Saturday, August 1, 2009

Hebrews - Ch.1:1-4

Jesus Christ is the Exact Representation and Reflection of God’s Radiance

1. Eloquence of the author revealed in the first five words (Greek)
a. Palai – Long ago…
b. Patrasin – God spoke to our ancestors…
c. Polymeros – in many…
d. Polutropos – and various ways…
e. Prophetais – by the prophets.
2. For this reason many believe Apollos was the author of Hebrews
a. Alexandrian Jew – grew up with access to the great library at Alexandria
b. Possibly influenced by Philo, great 1st century Jewish philosopher
c. Acts 18:24 – “eloquent man and mighty in the scriptures”
3. Written to be read by another as a sermon
4. No dilly-dallying around – author gets straight to the point
a. With very first words he is proclaiming the superiority of Jesus and Christianity over Judaism
b. Why? As we will soon see the intended audience is thought to be considering leaving the faith, giving up…apostacy
5. Old Testament prophets saw ‘through the glass darkly’
a. Because of their very human nature they could only see and proclaim part of the essence of God.
b. God revealed himself in a piecemeal fashion in various ways through the prophets; only revealing what was relevant to them in that place and time.
i. Amos – a cry for social justice
ii. Isaiah – holiness of God
iii. Hosea – forgiving love of God
6. Author of Hebrews not trying belittle prophets but establish the supremacy of Jesus Christ. Jesus described in following ways:
a. Heir of all things. Also part and parcel to creation of all things.
i. Col. 1:16 – “all things have been created through him and for him.”
b. Vs. 3 - “Reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being.”
i. Jesus is not a word from God (like prophets), he is the devine word.
ii. Charakter – the essence of God, the exact image of God
iii. Apaugasma – By looking at Jesus we see the very light of God. Jesus is the shining of God’s glory among us.
c. As one who “sustains things by his powerful word” and who “made purification for sins.” (Vs. 3)
i. Jesus at work in the flow of human history keeps us from destroying ourselves.
ii. Shedding of his blood purifies us and makes us presentable to God.
d. Seated at the right hand of the majesty on high
i. Refers to the resurrection and and exaltation of Jesus
ii. Not there as our judge but as our mediator and intercessor
e. Kreitton - “Superior to angels” (Vs. 4)
i. Serves as a transition to the rest of the material in the chapter (will cover next week)

Barclay, William. The New Daily Study Bible – The Letter to the Hebrews. London: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002

Harrison, Everett F. The New Testament and Wycliffe Bible Commentary. Chicago: Moody Press, 1962

Johnson, Earl S. Jr. Hebrews, Interpretation Bible Studies. Louisville: John Knox Press, 2008

Long, Thomas G. Hebrews, Interpretation – A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching. Louisville: John Knox Press, 1997

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