How Do You Think of Jesus?
To You, Lord Jesus, the One whose name is above every name, I offer my praise and thanksgiving today.
Read Hebrews 1:1-4
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
God has spoken to us through the prophets, and, most fully, in Jesus. Imagine that!
With a literary flourish–two long sentences, the first resonating with five words that in Greek begin with “p”–the writer comes straight to the heart of this letter. This is a book about Jesus, who he is and what he has done.
The statements in vs. 1-4 are densely packed. Ponder each statement carefully. I tend to think of Jesus more often as he was during his life on earth, and this passage is a stunning reminder of the other part of the story. Jesus existed from the beginning, created the world, has returned to the right hand of God the Father, and is heir of everything.
God speaks. This is one of the main themes of Hebrews, culminating in the admonition in 12:25, “See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks.” But it is not only in words that he speaks. He has communicated with us supremely by sending Jesus, who is the radiance (3, rather than “reflection,” NRSV) of God’s glory, and his charaktér. This Greek word means the impression left by a stamp on a coin. What we see in Jesus is exactly what God is like. This includes his love, his humility, his patience, as well as his power and glory. Do you think of the Father as being just like Jesus? Perhaps the root cause of our feeling distant from the Father is our consciousness of our own sin. But Jesus has dealt with that, too! He accomplished in himself cleansing for our sins. The Greek form of the verb translated “purified” points to his total self-giving for our sake. These four verses are an introduction to what follows, and the writer will explore this in more detail later in the book.
Of all the qualities of Jesus mentioned in vs. 2-4, which one(s) are you beginning to appreciate more and more?
Lord, You are the God of yesterday and today. You have spoken in the past and You speak to me today. May I receive Your Word and gladly obey it.
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