Hebrews 1:13 Commentary

11 Nov

In Hebrews 1:5 we see Jesus is superior to the angels in His Unique Sonship. In verse 6 we see Jesus is superior to the angels in the Worship He Receives. In verses 7-9 we see Jesus is superior to the angels in His Righteous Reign. In verses 10-12 we see Jesus is superior to the angels in His Steadfast Power. And finally in verse 13 we read this . . .

13 And to which of the angels has he ever said,

     “Sit at my right hand

until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”?

The seventh quotation brings us full circle. In v. 5 and verse 13 we have the phrase, “To which of the angels did he say?” The assumed answer is “none.” None of the angels received the praise and worship deserved by the Son alone. The writer of Hebrews quotes Psalm 110 here. This is one of the most important Old Testament quotations in the New Testament. It is viewed by New Testament authors as positive proof that Jesus is Lord and God (the first part of the verse says, “The Lord said to my Lord, ‘sit at my right hand . . .’” I think there are two reasons the New Testament writers latched onto Psalm 110 so strongly. First, it is a psalm that Jesus applied to himself. In Matthew 22:44, Mark 12:36 and Luke 20:42 we see three accounts of the same story where Jesus defends the truth that He is Son of God by appealing to Psalm 110. Thus this psalm was important to the early church because it was a key verse Jesus used to defend His Sonship and if it was good enough for Jesus, it was good enough for the church. But a second reason for referring to this psalm so often in the New Testament may be that the New Testament puts a great emphasis on Jesus’ present and eternal reign with God. We tend to put the focus on Jesus’ death on the cross and on our salvation. This is good and right. But along with it, if we are going to be biblically faithful, we must also emphasize the resurrection, ascension and reign of Christ, both the present and future reign. One of the great messages of the New Testament is “Christ has been exalted as Lord!” therefore, we have hope. Christ is the true Lord of the world, not the wicked Roman Emperors. This truth would have been important to the early church living under the uncertainty of the Roman Empire and living in a time which could sometimes seem very hopeless. As we see the wickedness and hopelessness seemingly growing in our times perhaps we can see how the book of Hebrews relates to us.

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