hebrews
applies this great messianic song to Christ, the
eternal Son of God. The unchangeableness of God is
applied to the Son. The speaker in this Psalm is
God, and the Son is addressed here as "Lord." Once
again, it is a strong argument for the Son's deity.
The Son is the Creator. What was said of Yahweh is
now applied to Christ who is the creator and
sustainer of the universe (Col. 1:16; John 1:1-3).
Hebrews 1:2 tells us God made the world through the
Son. Everything that can be said about God as
creator can be said about the Son as creator of the
universe. Jesus Christ is the Creator of the
universe. He is God. Therefore, the Son is superior
to His creation including the angels. While the
angels were spectators at creation (cf. Job 38:7)
they were subject to Him. The Messiah is the one who
will bring the universe to its grand consummation
The creation will pass
away, "perish" (apollumi), with the idea of
change, yet the Son will remain. He will be
unchanged. The Son is eternal. The heavens and earth
will grow old and wear out and become useless just
like an old garment. We know from other passages of
Scripture they will give way to the new heavens and
the new earth. They will change like an old garment,
"but You are the same, and Your years will not come
to an end." Over and over again, the author speaks
of the Son's eternity.
Everything on earth is
going to burn up as we know it, however the Son will
have an unending rule throughout eternally (2 Peter
3:10-12; Rev. 21-22). The Son's eternal abiding
character and nature is stressed.
Jesus Christ as the Son
of God is the foundational idea in Hebrews. All of
the other teaching in Hebrews, including the High
Priesthood, rests on this truth.
Jesus has always been the
pre-existent Son, who became the incarnate Son at
His physical birth and is now the exalted Son of God
in heaven. These verses speak of "His eternal and
absolutely immutable existence," writes John Owen.
"He is God over all, omnipotent and eternal."
Moreover, "The whole world . . . is wholly at His
ANGELS ARE SERVANTS
Jesus is the
sovereign; angels are servants.
"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'? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent
out to render service for the sake of those who will
inherit salvation?" (Hebrews 1:13-14).
The final quotation is
Psalm 110:1 which speaks of the Messiah exalted to
the Father's side and ruling over all enemies. Jesus
quoted it in Matthew 22:43-45. Peter quoted it in
his Pentecost sermon in Acts 2:34-35. It is the most
quoted and alluded to in the New Testament as
referring to Jesus the Messiah. Synagogues in the
first century A.D. accepted and taught this Psalm as
The author turns his
thoughts to Christ sitting at the right hand of God
the Father. It is a picture of the exaltation of
Christ unto His glorious administration of the
kingdom. "For He must reign until He has put all His
enemies under His feet" (1 Corinthians 15:25). The
kingdom and rule of Christ is everlasting, permanent
and immovable. The Scriptures speak of two aspects
of the kingdom. There is the sense in which it is in
the realm of the heart of every believer. He rules
in "the internal spiritual power and efficacy of it
in the hearts of His subjects," says Owen. There is
also the outward aspect with glorious administration
of it in the world.
Obviously, no angel was
ever told to "sit at My right hand." They stand
around the throne ready to serve. In verse three the
Son "sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on
high." In verse eight, "Your throne, O God, is
forever and ever." And now he says, "sit at My right
hand." God said it to His Son. "Sit at My right
hand" in exaltation in power, rule and authority. He
continues His heavenly session.
God the Father is
speaking and the Person spoken to is the Son--the
Lord. Christ reigns over all in the kingdom that the
Father gave to Him. "As He was God, he was David's
Lord but not his son; as He was man, He was David's
son, and so absolutely could not be his Lord; in His
Person, a He was God and man, He was David's Lord
and David's son--which is the intention of our
Savior's question (Matt. 22:45)" wrote John Owen.
"I make Your enemies a
stool for Your feet." Ancient kings put their heels
on the necks of their vanquished foes in token of
complete subjection. The picture is complete
supremacy of Christ over all His foes. The Messiah
King will reign over the messianic kingdom and all
enemies of God will surrender to Him.
Angels never have this
kind of authority. They are not sovereigns ruling
the kingdom of God. They are servants, not
What do angels do? They
are ministering spirits sent out to serve and
worship. They worship the Son, and they minister to
"those who will inherit salvation." Wow. God sends
them out to help us to serve Him.
"Are they not all
ministering spirits, sent out to render service for
the sake of those who will inherit salvation?"
"Are they not" (ouchi)
always expects a negative answer. "Ministering (leitourgika)
spirits" execute the will of God. They have no
ruling power; they render service to God. They are
"sent out to render service" denoting continuous
action. They have been commissioned by the Master to
do His bidding. They "serve" (diakonia)
minister in spiritual things.
Jesus the Son is sitting
on the throne as eternal Kin; the angels are sent
out as servants.
There is only one
King, but there are many angels who serve Him.
We are those who have
inherited (kleronomeo) salvation. It is a
promise that we will come into the full possession
of salvation by an absolute gift. It is all of
grace; we did not merit it. The word "salvation" (soteria)
occurs seven time in the book of Hebrews which is
more than in any other book in the New Testament. It
is salvation in the fullest sense. We have been
delivered from sin and have entered into permanent
relationship with God effected by Jesus Christ. He
paid the price in full and purchased our salvation.
Even thought our salvation awaits a full realization
in the future, we enjoy the blessedness of it today.
ABIDING PRINCIPLES AND
Each of these seven
quotations from the Old Testament in Hebrews 1:5-14
focuses our attention on the glory of our Great God
and Savior Jesus Christ.
1. Jesus Christ is much
better than the angels because He is the Son of God
(Heb. 1:5a; Psalm 2:7).
2. Jesus Christ is much
better than the angels because He is the fulfillment
of the promised messianic son of David (Heb. 1:5b; 2
3. Jesus is much better
than the angels because He is the sovereign whom
angels worship (Heb. 1:6; Deut. 32:43; Psa. 97:7).
4. Jesus Christ is much
better than the angels because His ministry is
eternal (Heb. 1:7; Psa. 104:4).
5. Jesus Christ is much
better than the angels because He is the eternal
sovereign ruler (Heb. 1:8-9; Psa. 45:6-7).
6. Jesus Christ is much
better than the angels because He is the immutable
creator of all things including angels (Heb.
1:10-12; Psa. 102:25-26).
7. Jesus Christ is much
better than the angels because He is the sovereign
ruler over all His enemies (Heb. 1:13; Psa. 110:1).
Further study on Angels.
1:4-14 Angels who Worship the Son
Series: Study on