The Superior Jesus (Hebrews 1:1-3)
The Lord Jesus is superior to the founders of all other religions.
Throughout Hebrews, the author shows how Jesus is superior to Moses and his law. Let’s examine this text to see why Jesus is superior. Jesus is superior, because he is–
God’s Mouthpiece, vv 1-2
In times past, God spoke by the prophets.
- He did so in various times. “Various times” actually means in “various parts”–The idea is that God gave his revelation to the prophets in many parts. The prophets received God’s message piece by piece. David prophesied of Jesus’ resurrection (Ps. 16:10). Isaiah prophesied of the crucifixion (Is. 53).
- He did so in various ways. God used many methods to illustrate his truths to his people. A sampling of the prophets shows the various ways God used. Isaiah walked around naked for three years to prophesy against Egypt and Ethiopia (Is. 20). Hosea married a prostitute to illustrate Israel’s unfaithfulness (Hos. 1).
In these last days, God has spoken to man by his Son. “These days” contrast with “in times past”–The point is that now Jesus, not the prophets, serves as God’s spokesman. God has spoken by his Son. When Jesus was transfigured, a voice came from heaven saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” (Matt. 17:5). After the Sermon on the Mount, the people were astonished at Jesus, because “He taught them as one having authority, not as the scribes” (Matt. 7:29). The scribes would often quote one another for authority. Yet, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus used himself as an authority. Six times in the Sermon Jesus quotes the Old Testament saying, “You have heard it said, but I say to you.” Jesus claimed to have the same authority as the Law.
God does speak through his Son. Jesus’ words will never pass away (Mk. 13:31). The words Jesus spoke are spirit and life” (Jn. 6:63). Are you obeying the words of Jesus?
God’s Master, v 2
God has appointed Jesus heir of all things. The idea of Jesus’ being heir over all comes from Ps. 2:8–“Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance.” The phrase “heir of all things” means Jesus has the supreme place in the universe. There is no one higher than Jesus. Jesus is the ultimate master.
God has exalted Jesus to his right hand where he now reigns. Jesus should have the preeminence in all things (Col. 1:18). “He who comes from heaven is above all” (Jn. 3:31). “To this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living” (Rom. 14:9).
Is Jesus your Lord? Does Jesus have first place in your life?
God’s Maker, v 2
It is through Jesus that God created the world. “The world was made through” Jesus (Jn. 1:10). “By Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him” (Col. 1:16).
God used the power of his Son Jesus to create the world. The world did not come into being by accident. God created the world and he did so through Jesus.
God’s Manifestation, v 3
Jesus is the brightness of God’s glory. “Brightness” refers to radiance, reflection. Jesus himself is the reflection of God’s glory, his majesty. This glory was seen on the Mount of Transfiguration-Peter, James, and John “saw His glory” (Lk. 9:32).
Jesus is the express image of God. The term “express image” was used for the impression on a coin. The idea is that Jesus accurately represents God’s form.
By examining the Son, we can come to know the Father. The name “Immanuel” means “God with us.” “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also” (Jn. 14:7). “I and My Father are one” (Jn. 10:30).
God’s Maintainer, v 3
Jesus upholds all things by his power. “Upholds” has the meaning of “keeping together.” He keeps the universe from falling apart. The laws of nature are fixed because Jesus upholds the world.
Jesus is upholding the universe by the word of his power. It is through this word that the universe was created (Heb. 11:3). The same word that created the universe keeps the universe from falling apart.
If Jesus were to decide to stop sustaining the world, the universe would collapse.
God’s Moralist, v 3
Jesus purged our sins; he makes us morally pure. “Purged” refers to cleansing; Jesus made cleansing for sin. Sins had to be cleansed because sin stains-Jude spoke of garments being defiled by flesh, by sin (Jude 23).
Jesus can cleanse us of sin. If we walk in the light, the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin (1 Jn. 1:7). Those who came from the great tribulation had washed their robes and made them white in the Lamb’s blood (Rev. 7:14).
Jesus sat down at God’s right hand. The right hand is the place of honor, of prestige. God has highly exalted Jesus and given him the name above all names (Phil. 2:9).
God has exalted Jesus. Have you exalted Jesus? Have you given Jesus the control of your life?
This sermon was originally preached by Dr. Justin Imel, Sr., at the Owingsville church of Christ in Owingsville, Kentucky.