Passage: Hebrews 1
In many ways, the letter to the Hebrews is like a sermon that was meant to be heard all at once. Although we don't know who wrote it, what we do know is that the theme of this book is to remind faithful Hebrew people facing immanent persecution (whom the letter was first written to) that Jesus was, is and always will be their ultimate salvation.
v1-4 - These opening verses are among the most theologically rich in all of the Bible. Specifically, we would call these verses Christological, in that they describe who Jesus is and what He's done. Look at this amazing treasure found here:
God speaks through Christ, replacing and fulfilling the prophets
The Son is the heir of all things
God created the entire universe through Jesus
Jesus is God's glory in the same way light beams out from the sun
Jesus is the exact representation (literally: charaktēr) of God
Jesus continues to sustain all things by His powerful word
Jesus has provided purification from sin
Jesus has sat down at God's right hand in heaven Each one of these statements could be turned into a full fledged sermon!
v5-14 - One big recurring theme in Hebrews is how Christ is superior to the Old Testament teachings that the Hebrews held dear. It's important to distinguish that this doesn't necessarily mean that Jesus is better than the Old Testament; after all, the Old Testament is the Word of God! What it means is that logically God's revelation in Christ stands over and above His previous revelation, all of which was pointing forward to Christ. The first element that the author makes Jesus superior to are the angels.
Old Testament Reference -
Notice in Hebrews how often the Old Testament is quoted. The 9 verses after the opening paragraph contain 8 references to the OT. Psalm 102 is a perfect example. Verse 12 references the words Ps 102:25-27 to show how Christ is eternal, but when a New Testament author cites an Old Testament verse, he doesn't just refer to a sentence or two, he is thinking of the entire meaning of the passage. Psalm 102 was written as the "prayer of an afflicted person who has grown weak and pours out a lament before the LORD (Title)." See how it gives awesome application to what Hebrews 1 says about Jesus.
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions.
EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: The last verse in this chapter speaks of those who will inherit something. What is it that they will inherit?
Compare the first four verses of this chapter with other Christological passages of the Bible like John 1:1-4 or Philippians 2:6-11. Share a similarity that stands out to you. Questions taken from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God who's spoken through prophets (v1), is the source of light and glory (v2) and is the Majesty enthroned in heaven (v3)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you will know and reflect well Jesus, the Son of God, the one who sustains all things by His powerful word (v3)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: