Back in October, I wrote an article for the BibleStudyTools website about angels. If you’re interested, you can read it here.
That topic came up again today as I began reading Hebrews. Hebrews is a book that focuses on the supremacy of Jesus. It is definitely written to Jewish believers as the author explains why the Old Testament sacrifices are no longer necessary since they have been fulfilled in Christ. Hebrews is an excellent book to read in conjunction with Leviticus as it will help you understand all those details which seem so irrelevant and disconnected to our 21st century Gentile minds.
No one knows who wrote Hebrews as the author decided not to identify himself (a good reason to conclude it wasn’t Paul since he always did). Perhaps the writer wanted to remain anonymous so that all the focus could be on the Savior. In this first chapter, he tells us two very important things about Jesus that we all need to remember.
#1 – If we want to know God, we must look at Jesus.
Hebrews 1:1-3 – God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the exact representation of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
Many people say they know God or worship God, but they do not accept Jesus for who He is or believe the claims He made about Himself. Muslims say He was an important prophet. Jehovah’s Witnesses say He was the first created being. The Jews say He started out as a respected and popular teacher but He blasphemed God and was put to death (never to rise again). Other religions see Jesus as an enlightened man who taught good things. All of these miss the main point of all faith that seeks God. They reject God’s revelation of Himself in Jesus.
Jesus is the exact representation of God’s glory.
Jesus is the “last word” God gave to humanity.
Jesus was present and participated in the creation of the world.
Jesus is the exact representation of the nature of God.
Jesus upholds all things by the word of His power.
Jesus – and Jesus alone – made purification of sins.
Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God.
Jesus is above all because He created all. He is the heir of all things. He came to explain God to us. The disciple John says it this way.
John 1:18 – No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.
Do you want to know God?
Do you claim to serve and worship God?
Then you must recognize Jesus as God, the only begotten Son of God, who came to us in human form, born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, crucified as an innocent man in our place to take the wrath of God’s judgment on the sins of humanity, and rose again by His own power from the grave so that we could have eternal life.
#2 – Jesus is greater than angels.
Hebrews 1:4 – Having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.
That name is Savior…Son of God. No angels ever died for man’s sin.
Many people worship angels. They pursue knowledge of spiritual beings but without an understanding of who these beings really are, and what their purpose is. Angels are supernatural, eternal beings created by God to serve and worship Him in the spiritual realm of heaven. They are also sent as messengers and servants to earth, to do God’s bidding.
Hebrews 1:14 – Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?
God is at work redeeming men and women. He is doing the work of salvation right now, and He does indeed send His angels to do whatever He asks, to aid and assist humans in coming to faith in the God they serve. There are many, many stories of people encountering angels – things that cannot be explained any other way.
But angels are never meant to be worshipped. They are simply servants of God. When God brought Jesus into the world, He said, “Let all the angels of God worship Him” (Hebrews 1:6).
There is another good reason why we should not worship angels. Some angels rebelled against God and joined Satan’s ranks. They are called demons, and their purpose is to lead you astray, away from God, into eternal damnation. The spirit world is real, and there is a spiritual war happening all around us. Our hope and safety are not in angels; it is in the God who created angels, and Jesus, His Son, who rules over them. Satan would like nothing more than for the worship of angels to become a distraction so we miss the One we are created to worship – Jesus!
As much as God cares for the angels who serve Him face to face, He cares for you more. Angels were not offered redemption when they sinned, but God made a way possible for the human race to be brought back into a right relationship with Him, through His Son, Jesus.
You and I are part of the spiritual world. We are eternal souls temporarily living in human bodies that grow old and die. Because of Jesus, who came to show us who God is, that’s not the end – it’s only the beginning. One day, we will reign in heaven. We too will be in the presence of God and will stand with the angels and sing the praises of our Savior. We will be given responsibilities and assignments, even to judge the angels (1 Corinthians 6:3), and we will be God’s eternal, immortal servants forever.