Hebrews 2 (NIV)
Therefore: Because of the superiority of Jesus to the angels, we must give heed to Jesus.
Warning to Pay Attention
1We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.
We do not drift towards God, we drift away from Him. We do not drift towards holiness, but selfishness. We do not drift towards passion, but apathy. We do not drift towards humility, but pride. We do not drift towards righteousness, but sinfulness.
This is why we are warned, pay MORE attention to what you have heard or you WILL drift away. Take notice of the word, “more.” Sometimes this closeness to Christ comes easily, but sometimes we must direct ourselves to pay more attention to it.
How do we practically pay more attention to what we have heard? Look at it, study it, read it, listen to it, memorize it, apply it, obey it, teach it, write it, hold it, speak it, more often and longer!
2For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, 3how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. 4God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.
Jesus Made Like His Brothers
5It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. 6But there is a place where someone has testified:
“What is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?
7You made him a little lower than the angels;
you crowned him with glory and honor
8 and put everything under his feet.”
In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him. 9But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
from The Daily Study Bible,
by William Barclay
In verses 5-9, the writer to the Hebrews shows us three things. (i) He shows us the ideal of what man should be—kin to God and master of the universe. (ii) He shows us the actual state of man—the frustration instead of the mastery, the failure instead of the glory. Man who was made for kingship has become a slave. (iii) And then he shows us how the actual can be changed into the ideal. That change is wrought by Christ. The writer to the Hebrews sees in Jesus Christ the One, who, by His sufferings and His glory, can make man what man was meant to be, and, without Him, could never be.
10In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. 11Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. 12He says,
“I will declare your name to my brothers;
in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises.”
“I will put my trust in him.” And again he says,
“Here am I, and the children God has given me.”
14Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. 17For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.
The High Priest wore a breastplate that had stones, engraved with the names of the tribes of Israel, on both his chest and his shoulders. The High Priest would therefore be in constant sympathy with the people of God, carrying them on his heart and in his work (on the shoulders). Jesus did not wear the High Priest’s breastplate; but the wound in His chest and the cross on His shoulders are even more eloquent testimony to His heart for us and work on our behalf.
2 Corinthians 1:20 (Contemporary English Version)
Christ says “Yes” to all of God’s promises. That’s why we have Christ to say “Amen” for us to the glory of God.
18Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
from Experiencing God Day-to-Day
by Henry T. Blackaby and Richard Blackaby
For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.
You will never face a temptation so strong that God has not made complete provision for you to overcome it. God, out of His love, has done everything necessary for you to be victorious whenever you face temptation. He has clearly revealed His will to you in Scripture so that you will not be confused about the right thing to do. He has placed the Holy Spirit within you to guide you in your decisions and to convict you when you make harmful choices. With every temptation God also provides a way of escape so that you never have to yield to it (1 Corinthians 10:13). Everything is in place for you to experience victory over every temptation.
God in His infinite love, however, has done even more to safeguard you from temptation. He has allowed Himself to suffer the full brunt of temptation. The very Son of God humbled Himself, taking on all the limitations of frail human flesh, and was tempted in every way that we are. Jesus knew what it was like to grow tired, to be hungry, to experience the same limitations we have; yet He was without sin. It is to this One that we turn when we are facing temptation. Ours is not an unsympathetic God who is unconcerned with our struggle to live righteously, but rather we follow a God who knows how difficult it is to resist sin and withstand temptation. We can approach Christ with confidence, knowing that He understands our plight. He knows how to aid us when we are tempted.
The old hymn, the encouraging hymn, “Lead Me to Calvary” — HERE sung here by Andrew and Saskia Smith.