THE SUPERIORITY OF JESUS CHRIST
Hebrews 1:1-3 (NKJV)
1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,
2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;
3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
In many ways the Book of Hebrews is a mysterious book.
1. No one knows for sure who is the author. There are many speculations, but that’s all it is – just speculation.
Origin, a church leader in the 2nd century said, “Only God knows.”
But whoever he may have been his writings is as William Barclay describes: “The writer to the Hebrews felt that, since he was going to speak of the supreme revelation of God to men, he must clothe his thought in the noblest language that it was possible to find.”— Barclay’s Daily Study Bible (NT)
2. No one knows the date it was written but probably around 68 AD before the Temple was destroyed by Titus, a Roman General, in 70 AD.
The writer speaks and teaches much about Temple worship. But one thing is for certain – there is no question as to its authority and inspiration.
The Purpose was to prove to the Jews the Superiority of the New Testament over the Old.
1. It superior because Christ is superior to all else.
Jesus Christ, and Him alone, is able to bring men into the very presence of God.
So as we study this precious Word of God let us take our shoes off because we are going to be standing on Holy Ground.
2. Jesus Christ is superior to any and all religions, angels, Prophet, Jewish leader or man.
Caesar and many others have claimed to be God, but they are all dead and Jesus Christ lives on.
3. Jesus Christ is superior because the OT is fragmentary, but the NT is complete through Christ.
The writer is writing to both the Believing and Unbelieving Jew.
1. He is attempting to convince the unbelieving Jew that Christ is the Messiah, and that He is superior to Old Covenant and the Temple Sacrifices.
2. To the Believing Jew he is attempting to comfort and encourage him in the midst of persecution.
I. CHRIST IS SUPERIOR IN HIS MESSAGE. 1-2
“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,
2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;”
A. God Is.
The Bible never attempts to explain God, for who is man that God should have to explain Himself?
1. Gen. 1:1, The Bible begins: “In the beginning God …,” but that in itself tells us a whole lot.
2. When it all began, God was already there, for in God there is no beginning and no end.
God always was; always is; and always will be.
3. The nearest thing we get to a description is found in Exodus 3:11 when Moses asked God who shall I say has sent me? “And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ “
When God says “I Am” He is saying I Am the Eternal God who was and is and always will be.
4. If God thought we needed a better description of Himself He would have given it to us.
We do not live by sight but by faith.
That’s why the writer of Hebrews says in 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is…”.
B. God Spoke Through The Prophets. 1
“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,”
God is not limited in how He communicates with us, for He spoke in various times and in many ways.
The Bible says that God spoke to the “fathers by the Prophets.”
Our God is not as the heathen gods – our God communicates with His people.
1. He spoke to Abraham personally at Mamre. (Gen. 18)
2. … to Jacob in a dream at Bethel. (Gen. 28)
3. … to Moses through the Burning Bush. (Exodus 3)
4. …to Isaiah through visions. (Isa. 6)
5. …to Elijah in a still small voice. (1 Kings 19)
6. …to Hosea through family situations. (Hos. 1:2)
7. …to Amos in a basket of summer fruit. (Amos 8:1)
God spoke in various times and in many ways to His people.
a. He spoke through parables, visions, and types.
b. He spoke through the Law, Prophecy, History, the Psalms, and Poetry.
c. He spoke through signs as Circumcision, the Sabbath, and through Aaron’s Rod that Budded.
d. He spoke through the Passover and the Tabernacle.
e. He spoke through the Patriarchs and the Prophets.
C. God Speaks Through His Son. 2
“has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;”
God spoke to His people in many and varied ways, but we read in verse 2 that God “has in these last days spoken to us by His Son.”
A. Jesus Christ Is The Last Revelation.
1. There can be no other and anyone or anything claiming otherwise is false.
Paul says in Galatians 1:8, “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.”
And in Colossians 2:8, “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”
2. The Entire NT Is Centered Around Jesus.
The Gospels tell His story – the Epistles comment on it – and the Book of Revelation tell about His Future.
3. This verse speaks of “these last days.”
a. The Jews expected the Messiah to come in the last days. Their problem was they did not accept Jesus Christ as the Messiah.
This verse confirms to them that Jesus truly is the Messiah.
b. It also confirms to all Christians that we are now living in the last days and that Jesus Christ is the final and full revelation of God to us.
c. Today we say “We are living in the last days,” but a more accurate phrase would be “We are living in the last of the last days.”
4. “has in these last days spoken to us by His Son.”
a. God spoke in part through the Prophets, but in these last days God has given us the complete Revelation through His Son.
He is superior in Revelation because He is God!
b. The writer strongly asserts that through Jesus Christ, in these last days God has spoken His complete and final Word.
When you hear someone say “God spoke to me,” you check it out, and if it does not agree with the Holy Bible, or if it conflicts with the Holy Word in any way, then it wasn’t God that spoke to them and you don’t listen to him, for he is not speaking from God.
5. Jesus Christ Has Dominion Over All Things.
“whom he has appointed heir of all things.”
We read in Col. 1:16-17, “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.”
6. God, Through Jesus Christ, His Son Created The Universe.
“through whom also He made the worlds;”
“worlds” (Gr. AION) meaning “ages.”
So, we see that Christ is superior to the Prophets in that He has been in control of all the ages and has guided men through time.
He has directed the ages as they have unfolded throughout history.
God speaks to people today but as the unconverted Jews did not want to recognize Him as Messiah then, many do not recognize Him as God today.
1. The are willing to accept Jesus as a good man because this doesn’t demand a change in their life-style.
2. Many will accept Jesus as an angel or even a special Creation, for even this doesn’t compel them to see themselves as they really are – as sinners in dire need of a Savior.
But when you see Him as God you immediately see yourself as a sinner who has come far short of His glory.