Hebrews 1:13-14 The writer demonstrates further the superiority of Jesus over the angels from Psalm 110. But to what angel has he ever said, “Sit at my right hand, till I make thy enemies a stool for thy feet?” Jesus is greater than the angels because of His position, sitting, which not only speaks of His finished priestly duties, but also indicative of His royal role as King of kings (1 Corinthians 15:24-25, 28).
Just as the King is to reign so we see that the angels serve the King on our behalf. Jesus then is greater than the angels in every way. He is Messiah, He is God appearing in flesh, described as Son, Lord, and God. He does the works of God; He creates, sustains, rules, provides atonement, and cleanses sinners from sin. He is worshiped by the angels and all of creation; He is omniscient, omnipotent, unchanging and eternal. What is the writer’s conclusion? We need to pay attention!
Hebrews 2:1-3 – There is nothing more heartbreaking than seeing people constantly exposed to truth that you know could change their lives, set them free, transform their very existence giving them a joy and a peace that is indescribable and fail to lay hold of it because they do not pay attention. This is why Jesus said again and again to the people of his day, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
It is not too often we are able to hear truths like these, truths that go to the heart of life. Even now some of our thoughts may be drifting away to golf, or some problem we’re concerned with. From time to time we all are held captive by some trivial matter and these things that strike so deeply and can mean such transforming release go right over our heads. There will be some who will go out from here and not understand this study because they’re drifting. So the warning is: let us pay attention, lest we drift.
The idea of drifting is that it occurs silently, imperceptibly. If not discovered it could lead to damage as to a ship that slips away from the dock when it is not properly anchored bringing destruction, loss of property and even life as the result. In much the same way if we do not pay attention we too could find ourselves spiritually adrift with similar consequences. Paul warns us that there will come such a time to the church in 1 Timothy 4:1-2 and also in 2 Timothy 4:3-5.
There are two reasons why this message is particularly valid. First, it is valid by comparison with the law. If the word spoken by angels, that is, the Law of Moses, had validity and those to whom it was given found that it was absolutely true in experience, then this message also is true. If angels could give a word like that, how much more the word that comes by the Son? This is the writer’s argument.
The confirmation of this was the testimony of Israel’s history. Here my kinsmen were told that if they would obey God’s Torah they would be blessed; if they disregarded it, they would be cursed. There are no people on the face of the earth who show a more consistent pattern of cause and effect than my people. Wherever they have gone, in obedience there has been blessing; in disobedience there has been cursing. If the law had that effect, laws spoken by angels, how much more shall the words spoken by the Son have effect?
The reward at the Judgment seat will be for those whose record is good, and those who have neglected their great salvation “will suffer loss. This is what is meant by Hebrews 2:3 “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation.” Escape what? Not eternal separation from God, for escaping that is by grace, not works. It is escaping God’s disapproval at the judgment seat of the Messiah, listen to what the Scriptures say on this in 1 Corinthians 3:13-15. These are sobering words.
Just because we are saved, this does not mean we can live as we please and do as we wish. This free gift does not give us a license to sin or constitute an excuse for carelessness. We need to learn the lesson that our new life is only the first step in a process which will only be completed when we are perfectly and completely conformed to the image of our Messiah Jesus. God will not stop dealing with us until we are brought to the maturity of our growth in grace and knowledge of our Messiah and Lord. Until we realize that God expects us to bring forth the maximum of fruit, by complete obedience to His will, and surrender of our lives to His leadership we will remain infants in the faith.