Tuesday

10 October 2017

Hebrews 2:5-18

“...we do see Jesus” (v. 9)

Psalm: Psalm 100


Background

You'll probably need to read through today's passage more than once to pick up the variety of themes contained within it. First, we see that human beings have a very particular place in God's design. The church to which this letter was written seems to have had a particularly high regard for angels. In quoting Psalm 8:4-6 (although you note that this quotation from the Old Testament is introduced in a slightly vague fashion) our author makes the point that humanity is key to God's redemptive purpose.

Secondly we see that Jesus shares our humanity in every way, but also fulfils perfectly and uniquely God's desire for his creation. We note the description of him as "pioneer of [their] salvation" (v. 10), but we also see that the route to salvation which he pioneered was the route through suffering and death.

Third, it is underlined for us that he did not travel the way of suffering, and so to glory, simply on his own account but for us, and for all humanity. He "taste[s] death for everyone" (v. 9). Here our author expresses in their unique way the conviction shared throughout the New Testament that Jesus' death was 'for us' and that we can, therefore, share in his resurrection life and glory. Because he shared our humanity we can enjoy the status of being Christ's brothers and sisters, and so share in his inheritance of life,

Finally, at the end of today's passage, you'll see how the imagery used to explain Jesus' significance changes to reflect the Jerusalem temple, where the high priest makes a sacrifice on behalf of the people. Jesus is now the high priest, and as such is both merciful and faithful.


To Ponder

  • Verse 11 expresses the conviction that we are of the same family as Christ, and that we are called brothers and sisters by him. What difference does it make to you today to think of yourself as a sister or brother of Jesus?
  • Verse 18 speaks of Jesus suffering and struggle during the times of his temptation and testing, and how he is able to help us in our times of testing. When has this been true for you? In what way did Jesus help you?



Bible notes author

The Revd Donald Ker

Donald Ker is a supernumerary minister in the Methodist Church in Ireland. As well as serving as a circuit minister in Bray Co Wicklow and as Superintendent Minister at Belfast Central Mission, he has been General Secretary of the Methodist Church in Ireland and its President in 2009/2010.