Daily Readings & Thought for May 30th. “MADE LIKE HIS BROTHERS”
Today we start reading the Epistle to the Hebrews: primarily it is a careful analysis and explanation of God’s purpose in using his Son to reconcile the peoples of the world to himself – but only those who recognize this will be part of this reconciliation. This recognition requires faith and understanding, an essential part of this is our recognition of God at work in the world and in our lives. God’s word, written and wonderfully preserved, is a vital part of our ability to understand God at work, both in the past and now – in both the big things and the small.
Many things are beyond our full understanding; the work of the angels is one. Chapter 1 compares the role of the angels with the role of Christ. In his mortal life the angels ministered to him on occasions (eg Matt 4 v.11; Mark 1 v.13, Luke 22 v.43). But, today’s chapter tells us that Jesus, “Having become as much superior to angels, as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs” [1 v.4] and that because he “loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God has anointed you …” [v.9] The overall supremacy of God is made clear, he “anointed” Jesus as King of the world. Jesus bewildered Pilate by telling him this – but his kingdom is of the world to come – and how close are we to that kingdom!.
We read how the angels of God still have a vital role. Ch. 1 ends by making this point – “Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?” How wonderful – and the great climax will be when “the angels gather his elect … from the ends of the earth …” [Mark 13 v.27]
A key point that is made in today’s 2 chapters was the need for Jesus to first live on earth as one of us, a fellow human being. “He had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” [2 v.17,18]. As a result “the founder of (our) salvation was made perfect through suffering” [v.10] The word “perfect” has the sense of ‘finished/fulfilled’ as the Gk. word is translated in John 17 v.4; 19 v.28.
How wonderful, Jesus is there to help, to sustain us, in our temptations, but we must look to him.. He witnessed the weaknesses of human nature in his disciples as well as in himself. But the angels are now under his control (Rev. 1 v.1) and as quoted in Heb 1 v.6, “all God’s angels worship him.”
Jesus, “by the grace of God (tasted) death for every one” [2 v.9] We read he destroyed the devil, that is sin, “the one who has the power of death” [2 v.14]. Being initially “made like his brothers” he is now able to make them like him “equal to angels” and “sons of God!” See Luke 20 v.35,36. Are you seriously looking for him to do that for you?