Hebrews 1:4-14 "The Son Is Superior To The Angels"
In Luke 2 we find some of the events that surrounded the birth of the baby Jesus. In the midst of the darkness we are told that the angel of the Lord appeared to some shepherds and the glory of the Lord shown around them. In that moment, the shepherds were filled with great fear.
Then the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And it will be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” (10-12) Then suddenly there was a multitude of angels praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased.” (14)
After the angels had gone back up into heaven the shepherds said, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”
There are three things about this text that I would like to bring out. First, we see that the angel was a messenger of the Lord and he did not come in his own authority and with his own message. He was sent by God and appeared with the glory of the Lord. The angel did not come alone and in secret either. When the message was delivered a great multitude of angels also appeared and praised God.
Secondly, notice that not only was the messenger clear about whose message he was giving, but he was also clear about the message that He was sent with. This message that was to be a source of joy for all people. It was a message about the birth of a child in the city of David who was a Savior. He was clear that this baby was the Christ and He was the Lord.
Thirdly, notice the contrast. Luke describes the picture of a dark night being invaded by the glory of God and a multitude of angels as this announcement was given. In contrast, when the Shepherds go see the baby they did not find the glory of God shining with angels surrounding Him. The Son of God, the second person in the Trinity, had so condescended to save mankind that He had become a child who was wrapped in swaddling clothes and was found lying in a manger.
We are told that everyone who heard these things reacted in several ways. Some marveled (18). The shepherds returned to their flocks praising God (19). But we are told that Mary did something unique, ‘she treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart” (19).
We have seen many people marvel when they first hear the Good News. We see many people praise God when they hear the gospel. But it is those who treasure up these things and ponder them in their heart who are able to continue to praise God over time. There will come a time when these facts about Jesus can become confusing, distorted, and even neglected and that appears to be what has happened to these believers. They no longer treasured these things in their heart as they once did, and in its place they began to emphasize other things like: the Law, Temple worship, the Levitical Priesthood, and even angels.
To correct this problem the author of Hebrews puts forward a clear teaching concerning the Son of God Hebrews 1:1-3which we looked at last week.
God has now spoken through His Son
Jesus is the revelation of God
Jesus is the fulfillment of the revelation of the Old Testament
Jesus is the heir of all things
Through Jesus God created the world
Jesus is the radiance of the glory of God
Jesus is the exact imprint of His nature