A Son or a Servant
A daily devotion for December 4th
The Son Superior to Angels
5 For to which of the angels did God ever say,
“You are my Son;
today I have become your Father”[a]?
“I will be his Father,
and he will be my Son”[b]?
6 And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says,
“Let all God’s angels worship him.”[c]
7 In speaking of the angels he says,
“He makes his angels spirits,
and his servants flames of fire.”[d]
8 But about the Son he says,
“Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever;
a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.
9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions
by anointing you with the oil of joy.”[e]
10 He also says,
“In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
11 They will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like a garment.
12 You will roll them up like a robe;
like a garment they will be changed.
But you remain the same,
and your years will never end.”[f]
13 To which of the angels did God ever say,
“Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet”[g]?
14 Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?
For to which of the angels did God ever say,You are my Son; today I have become your Father? Or again,I will be his Father, and he will be my Son? Hebrews 1:5
The writer of Hebrews is now comparing Jesus with the angels. The ancient world made a great deal of angels. They worshipped them in many of the ancient religious rites. Angels are the demigods of the Roman and Greek pantheon. Therefore, this letter was written to people who particularly had an interest in angels. This subject may not interest us as much today as it did then, but it is still a tremendous revelation of the person of Christ.
The Lord Jesus, says the writer, has a greater name than the angels, primarily because of his relationship. The contrast is between a Son and a servant. Angels are servants, but Christ is the Son.
I once visited a ranch as the guest of the hired man on that ranch. When we came onto the property we had to drive around the big house and go to the bunkhouse in the rear. I stayed with him there in the bunkhouse and never once got into the big house with him. There were some beautiful sorrel horses in the pasture and I suggested we take a ride. He said,
Oh, no, I'm not permitted to ride those horses. So we had to ride some mangy fleabags out to the pasture. A few weeks later I became acquainted with the son of the household, and he invited me out to the ranch. When I went out with him, it was entirely different. We went right into the big house and he took over the place, as all teenagers do. After a sumptuous meal we went out and rode the sorrel horses all over the range. What a wonderful time we had.
That is the difference between a son and a servant, and that is the difference between Christ and any angel. He is greater because of his relationship, the fact that he is a Son. Blood is always thicker than water.
As C. S. Lewis points out, what we make with our hands is always something different than we are, but what we beget with our bodies is always the dearest thing in the world to us because it is part of us. Thus, the angels were made; the Son was begotten. What we beget has the same nature we have; what we make is always different. The angels, being made, cannot have the same relationship as the Son, who was begotten.
Here is the final answer to the cults. Both Mormonism and Jehovah's Witnesses teach that Jesus Christ was nothing more than an angel, the highest created angel. They identify him with Michael, the Archangel. But this passage in Hebrews utterly demolishes that theory, for Christ is a Son, and not an angel. To what angel did God ever say,
Thou art my Son.
Our Father, the claims of the Lord Jesus are incomparable, they can never be surpassed. I pray, therefore, that I may face up to this, and realize that there is no way of working out the problems of human life except as I work them out in fellowship with him.
Life Application: Does the Lord Jesus Christ occupy His rightful and exclusive place as God in our thoughts, words and deeds? Are we guarding against the worldly pantheon of false gods while delighting in our rich inheritance in Christ?
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Daily Devotion © 2014 by Ray Stedman Ministries. For permission to use this content, please review www.RayStedman.org/permissions. Subject to permission policy, all rights reserved.