CHRIST IS SUPERIOR TO ANGELS
Hebrews 1:4 -14 NJKV
4 having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
5 For to which of the angels did He ever say: “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You”? And again: “I will be to Him a Father, And He shall be to Me a Son”?
6 But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: “Let all the angels of God worship Him.”
7 And of the angels He says: “Who makes His angels spirits And His ministers a flame of fire.”
8 But to the Son He says: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom.
9 You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”
10 And: “You, LORD, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands.
11 They will perish, but You remain; And they will all grow old like a garment;
12 Like a cloak You will fold them up, And they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will not fail.”
13 But to which of the angels has He ever said: “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”?
14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?
In our last study we saw that Christ is superior to all else because He is the Son of God – He is God in the flesh.
Today we will break it down further to show:
The NIV reads verse 4 as: “So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.”
When Christ left heaven and came to earth as a man he never relinquished His Godhood – He always has been God and will always be God. He is both God and man.
He had to become a man so that He could be the perfect sacrifice for man’s sins.
a. He has a greater position. (4-9)
To know what God is like one has to look at Jesus. (Read John 14:7-11)
Under the old covenant (Old Testament) God spoke in many ways and by various means, but it was always in part. It was always incomplete.
But when God sent Jesus He sent His final Word.
Everything God is He wrapped in Jesus, and all that God had to say to man He said in Jesus.
The writer must present and prove the superiority of Jesus over angels because of the Jews strong belief in Jewish of angels being God’s emissaries.
a. The Jews believed there must be an agent or mediator between God and man, but they believed this intermediary were angels.
b. Their belief in the role of angels was so strong that even though the OT states that God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses, they believed that God did it through an angel who presented himself to Moses.
So, the problem the writer has is that he must prove the superiority and supremacy of Christ over the angels.
First of all we see that Jesus is superior to angels because:
“ having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.” (The NIV reads “much superior”)
a. The Son was always eternally superior to the angels, but His eternal superiority is not what is in mind here.
b. The writer is speaking in terms of His salvation work, and because he had put away sins and sat down on the throne in the place of highest honor.
It is in this aspect that he is seen as greater than any angel.
c. The writer is emphasizing that Jesus has accomplished something “better, superior, more excellent” than anyone or anything else.
d. When Christ became a man He limited Himself for a season that He might bear our sins in His body, and He became a little lower than the angels.
But when He was raised from the grave He reclaimed His prerogatives of deity, and His name far exceeds any other name.
Again, we read in verse 5:
“For to which of the angels did He ever say: “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You”? And again: “I will be to Him a Father, And He shall be to Me a Son”?
The answer is obvious. He never did!
a. His name is “Son.” The KJV reads “only begotten Son.
A woman may sculptor beautiful art work and be totally satisfied with the completed work – but that can never compete or compares with her son or daughter that she brought into this world..
This is the same unique relation the Father has with the Son.
b. Angels name is “created beings.”
They are subjects to God, but Jesus Christ is God the Son. He is the character of God. He is the essence of God.
The angels are subjects and bow down before the Son.
2. His rank is superior. (6-7)
We see this by the fact that:
a. Angels worship Him. (6)
“But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: “Let all the angels of God worship Him.”
When Jesus came to earth the first time He was made a little lower than the angels, but when He comes back the very mention of His name will cause angels to fall down and worship Him.
But even now His name is a compelling name.
In John 12:32, He said, “And I, if be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”
Not king nor conqueror, nor anyone has drawn more people to themselves than Jesus Christ when the Cross is preached and proclaimed.
b. Angels minister unto Him. (7)
“And of the angels He says: “Who makes His angels spirits And His ministers a flame of fire.”
(The writer quotes Psalm 104:4.)
The angels are described in symbolic language.
“sprits” describe their swiftness, and invisibility, and power and “Flame of fire” speaks of judgment.
2. Angels are executioners of judgment, but Jesus commands and commissions them.
Whether man or angel, whoever carries a message for God is simply a servant – but Jesus is Lord and His throne is established forever .
c. His throne is eternal. (-8)
But to the Son He says: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom.” (Quoted from Psalm. 45:6-7)
No angel ever had a throne, nor a kingdom. Jesus is superior because He has both.
He is called “God” by the Father.
This is the most emphatic and indisputable fact of His Deity in all of Scripture.
The writer, in his effort to prove the superiority of Jesus could stop right here, for God is superior to all creation.
It is the Father Himself testifying of the Godhead and of His Son who was despised and rejected of men.
d. He is anointed by the Holy Spirit. (9)
“You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”
Whenever one is crowned king he will also be anointed.
The anointing refers to certain graces or characteristics in his life that make him worthy to be king.
Whether they be prophet, priest, king, or an angel from heaven – Christ has been anointed above them all, for He is more excellent.
Why was Jesus Christ anointed? (9)
Because He “loved righteousness and hated lawlessness.” (wickedness – NIV).”
But He loves righteousness, and because He loves righteousness he loves goodness and happiness.
He loves wholeness and completeness.
Because He hates all that is vile and unjust, and He loves righteousness and goodness, He is anointed with the oil of joy above His companions.
The word “companions” or “fellows” (KJV) speaks of co-laborers or co-participants who have brought the message of Christ.
Why He is more excellent than any and all others:
He is greater in power because: (10-14)
(a). He is Creator. (10)
(b). He is the Unchangeable One. (11-12)
(c). He is Sovereign. (13-14)
He Is God!